Monday, November 4, 2013

Geopiece of the Day: Cape of Good Hope

Located at the southwestern tip of Africa the Cape of Good Hope is not the actual southern tip of the continent. It more than makes up for this slight geographical mishap by being incredible beautiful.

Aerial view of the Cape of Good Hope

Cape point is part of the Table Mountain National Park one of the most inspiring Natural World Heritage Sites. The main burning question that still remains is: Why is it so commonplace that the Cape is considered the most southern tip of Africa? Well, exploration, imperialism and european obsessions with long distance trade. I am looking at you Indian delicious spices and chinese silk. 

The first who wanted to avoid the landbarriers of travel and sail the breeze around Africa were the Portuguese naming the outcrop the Cape of Storms. Not much later considering the name not appropriate for an important landmark on the way to trade with India and the East it was renamed Cape of Good Hope to reflect its importance in European trade.

This made the Cape the landmark of choice, especiallly because at the tip trading ships starting travelling East instead of South, marking a welcome change in the course of travelling. 

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