Tuesday, 5 May 2009

South Africa 2009: Cape Town

Fynbos
Fynbos grows everywhere in Cape Town

I had never been to Cape Town before and I have no idea why not.  I lived in South Africa for 25 years and 2 months and travelled all over the country; I even holidayed in Muizenberg and Hermanus, towns which are a stone’s throw away from Cape Town but I had never been to Cape Town itself.  Well, I fell madly in love with the Mother City within an hour of us landing there and in the car on the way to our host, was already asking Stephen to explain just why we couldn’t move there.

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Table Mountain

There is a very good reason a city slicker like me wouldn’t want to move to Cape Town – I thrive on pressure and deadlines and the fast pace of a city life.  Johannesburg wasn’t big enough for me and so we moved to London.  Before we even thought of moving overseas, I used to secretly dream of living my life in a big, anonymous city.  I have that dream now and that is precisely why we can’t move to the city known by South Africans as Slaap Stad (Sleep City, rhymes with the Afrikaans word for the city, Kaap Stad).  Capetonians are laid back and relaxed to the point of inertia and it would drive a city girl like me crazy.

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The view from the restaurant at Rhodes Memorial which is at the top of Table Mountain

And so I am back in London reporting on a city that grabbed my heart the minute we landed.  It is so breathtakingly beautiful down there and I wish we had spent longer than 48 hours in this amazing city.  I had heard before that once you visited Cape Town a part of you would never leave; I had no idea how true that was.

I’m posting this a little back to front because these photos are all from Sunday morning, the day we left Cape Town.  So much happened on the Saturday though and I wanted to take that a bit more slowly. 

So, we arrived in Cape Town on the Friday evening and drove to Muizenberg to stay with our kind host Martin that we met through Couch Surfing.   I thought this would be a great opportunity to try out this couch surfing thing in preparation for my trip to New York in June.

We spent an awesome morning in Kalk Bay on Saturday and then drove the 90 minute stretch to get to the wedding in Pringle Bay.  I’ll (hopefully) post about both of those later in the week. 

We saw the most amazing white beaches and green / blue waters I have ever seen in my life on the way to the wedding.  Unfortunately, we were pressed for time and I was unable to stop to take photos.

On Sunday morning, we got up bright and early and said goodbye to our kind host Martin.  We went into Rondebosch to fetch my lovely friend Tessa (an artist – check out her site) and her fiancé Alex for breakfast at Rhodes Memorial.

Tessa and Alex
Tessa and Alex

They are getting married in Hout Bay near Cape Town in November and I cannot begin to express how badly I want to go to their wedding.

All too soon it was time to fly back to Johannesburg for the final part of our trip.  Luckily I am posting back-to-front so you still have more Cape photos  look forward to!  We were feeling pretty sad and anticlimactical by this stage!

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Wedding photos on Rhodes Memorial

I caught sight of this beautiful bride taking wedding photographs on Rhodes Memorial.  I love the outfits!  I guess this is a Muslim bride, judging from the bridesmaid’s outfits.

Rhodes Memorial
The view from Rhodes Memorial

This was the very, very last photo I was able to take before my camera decided it was really and truly out of memory. I’d had a bit of a scare as my friend “walked down the aisle” when it first said I was out of memory!

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10 comments

  1. Ahh the nostalgia. I'm from Cape Town (actually Stellenbosch just outside CT) and I got such an intense longing reading your post. My sister also took her wedding pics up at the Rhodes Memorial!

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  2. I had the exact same feelings the moment I caught my first glimpse of Las Palmas! I hadn't even set foot outside my room and I wanted to stay forever. There was something about the warm African breezes and the way the sun shone down on the city that took my breath away. Like you though, I'm a big city boy. Adjusting to Ourense has been hard enough and moving to an island was not going to be good for me!

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  3. The pics look wonderful. I think I would fall in love with Kaap Town as well. Maybe one day I'll make it there :o)

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  4. awesome journey, thank you again Emm.

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  5. How beautiful! I would fall in love with Cape Town, too. Better late than never.

    Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come back tomorrow for more of the Keukenhof series!


    joy
    A Pinay In EnglandYour Love CoachI, Woman

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  6. A nice virtual vacation to Cape Town for me, thank you!

    Rest assured, Manchester United will prevail!

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  7. Nice photos taken from your travel to Cape Town. Finally, you've been there, the South Africa's second most populous city.

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  8. @ Henno: It is an amazing city and I regret not staying there for longer. Do you think you will return home eventually?

    @ Xoán-Wahn: Yes, my Dad likes to go on holiday to Gran Canaria and I can see why now!!! I think I could possibly move to an island if I knew iit was forever and I didn't have the daily grind.

    @ Ivanhoe: I am sure you might one day but first I want to see pictures from your cruise! (Can't wait!)

    @ Jodi: Pleasure m'dear!

    @ Joy: Ha! Definitely. I am much more active in seeing my surroundings now that we're in the UK.

    @ DL: :) Looks like United did prevail! Glad you enjoyed the post.

    @ Patrice: Is it the second most populous city? I suppose it must be - we only have a handful of big cities.

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  9. I should say, "it's the second most populous city in South Africa".

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  10. Oh, I had no idea it was just SO beautiful there! Maybe you'll find yourself settling down in CT when you're older and tired of the big city?

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