Published: August 24th 2012August 3rd 2012
The Lion's Head
Equally lovely as the Table Mountain is the Lion's Head. Very visible from the balcony of the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.
Arrived here in Cape Town after a grueling 17 hour flight plus 7 more waiting in 2 airports. You know what that means for one's bad back. Completely zonked out in my sleep-deprived condition, Cape Town makes for a good introduction to South Africa. This lovely town is just what I expected and dreamed about. We breezed through immigration and felt welcomed as Table Mountain greeted us out of the airport. This iconic landmark makes its presence felt as soon as you breathe South African air. Not bad. Even as the sun fades, its beauty cannot be easily dismissed.
It was nearly dusk when we arrived at our hotel. I could have easily spent the next 2 days without stepping out of this luxurious hotel to catch up with my sleep and enjoy some luxuries. The glassy surface of the Atlantic Ocean turns a deep blue under the African heavenly skies. Stepping out into the balcony, one only needs to look back to find the hotel under the looming shadows of the Twelve Apostles mountain range.
For a moment, I was tempted to skip dinner and dive into bed
Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
The mood here is very relaxed and exclusive. The colonial feel coupled with all the modern amenities and luxuries.
under the neat folds of the duvet. But this glutton's curiosity over South African delicacies got the better of me.
As always, I was drawn to the exotic dishes. There's the hearty Boerewors sausage which is as Afrikaner as can be, the local Cape Malay Curry which marries Asian and Dutch influences, sosaties which are Cape kebabs or barbecue, the Kudu Pie, the Vegetable Bredies which are beans stewed in tomatoes. You won't want for more choices. And whatever you decide to try, you won't end up unsatisfied. I've heard of biltong, boerewors and bredie so I wasted no time trying those. The kudu pies I loved! More like quiché to my untrained palate, but with some exotic meat filling. The koeksisters dessert I found too sweet so I stuck to the exotic fruits on the buffet spread.
I slept like a log my first night in Cape Town. The sound of the ocean's surf was the last I heard before getting knocked out. By morning, I was amazed to find myself yearning for a heavy breakfast after all I ate the night before. My theory is long flights do that to
Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Too cold to try the pool, but the soft bed and warm duvets are glorious! High tea, anyone?
one's body. Sitting for long hours on flights, fed with airline meals, munching through a sleepless journey and watching too many inflight movies must affect our bodies so.
And was I glad not to skip breakfast in this hotel! Azure Restaurant in Twelve Apostles Hotel ranks very high in my list now. How can you go wrong with oysters and champagne for breakfast? Great starters, ei? The nuts, exotic fruits, salmon and other seafood in addition to regular breakfast fare of omelettes and cereals complement the view of the sea and the mountains behind the sliding doors. Priceless! I'm ready for a day out here in Cape Town after this sumptuous first meal.
Flanked by the iconic Table Mountain and her range of "12 apostles", this southwestern tip of South Africa is also where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean. The route to Cape of Good Hope
via Chapman's Peak encompasses a lovely coastline and an impressive mountain range, capped only by this funicular ride to the lighthouse where one enjoys a most spectacular view unmatched anywhere else. What a perfect spot!
Cape of Good Hope
How can you visit Cape Town without dropping by this southwesternmost tip of Africa? A place where the Indian meets the Atlantic Ocean.
I climbed up to the Lighthouse and tried to frame all the scenes in my memory bank. So lovely
We also tried another view of the Table Mountain from Signal Hill a.k.a. Lion's Rump. Side by side with the Lion's Head, it cuts a mean lion figure indeed. From the top, one has an almost 360 degree view of the city, the ocean and the mountains. Down below is unmistakbly that porcelain bowl called Green Point Stadium
. Not far from it is Robben Island, made famous as long time "residence behind bars" of the great Nelson Mandela.
They say when the fogs wrap the Table Mountain it looks like a dining table with fine table linen. I missed that. The fogs have lifted when we got to Signal Hill. Just the same, it's one African beauty etched in one's memory. Same goes with Lion's Head, Lion's Rump and the Twelve Apostles. Truly, South Africa is so blessed with these natural wonders. Just out of winter, it was cold but can't say it's unpleasant. Perfect backdrop. Perfect climate.
The View From the Top
Take the funicular to the top and savor this view!
atop Cape Point beckons. From there, you can check out your latitudes and heave a deep sigh savoring the views. The "tip" and the meeting point of 2 great oceans mere clichés to this magnificent vista from the top. The funicular ride was a good substitute to the cable car ride to the Table Mountain. Enough to wipe off the earlier frustration. A big letdown for the camwhores.
When I reached the top, I was pleasantly surprised to find the post where one can check out distances to other great cities like Beijing, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, New Delhi. It's a familiar landmark, yet I wasn't expecting it to be right here. I'm glad I scaled the steps to the Lighthouse and didn't miss this. It's a good first day out for this zombie.
There are more photos below