The city of Cape Town is enigmatic and hard to pin down. It is urban and natural, hip yet historic. Surrounded by mountains that shape the skyline, and an endless ocean horizon. The Mother City has many sides to it, each with its own story that brings the city to life. Some of these stories are well-known, others are waiting to be told.
It is these stories that form part of the inspiration behind Tsogo Sun’s 14 Stories Rooftop Bar, located on the 14th floor of the SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl hotel. We have curated 14 of the most iconic Cape Town stories – all of which you can marvel at as you sit back and enjoy the view from our bar…
1/14: TABLE MOUNTAIN
Watching over the city since the beginning of time, Table Mountain is one of the most iconic features of Cape Town. Something this legendary has to be surrounded by myths, stories, tales and fables…
Battle of giants
Majestic and proud, keeper of the city, Table Mountain is a marvel to gaze upon. Honoured with the title “natural wonder of the world” there are many tales of how it came to lay where it does. As one Xhosa folktale goes, an epic battle between a marauding sea dragon and a Xhosa god; between good and evil, land and sea – led to the creation of Table Mountain, guardian of the South.
As far as Dutch-told tales go, every table needs a table cloth, and old Jan van Hunks’ duel with the devil may explain this one. Every day, the wrinkled sea captain would make his way up the mountain to smoke his beloved pipe, and gaze over the waters. One day a mysterious stranger approached him and asked for a light.
Van Hunks, a kind old man, obliged. The stranger lit his pipe, drew a deep breath, and let out an enormous puff of smoke. A typical sailor, Van Hunks was not to be outdone and proceeded to let out a giant puff of smoke of his own. A smoke duel was ignited. They huffed and puffed for days, smoke billowing above their heads and rolling down the mountain. After days and weeks, the stranger gave in, and admitted defeat. In a fit of rage, he revealed himself as the devil. So angry was the devil that he grabbed Van Hunks and with a flash of lightning they were gone. The smoke is now still visible as Table Mountain’s table cloth.
The story today
As you ponder the myths of Table Mountain, you can enjoy a glass of Dorrance wine and get a second glass free at 14 Stories Rooftop Bar. Sit back, relax and enjoy the Thursday Wine Down every Thursday from 17h00 until 19h00.
Make sure you keep your eye on the Tsogo Sun Blog for the next story!