I was only in Cape Town for a few days, whilst attending a Conference with my hubby, but in that short time I saw quite a bit of this amazing "Town".
Fasten your seat belts, make a cup of tea or coffee and grab the biscuits. This post is fairly long!!
CITY BUS TOUR
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Dominating the skyline from wherever you are in Cape Town, is the mighty Table Mountain, so majestic with it's "tablecloth" of white cloud. Not a bad view from the top deck of an open tour Bus.
More on Table Mountain coming up.
I hopped off the bus at one point and wandered the streets. Lots of fun markets and cool buildings. There is a very European feel to the City. A lot of the Dutch influence still quite evident.
It was lovely to be walking in the cooler air, after the hot and humid climate of Singapore. Very refreshing.
"In 1966 the National Party declared District 6 to be a 'White Group Area' so enabling them to destroy all buildings, except religious ones, on the grounds of 'slum clearance'. Politicians of the ruling party maintained that the area was squalid and 'dangerous' environment and ridiculed Coloured leaders who described the destruction as a 'tragedy'.
Table Mountain is accessible via The Cable Mountain Cableway or you can hike up the mountain if you are so inclined. The cableway was established in 1929 and there are two cable cars, each with rotating floors, that can get you up the mountain in around 5 minutes.
It was pretty awesome to be up there, whatever the weather conditions. No wonder it is been categorized as one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature.
A DAY IN THE CAR, LET'S GO TO CAPE POINT
The weather had turned, and we woke up to a very wet and dreary day. We decided to go ahead anyway and were rewarded with a few breaks in the cloud and rain at points throughout the day.
It might have been owing to the fact it was winter in Cape Town - and a rainy blustery day - but Sea Point felt more like an English coastal town than somewhere in Africa! Then again, it is the Atlantic Ocean after all.
We started off driving down the western coast of the Cape, passing through the Sea Point area of Cape Town. The beach was full of seaweed and the wind and rain was blowing fit to bust. Some interesting pine trees lined the road, leaning - this caused by the sea breezes bouncing off the buildings and pushing them outward.
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We carried on driving, further round the coast to Camps Bay. We had seen this bay from the top of Table Mountain. This is apparently where the see and be seen people flock to in the summer time. Many celebrities come here (according to the bus tour guide of the day before)! Again, maybe owing to the winter weather, I was at a loss to see the appeal. The South of France it certainly wasn't!!
Further round again came Hout Bay. We did not stop here as the rain was really bad, deciding instead to push on to Cape Point via Chapman's Peak Drive.
CHAPMAN'S PEAK DRIVE
Chapman's Peak Drive is a lovely 9km coastal drive sporting 114 curves to it's road. Hubby was in heaven on this drive because he loves this type of road, even though it was slatting it down with rain whilst we were driving it.
There were places where we could pull in to take photos. It was raining so hard at some points though, it was pretty difficult to get any shots without getting ourselves, and more importantly, the camera, drenched.
History of Chapman’s Peak Drive
Chapman’s Peak is named after John Chapman, the Captain’s mate of an English ship the Consent. The peak which looms overhead was not named after a governor or brave mountaineer, but a lowly ship's pilot. In 1607 the skipper of the British ship Contest found his vessel becalmed in what is now Hout Bay and sent his pilot, John Chapman, to row ashore in the hope of finding provisions. The pilot later recorded the bay as Chapman's Chaunce (chance) and the name stuck, becoming official on all East India charts.
In the early 1900’s Sir Nicolas Fredrick de Waal, first administrator of the Cape Province, ordered the construction of a high-level road linking Cape Town with the Southern Suburbs. The roadway (De Waal Drive) was extremely well received. Enthused with this success he called for another road linking Hout Bay to Noordhoek. Two possible routes were under consideration in 1910. The route over the low nek between the Chapman’s and Noordhoek Peaks was second to the more spectacular route along the vertical sea cliffs.
P-P-PICKUP A PENGUIN!
The African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach is just outside Simons Town where we made a stop for lunch. Quite a cute little town, though obviously very quiet in the winter months. We found a cafe overlooking the harbour. After lunch and a little stroll we jumped back in the car and headed for the Penguin colony.
The African Penguin Colony at Boulders beach
There was an Ostrich Farm, a very remote Ostrich Farm I might add, not far from the entrance to the Cape Point National Park. We stopped for a look, hoping for a guided tour, but unfortunately they had suspended the tours for the winter. The gift shop was extensive, with lots of good quality Ostrich related products, especially Ostrich leather purses and bags. A cafe too for refreshments. We did not linger too long as we needed to press on to make the most of the day. Long enough for a few photos of the Ostriches in the pens.
CAPE POINT AND THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
A DAY TRIP TO A GAME RESERVE
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It was another wet, chilly day, but luckily with some breaks in the cloud. About half way we stopped at Du Kloof Lodge for some coffee and a bathroom break. This lodge yielded some awesome views of the mountains - some snow capped, in the distance.
As we carried on with our journey, we drove through some wonderful countryside, dotted with vineyards. Not so wonderful, was the sad sight of the shanty towns, "homes" of migrant workers who come to work at the vineyards. We passed a number of these along the side of the road.
For lots more animal photos, please visit my Cape Town Page.
There was an awful lot of Ostrich leather products to be had. Purses, bags, wallets of all kinds along with the usual souvenirs you find in most places. Then I spied something that took my interest - Monkey Balls!!