Postcards from an Urban Sunset, Cape Town

Spectacular sunsets usually bring thoughts of silhouetted surfers, island palm trees, or reflections in mountain lakes to mind. Cityscapes are often equally impressive however, and not necessarily just skylines of towering, reflective glass monoliths. These cloud formations over Cape Town, South Africa, produced one of the most memorable sunsets I can remember.

After meeting fur seals in the marina, tasting craft beers in several of the pubs, and even trying some of the excellent retail therapy available I was heading back to the hotel. It had been a pleasant day exploring the Waterfront area, but as the sun went down, these strange-looking clouds stopped me in my tracks, had me reaching for the camera, while trying to catch my break; they were the highlight of the day.

The sky was a lovely soft orange, bathing the city in a rich, warm glow, but the dancing shapes, which appeared to be clouds, were the most eye-catching feature.

Amazing clouds at sunset in Cape Town, South Africa on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-22 cape_town

Is this an “Independence Day” moment?

Slowly sailing across the southern hemisphere sky, they appeared to morph into various different shapes. At times they seemed like a series of alien motherships, descending upon the city, before shape shifting into wispy ghostlike apparitions.

Standing, rooted to the spot for several long minutes, enthralled by the light show of the southern gods, while appreciating my good fortune for being in Cape Town at that very moment.

The evening sky appeared alive, or possibly charged with electricity, a scene direct from, a strange world, the alien horizon from a science fiction movie. If there had been two suns or moons, they wouldn’t have seemed out-of-place. The scene was missing the crackle of lightning however, the atmosphere seemed electric, I found myself almost straining to hear it’s voice.

Eventually the scene drifted beyond the surrounding mountains, leaving a deep aquamarine sky, and the distant hint of the receding sunset outlining the peaks with an orange film. It was time to leave, hoping my images would do this Cape sunset, and my memory of it justice.

Amazing clouds at sunset in Cape Town, South Africa on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-26 cape_town

Spectral sunset in the south

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