Robben Island is an amazing place. We went on a rainy cold day, traveling across choppy seas (about a four foot swell). You could see the island in the distance, and as we got closer I wondered what that ride must have been like for the heroes that made it, they were shackled below deck in darkness.
The first political prisoner in South Africa was a man named Robert Sobukwe. He spent all of his confinement alone, and he was considered such a threat that he was not allowed to speak to anyone, for years. He is the beginning of a long chain of heroic people who eventually brought down Apartheid.
Here are two quotes about Robben Island by two of the most famous men who were there:
"In the struggle Robben Island was known as the 'university.' Not because of what we learned from books, but because of what we learned from each other." - Nelson Mandela
"The most inhospitable outpost of Apartheid." - Oliver Tambo
Click to view a larger map of Robben Island: