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Published: April 9th 2018
I hardly ever sleep well the night before a trip. The excitement still keeps my adrenaline pumping all night long, as well as the fear of not waking up in time to catch an early AM flight. I toss and turn the whole night, and the minutes pass by so slowly. I stare out into the darkness, wishing I could just skip ahead and be at my destination already, with no hiccups. You spend months preparing all the details of your trip: flights, transportation, itinerary, even clothes. And then the moment finally comes, which seems to catch me by surprise... that moment when you are merely minutes from take off. There's also the looming question, "Will my trip live up to my expectations?"
Although this particular trip was really high on both our bucket lists, my challenge this time was to let go of all expectations, and just enjoy it. That means rain or shine, good or bad photos, whatever the case was, I wanted to live in the moment and experience my destination and be more present then I ever have been before. If there are no expectations, there are hardly any disappointments. It had been 3 years since our
last big overseas trip, so I definitely wanted to do it right this time. I am happy to say that I enjoyed every minute of it. South Africa is now in our top 3 favorite trips. What about our babies?
For those of you following along, you know we've been busy starting our family. We had 2 babies in 2 years! And then we sold our home, relocated across the country to be closer to our family, and finished renovating our new home just weeks after our second was born. This is kind of a recipe for crazy sauce. Victor and I knew we really needed some time to prioritize our relationship, and that a quick adults-only getaway would do just the trick. So you wont be seeing our babies on this trip. They were, however, constantly on our minds and in our hearts. We love them so much! The Water Crisis
Capetown South Africa is currently in the midst of a serious water drought crisis. Due to climate change, this area hasn't seen significant rain fall in years. They need everyone to do their part in saving every drop of
water. That means using hand sanitizer in place of washing hands, taking 1 minute on/1 minute off showers, only flushing toliets when really needed, and making sure you don't ever leave the water running for any reason, especially when brushing your teeth. There were signs everywhere reminding people not to use water unless truly necessary. Essentially we were going back home again to running tap water, but all of these local families and buisness were not. So we took our water saving responsibility very seriously and followed all of the rules. But the most important thing that South Africans wanted us to understand, is that they didn't want the water crisis scaring us all away. Travel is a huge part of the economy, and their well fare depends on it. You may hear some blown out story about the water crisis, but don't let it scare you away from coming! Arrival
The moment we arrived in Capetown, it was night time and lightly drissling. We boarded a bus to get to our hotel, and as we drove up past the city's twinkling lights, I got this funny excited feeling in my stomach. I realized then,
that the city was welcoming me with positive electric vibes, which was a good precursor for the rest of the trip.
We stayed at Sunsquare Capetown hotel, which was very nice and comfortable. As soon as we freshened up, we passed out and had a good rest. We woke up early to eat breakfast and set out on a half day tour of the city.
As I wrote before, we were here to be present and enjoy our experience to the fullest, rain or shine. And well... it was raining. Normally this would bug me, as I'm not fond of feeling cold and damp, but It honestly didn't effect us that much. We got as much warmth from eachother, and kept on sight seeing. Table Mountain
First on our agenda was going up to Table Mountain. Table Mountain is like the towering icon of this city. It takes up almost half of the skyline and extends out into the coastline. It gets its name from the way that it is so flat on top. I couldn't wait to go up on the cable car and get that priceless view of the entire city.
The cable car is unique in that it turns around slowly to expose a 360 view. The mountain sits over 3,558 feet high, so it was quite a view!
The view was short lived, though. Literally one minute after we took our first panoramic photo, a vail of fog swept over the entire top of the mountain, and we were essentially inside a cloud! We walked around for a few more minutes, but we couldn't see a thing. My hair was covered in the funniest tiny droplets of water. We decided to go back down, as did everyone else. I would advise everyone to check with the front counter people and ask them what the conditions will be like up on the mountain before you purchase your tickets. Because the weather changes often, you can still get a chance to go up at a later time when it's clear. Bokaap
At first glance, the neighborhood of Bokaap just seems like a colorfully planned tourist trap. You walk around the sketchy street and dodgy people, and snap your pictures of the photogenic houses. But it's history says a different story. This used to be where "colored"
residents were segregated. This included people who came from Malaysia, and then Muslims. The bright colors of the houses mean something, too. According to the business you ran, you would paint your house a certain color to let people know what you did. People with historical ties to this area are very proud, and view the colors of their homes as a sign of freedom. V&A Waterfront
By afternoon, we were extremely hungry, and the Waterfront area of Capetown has a large variety of restaurants to choose from. Although it is very commercialised, it does have its quirks. Like smelly sea lions lazily sleeping around the docks, live folky music from some of capetown's locals, and a gorgeous view of Table Mountain (that we didn't get to see this time because of the fog.) We had some vegetarian Asian food at the food hall of the Food Market, and then walked around a bit to window shop and people watch. You can tell there were some Dutch influences to the style of the buildings, and apparently one of South Africa's main languages; Afrikaans, is also related to the Dutch language.
lag kept pulling down on us and we did our best to stay busy and try to beat it. Just as we were casually walking around the pier, a seagull pooped on my head. They say it is "good luck", but I think they're just saying that to make you feel better about the fact you just got shit on, haha! After we got most of it out, we grabbed a smoothie and sat down to enjoy some really good live music by a young local band. They were so good! I didn't get their name, but I'm going to try to investigate and find out.
We got a taxi for our next stop, the Castle of Good Hope, which isn't really a castle, it's just an old fort that was built by the first settlers. It is the oldest building in Capetown, and a pretty one at that.
From here, we noticed that we were just a few walking miles from our hotel, and after accessing the area, we decided it was safe enough to walk back on our own. It's lovely to acknowledge that some of the way specific countries are portrayed in
the media is not all entirely true. Crimes are committed everywhere in the world, but as long as you are street smart and take care of your belongings, you will be totally fine here. On our walk we passed a college, a few busy streets, a beautiful church, and only one bum asking for money...
We freshened up, and got some veggie pizza down at our hotel's restaurant (which was one of the best pizzas we've ever had!) We still had so much left to do and see on our Capetown visit. So we succumbed to our jet lag and fell asleep.
Hotel: SunSquare Capetown, Capetown South Africa
Tour Group: Gate1Travel
Restaurant: The Food Market at the V&A Waterfront
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