Cape Town for a weekend

Isn’t it fantastic when you can catch a Saturday morning flight to a beautiful place, enjoy the day and a bit, then be on your way back on Sunday afternoon? You don’t need to take days off work?

Of course, what is most ideal is a stay in Cape Town for at least a whole week, especially when you’re catching up with your college best friend, but when you don’t have a whole week, you make do with Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, if that is all you have. So, what did we get to do?

But before that, please allow me to remember Cape Town before 2019.

Being two girls unfamiliar with the city, we were limited where we could go. It was my best friend’s first time in Cape Town. She was in town for work for a few days only. I am a local (South African) but I have lost my sense of adventure and devil-may-care attitude. I blame old age; I am approaching half a century. More importantly, I have a seven-year old daughter. She alone is enough to make me care about my safety and general well-being.

I was uncertain about hiring a car and I am yet to be convinced that it is safe for a girl, or two girls, to take Uber rides in South Africa. I don’t even know which city is worse: Johannesburg or Cape Town. Many would say where I live, Johannesburg, Gauteng Province (GP), a.k.a. Gangsters Paradise (GP), is a much more dangerous city than the mother city, but I can’t help but recall what happened to Anni Dewani in 2014.

While I feel relatively safe in Cape Town, proven by the fact that my best friend and I walked a couple of blocks on Long Street in Cape Town’s CBD, I will only walk during the day, and I will never walk alone. In most places in South Africa, especially in Johannesburg, I will not walk anywhere outside of my territory at any time and I will not walk anywhere at all, even somewhere familiar, at night. It doesn’t matter if I have a companion. Walking in a big group would be okay, I suppose. Similarly, when there are organized events, such as the Bon Jovi concert we went to, walking at night where I would otherwise not walk is fine.

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Pardon me, I digressed.

 

What we did on Saturday afternoon

We took the hotel shuttle to V&A Waterfront, where both tourists and locals find themselves entertained. The Waterfront is a shopping center and a working harbor, so locals shop and work there, too.

It was a sunny but windy day. A light sweater helped although those used to cool breeze or colder climate would not need warmer clothing.

The weather meant that the water was rather rougher than usual, so cruises to the Robben Island were cancelled. That was a pity. I also didn’t see boat cruises similar to what I once took about ten years ago when I froze my arse off because I assumed that Cape Town’s summer would be warm.

BFFs in the Mother City 🙂
Check the clouds
There were a few of these scattered around the Waterfront
I tried the panorama shot
The clouds about to come down on us (while I’m posing)

I wonder if these are for sale…
This bridge moves to the side to make way for boats
Best we could do was take pictures as cruises were cancelled due to rough waves (winds?)
The cuties
and noisy
It is a working harbor, after all.
This is where the Robben Island tour starts, but there were none for the day because of the weather.
The Silo Hotel
I don’t know what this is… *insert hand on face emoji*
On the side of the entrance of Silo Hotel
There was also an exhibit but we didn’t go in.
Those clouds…

We spotted the red bus. I had been contemplating on taking the Johannesburg one and the only time I took a sightseeing open-top tour bus was in Milan, so I didn’t hesitate one bit. My best friend was eager, too.

Taking the city sightseeing tour bus is hassle-free. We didn’t have to find a ticketing office. We could have bought the tickets online and the mobile ticket is R10 cheaper but getting on the bus and buying a ticket from the driver was convenient. We immediately boarded the bus.

And just like that, we were off on our safe adventure.

I took this pic from the upper-deck. There was a car show around the Silo Hotel area.
One more thing I like about Cape Town is the city still has old beautiful buildings.
Cape Town is definitely a helluva lot lovelier than Johannesburg.

We took the red tour not by choice, but because it was the bus that was there. This tour goes to the Table Mountain. It was a very cloudy day so the cable way was closed. The mountain was covered with a thick blanket of whiteness. It didn’t stop us from hopping off the bus to take pictures.

Approaching the Table Mountain Cable Way
The city from up above

The Table Mountain covered by thick clouds
This is one of the Seven Wonders of Nature!

The next bus arrived within fifteen minutes and we were back on our sightseeing tour.

