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October 09, 2013

Eight Things You Didn’t Know about the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway on its 84th Birthday

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Table Mountain Aerial  Cableway, Happy Birthday to you!

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway celebrates it's 84th birthday in #lovecapetown in October. Photo courtesy of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Folks, it’s our iconic attraction‘s birthday month and they’re rocking their 84 years in #lovecapetown in style.

Since those hard-working builders trekked up the side of the mountain in 1929, the Cableway has undergone some considerable facelifts to look like the Wonder of Nature it is today:

The first cable car in 1929 was little more than wood and steel. Photo courtesy of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Today's car is state of the art with revolving floors, giving visitors a 360 degree view of both mountain and city. Photo by Cape Town Tourism

In honour of the Cableway’s special day, I went hunting for some fun, historical facts about this amazing attraction. Bet you didn’t know:

- The Cableway had four founding fathers:  The brainchild of the esteemed Norwegian engineer Trygve Stromsoe, the Cableway Company was founded by Stromsoe and his partners, Sir Alfred Hennessy, Sir David Graaff and Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and managed by their descendants until it was sold to in 1993.

- Construction of this site was dangerous: materials and workers were carted to the top of the Mountain in little more than an open box pulled on a temporary ropeway. Miraculously, no accidents occurred over the two year building period.

-   The Evolution of a super cable car: the earliest cable car was made of wood and steel and could barely hold 19 passengers while the 2013 model boasts a state of the art, revolving floor and doors, which gives sight seekers a stunning view of the city and mountain.

- 19 to 20 million visitors: Since the humble 19 passengers who were visit treated to the view from the top, the Cableway has now seen more than 20 million people enjoy its phenomenal vistas.

- It’s a war veteran: The Cableway has survived two interruptions to its planned construction by the First Anglo-Boer War in 1880 and World War I, which lasted from 1914 to 1918.

-It calls one of the oldest mountains home: Yes, Table Mountain at 1067m above sea level and about 360 million years old, is eons older than the Himalayas and the Rockies.

- It’s an eco-diva: Responsible Tourism lies at the heart of all that the Cableway does. From the transportation of water and sewage to the Lower Station, using the cars as convoys to the disposable cutlery and crockery used in its restaurants, the Cableway is a “greenie”.

- It’s celebrity chick (and guy) magnet: This octogenarian is still turning famous heads. From Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) in 1947 to Searching for Sugarman star Sixto Rodriguez in 2012, they've all been awed by the amazing Cableway.

Visit the Mountain like it’s your birthday:

You’re a legend in your own right too and you deserve a special treat so why not cash in on the Cableway’s fabulous Birthday Special and see the Mother City laid out like paradise before you on your special day?

This great offer entitles you as a South African resident to a free return trip up the Mountain. All you have to is visit the Cableway and produce your ID on your birthday. (Read the fine print: This offer is only valid for to South Africans, over the age of 18, with a valid South African ID on the day of your birthday, cannot be redeemed on any other day and is valid for 7 days from the date of issue. Should the Cableway be closed, you can still visit the ticket office on the day of your birthday and produce your ID, and they’ll issue you with a ticket that is valid for 7 days. This ticket is not extendable if not used within the 7 days).

For more information, visit www.tablemountain.net

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