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Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town November 18th 2019

We arrived in Cape Town yesterday and had a busy day so I’m just now getting the chance to blog about our adventures here. Our hotel, the Cape Grace Hotel, is absolutely beautiful and is one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed in. The decor is stunning, as is our room, the pool, the restaurant and all of the common areas. And I must not forget that this is also the home of a whiskey bar that houses 450 single malt scotch whiskeys, the largest collection in the southern hemisphere. We enjoyed a tasting of South African wines at the hotel bar and dined at a fish restaurant on the Victoria & Albert waterfront, just a quick walk from our hotel. Next I’ll be blogging about our first full day with our tour guide, Jenny.... read more
Our room
Our view of Lions’s Head and Table Mountain
Common area

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town November 18th 2019

We had a lovely breakfast before Jenny picked us up at 8:15am. We walked to the waterfront and caught a catamaran that took us to Robben Island, the island that contains the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life in a very small cell. We toured the island in a bus and then a former prisoner took us on a walking tour of the prison. I learned a lot about Apartheid on this tour and how differently the Indians, “the coloreds” and “the blacks” were treated, with the blacks being the most badly treated. Mandela, a black, spent most of his time shoeless, in shorts, was forced to do hard labor and he slept on a thin mat on the cold concrete floor ..... for 18 years. I encourage you learn about this ... read more
Mandela’s Cell
The Tram to Tabletop Mountain
The view from the top


Woke this morning to bright sunshine, and when we got to breakfast we could see Table Mountain (without any cloud). Yayy! So back to the Hop On Hop Off bus (red route this time) which also travels through the centre of Cape Town, and then part way up Table Mountain to the Lower Cableway Station. Off the bus, along with everyone else, to join the queue! Waited an hour to ride the cable car to the top. I guess (like us) everyone had waited for a clear day. There are two cable cars, one going up and one down at any given time, they each hold up to 65 people, have a revolving floor, and take 4-5 minutes to the top (or bottom). Once at the top there are paths around the mountain and spectacular views ... read more
Lions Head & Signal Hill
One of the cable cars
Both of the cable cars

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town » Constantia September 16th 2019

Our plan for today was to head for the Hop On Hop Off bus (red route) which goes to Table Mountain, and go to the top of the mountain in the gondola - however, there were even more clouds covering it than yesterday! Change of plans - swap the red route for the blue route (and the purple route). So after a lovely breakfast at the hotel, walked back to the Hop On Hop Off bus office (that we had found yesterday) and set off on the blue route. This goes through the centre of Cape Town, including Long St (the main street?) and then heads around behind Table Mountain. We got off at the Kirstenbosch gardens, a botanical garden on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Wandered around through various parts of the garden (it's ... read more
Gardens
More of the gardens
Still more


Arrived in Johannesburg in the dark - 5am, got our bags and then rechecked them through to Cape Town and were again escorted from the international terminal to the domestic, but this time by a representative from the tour company - a nice touch. And not so rushed - had a 3 1/2 hour wait for our flight to Cape Town. Arrived there mid morning, but could not see Table Mountain on the drive from the airport - it was covered in cloud (the tablecloth apparently). But we were able to get into our room at the Table Bay Hotel. It is a beautiful hotel, on the waterfront where the cheaper rooms have ocean views (ours!) and the expensive ones have views of Table Mountain (hiding behind the clouds). It was nice to be able to ... read more
Table Mountain (under the cloud)
Painted Rhino
Rhino

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town July 16th 2019

Our day began with an 8:15 a.m. departure following another hearty breakfast at The Portswood. We headed south from Cape Town towards Muizenburg, which put us on the Atlantic coast. From here, it would be a series of quick and scenic stops to admire beautiful coastal views and/or wildlife. Our ultimate destination was the Cape of Good Hope/Cape Point--the southwesternmost point on the African Continent. First, the wildlife: Though we did not see any sharks or baboons, signs pointed to trouble with both species. After heading uphill from a beautiful beach, we encountered a "shark spotter" shack, looking over the swimmers and surfers to track any approaching shark dangers. Near the "shark shack," another sign warned us that baboons "are dangerous WILD animals - DO NOT FEED - Keep doors locked and windows closed." We continued ... read more
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Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town July 15th 2019

Hello, and Greetings from a new Continent. Yesterday, we did well on a 11-1/2 hour flight from Paris to Cape Town. Our guide, Andre, met us at the airport and transported us to our hotel, which was a huge upgrade from the small rooms we had experienced in Paris. This place is very nice. We socialized a bit and called it a night. Today, we got up to enjoy one of the best breakfast buffets in a long time, including cooked-to-order omelettes. We really enjoyed it and it was good enough that lunch was unnecessary. Andre picked us up and gave us a brief orientation to the V & A Waterfront area before we headed up the Lion's Head Mountain. Normally, tours here take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, but at this ... read more
Cape Town
Lion Head Mountain
Bo-Kaap

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town May 26th 2019

The day dawned again as a fine one with just a little more dense high cloud than yesterday and no wind. But it is going to be a day that we can’t solve two important mysteries for ourselves. The plan is to take the city hop on hop off bus for the day with the first stop being the cableway station to take us up to the top of Table Mountain to take in the views and tick it off our bucket list. We strolled along the road to find somewhere for breakfast and came across a tiny, rather ecletic, French café flying a giant French flag ourside.It wasn’t being staffed by Frenchmen however, rather a local South African waiter and cook. The coffee was just as strong as we have had any day since we ... read more
Imizamo Yethu
Hout Bay
Sea Point

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town » Green Point May 24th 2019

Why oh why did we buy that damn duty free gin and vodka ?!We are now starting to realise what a millstone it is around our neck getting on and off aeroplanes and hauling it around airport lounges, resting up between flights and then getting back on again.OK.so it was mainly the 5 hours wait in damn uncomfortable seats at Singapore airport that is bringing this nightmare to the surface. And all for a saving of a couple of bucks on each bottle. And now we have to drink it before we get to the safari stage of the BBA V4 as you are not supposed to take your own booze. Secretly though we are stockpiling, well 2 any way, 1 litre tonic bottles for whatever we have left of the gin and vodka by then. ... read more
The gin and tonic terrace
View towards V & A and Cape of Good Hope
Table Mountain from V & A

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town April 10th 2019

Welcome back. Cape Town has been an absolute joy and we have loved the freedom and the feel of the city. We have stayed at Greenpoint about a 30 minutes walk to the V&A waterfront, which is one of the vibrant parts of the city. As most of you know we make our money stretch by staying in 2 and 3 star places which are clean and comfortable. This place is in a great location and there is plenty of space, big lounge , kitchen, fridge and free laundry. However like much of South Africa it is all top show, not quite clean enough, there is a culture of just doing enough, and poor attention to detail. In some parts of Joburg there were ridiculous numbers of staff in cafes and restaurants but only a third ... read more
African penguins
Protea
Robben island from Table Mountain




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