Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Unplanned Marvelous Trip to the Mother City

Two weeks ago at the beginning of April I went for a meeting in Cape Town. It was supposed to be a 1 day meeting where I had to fly there early in the morning (it meant waking up at 3 am to catch the 6 am flight) and then fly back in the evening. I was disappointed because I had never been to Cape Town and I was appalled by the idea of seeing Cape Town from the plane and to and from the meeting venue. I had to make a plan. The meeting was on a Thursday so I asked if I could take Friday off and have my return ticket booked for Sunday and it was all approved. I was excited because I wanted to see what all the hype about Cape Town was about. Believe me I did find out and I was won over
I booked myself into a lodge called Rose Lodge which is in the Bo Kapp area which is in the the centre of town. It was a good lodge, nothing fancy but clean, conveniently located and sufficient for the 3 nights I spent there.

 The was a lovely pato where I got to have breakfast. The weather was fantastic too.

The Bo Kapp are has some very interesting colorful building. Really really beautiful.
This street alone had so many beautiful different buildings. I stood awhile just taking it in.
My first night in Cape Town I had diner at this African stylish restaurant. It was just across the street from where I was staying.
They had a live band which came in to play at 20.00hrs.
Back on the City Sightseeing bus again. Brought back memories from Barcelona. I think this is one of the best way of seeing a new place. It gives you an overview then you can pick and choose places you want to explore more.
Table Mountain is always in view as you move around the city.
Random interesting Tree as you enter the Botanical Gardens.
This is one of the biggest Vineyards in Cape Town, Groot Constantia. I have always wanted to visit a Vineyard so I was not going to miss the opportunity.
Rows and rows of grape vines.
There are 2 restaurants there and people can have food with the wines made on site.
It was so beautiful and serene.
Took the wine tour where we were taking through how they make the wine. It was very interesting. These are the barrels where they keep the wine until it is ready to be bottled and sold.
One of the machine which squeezes the juice from the grapes.
Then there was the wine tasting. I am not a fan of red wine but I loved one of the white wines.
One of my many stops was a fisherman's village called Holt Bay.
There was this restaurant picture here which served the most delicious fresh seafood. I had a feast of seafood here.
Back on the bus I saw so many breath taking views like this one.
One of the many beaches.
My goodness this is one of the things which made me fall in love with Cape Town. The views are breath taking. If I lived there I don't think I would ever get enough of this.
Approaching one of the hot spots - the Waterfront, where that big wheel is.
Does this look quaint? I so adore the not so modern buildings.
Some blessed people get to live seeing the views I shared above.
Some interesting houses.
One of the lighthouse.
I hoped to go up the Table Mountain with the Cable Car but when I got there there was a long queue and it was fully booked. I should have booked online. This is a lesson for future trips, there are some things which need to be booked in advance.
I discovered that there was going to be an Open Air Cinema movie night on the Friday. Thanks to Uber, I found my way there with no problem at all. Guess which movie was on - you guessed right - Mama Mia. I watched the movie when it came out but honestly I enjoyed it more this second time around. I think the 1st time around my expectations were too high because everyone was talking about it.
I took the tour to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. This is the boat which took us there - Thembekile which means faithful.
Well on our way and the main land can be seen in the back ground.
Out at sea. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the Island from the mainland.
This was out guide during the tour at the prison. I think his name was Thulani and he is a former prisoner in that prison. My goodness this tours was very emotional. The stories which he shared were so sad and at one point he began to cry he just couldnt stop himself. There were very few dry eyes - I felt my eyes clouding up. It was an intense but worthwhile tour because I got a better understanding of what those prisoners went through. It made me appreciate even more the fact that South Africa is now an independent and democratic country.
One of the many stories plastered on the walls in the prsion cells. The stories are written by former prisoners who used to stay in those cells.
One of the prison cells. The prison no longer houses any prisoners it is now a National Heritage Site.

This was the courtyard where the prisoners came out to exercise.
Sitting down listening to some of the stories told by the guide.
The Island has a bit of history. It also used to be an Island where all lepers where sent to. So one Anglican priest built a church for the lepers there.
Another church. I think this one is the one used by the current 250 residents of the Island. These are mainly employees who work at the prison and their families.
This was our guide on the bus tour around the Island. He was entertaining and it was clear he loved his job. Someone even asked him was he wasn't on radio because he would make a good DJ.
Approaching the mainland on the way back from Robben Island. Can you see the Table mountain in the background?
Approaching the harbor. The tour to Robben Island takes about 3 hours in total.
Walking around the Waterfront. There is a lot to see.
Heard about this market and stooped by after my Robben Island tour.
They had a lot of great stuff. Next time I will go prepared so that I can spend more on mementos.
Random picture taken of one of of the shop entrances.
I now understand all the talk about Cape Town. On arrival I could not help but notice that the air was fresher nothing compared to Joburg. Then there was the more relaxed  and laid back atmosphere. I am a fan of smaller town. If it were possible to get a good job in a small town I would move in a heart beat. Big fast paced cities, I am not too crazy about.
I feel that I have some unfinished business in Cape Town. So Cape Town see you soon.

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