We were quickly back on the bus as the wind was blowing us away and we feared the clouds would devour us. 🙂
It was really windy
Really super windy
Next time, we will take the cable way to the top of the mountain. I have only been there once.
Despite the clouds, it’s still a sight to behold.
Nature’s wonder, indeed.

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We drove along the beaches, past Camps Bay and Clifton Beach. I didn’t think to get off the bus in Sea Point. We could have walked the Promenade. I like Sea Point. The last two occasions we were in Cape Town, for the little one’s Pampers ads shoot, we stayed at Winchester Mansions in Sea Point.

And we were back at the Waterfront. My mobile phone, which I use to take pictures, had died somewhere between the Table Mountain and the beaches. I needed to resurrect it.

Here at the Food Market, we settled for sushi and dim sum. I got to charge my phone a bit while eating.

I think this is a pretty cool place. I will definitely be back here next time I am at the V&A.

What we did on Sunday morning

The next day, we walked from the hotel to the City Sightseeing Tours office on Long Street. We had decided back at the hotel that we would take the blue tour.

Excuse the skew image. I took it in a rush while walking. I just like the aesthetics of the building.

Several years ago, I would have tried Tigers Milk as soon as it opened. I don’t even know when the restaurant/bar opened across the country and although there is one not even 5km from home, I still have not tried it. Many people love it, though. I took the photo for the building.

Back on the tour bus

This was a stop on the tour, outside of Mount Nelson Hotel.

Sunday was a better day for the Table Mountain. It was on display. Strangely though, it was more overcast than the previous day.

Isn’t she lovely?

I can’t remember which university this is. It’s most probably University of Cape Town (UCT), which is the highest-ranked university in Africa. Its location is a dream.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Entering the botanical garden

We didn’t visit the garden due to time constraint. I was flying back to Johannesburg in the afternoon.

The World of Birds is also a stop and a visit is recommended; perhaps next time.
This was the stop for the Constantia Wine Tour, which I will definitely do next time.
Here, visitors can hop off and proceed to the tour of Imizamo Yethu Township Tour. It is a guided walk/tour.
On the road to Hout Bay Harbor, there is this castle where the ghost of young Elsa still roams.

We planned to hop off only in Hout Bay. We didn’t have a lot of time: Long Street to Hout Bay and back to Long Street is a two-hour tour. We wanted to take some pictures in Hout Bay. We did get to check out the Pearl store and the souvenir shop.

On two occasions before, once with my friends and the other time with hubby and the little one when she was eighteen months old, we had lunch at the Mariners Wharf. The place hasn’t changed much, if at all it has.

Back on the bus…

Then, we were on our way back to the city. As with the red tour, the blue tour also drives past Camps Bay and Sea Point.

Camps Bay
Where it’s happening 🙂
It is too cold to swim here so no one really braves the water, I believe.
I think it is a must to explore Camps Bay a bit. Grab a bite. Sip some cocktails.
I’d like to stay here, though.

King and Queen of Hearts
Sea Point’s public swimming pool.

I wish I didn’t have to leave the city yet. It would have been great to spend more time with my best friend but the weekend had to end… earlier. It was a short one.

I spent a bit of time watching planes though. I was early at the airport, having my Avis Point-to-Point (P2P) pick up at 1:30pm for a 4pm flight, so I hang out at the Slow Lounge. Both P2P and the lounge are benefits, courtesy of my bank.

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And, after being on the receiving end of an old adult (about my age, more or less) male’s comment, “You are irritating my space!” because I was rushing to find my gate (having lost track of time relaxing at the Slow Lounge) while talking on the phone with my friends, who called me, I was a little rattled. I was unprepared for the comment that I actually replied with an apology. I understood, some people are unhappy, and when you are too happy, you can be irritating. I know I can probably irritate sullen and sad souls with my overly cheerful and sunshiny temperament.

I was upset for a little and then I accepted it for what it was. It was not a me issue.

When you are a sunshine, you get treated to a magnificent sight as you ascend to the sky.

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My window wasn’t clean so the image isn’t clear. Sorry about that.

P.S.

I am sorry for disappearing from this blog for a few months. It is not a lack of material as I have a lot I would like to share. My problem is the scarcity of time, compounded by the occasional (often?) messed up priorities. I will strive to do better.

Much love and hugs,
Anne J.