Cape Town & The Cape Peninsula, Western Cape, South AfricaA 9-Day Exploration Of Cape Town & Its Environs, The Most polished, Most Visited & Most Un-African Part Of The Country
IMAGE || Late afternoon scenery off the coastal route R44 between Gordons Bay & Betty’s Bay, Western Cape.
Cape Town & The Cape Peninsula – Introduction
While it was on the bucket list by virtue of having never been, I can’t ever recall having a desire to go to South Africa. If I had I’d have probably visited by now. Being honest, the country, the world’s 25th-largest, has something of an image problem, one not helped by stories of crime & worries over personal safety, by the poverty & the obvious haves & have-not societal inequality, and the scars that linger from the divisive Apartheid era, when the vast majority of the country’s black population were disenfranchised. Oh, and there’s the hum of those annoying buzzing vuvuzelas during the FIFA 2010 World Cup (the things that stick in one’s memory). But I’ve been wooed. By Cape Town, and a Capetonian (and the accent, too), so now I find myself en route to the Mother City.
– Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor, City of Cape Town, from the 2017 Official Visitors’ Guide Cape Town
Cape Town – The Mother City
Cape Town, a.k.a. the Mother City, so-called because it seemingly takes 9 months to get anything done down here (yes, Capetonians are a laid-back lot), is the capital of Western Cape, the most popular of South Africa’s 9 provinces with tourists. This is both South Africa’s most un-African and its most visited city by some way, and upon investigation it’s not hard to see why. Cape Town’s spectacular geographical setting, and all the outdoorsy adventure options that that presents, might by itself be enough to lure some. But the region’s vineyards, agreeable climate, beaches, European colonial-era architecture (& history), and epic coastal drives, among other attractions, would, I’d imagine, deter very few. I’d always envisioned visiting the city, and South Africa itself, as part of an epic African overland odyssey, a Cape Town to Cairo, or vice versa, sort of jaunt. That might very well still happen one day, but for now I’m happy to give myself over to a week+ of Cape Town, the Southern Peninsula & environs to see for myself if it really is as idyllic, and as photogenic, as it reads.
Cape Town Cape Town & The Cape Peninsula Picture of The Day Highlights Gallery
Cape Town & The Cape Peninsula Day-by-Day Overview
DAY 01 || BLOUBERGSTRAND || Cape Town International Airport to Bloubergstrand.
DAY 02 || THE CITY || Castle of Good Hope, Bo-Kaap, Company Gardens, Truth Coffee, Woodstock, & the open-air Galileo Cinema at the V&A Waterfront.
DAY 03 || THE CAPE PENINSULA || The Atlantic Seaboard (Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, Llandudno, & Hout Bay), Chapman’s Peak Drive, the Cape of Good Hope, & the False Bay coast (Boulders Beach & Simon’s Town, Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, St James, & Muizenberg).
DAY 04 || STELLENBOSCH || Root 4 Market at the Audacia Wine Estate & Stellenbosch.
DAY 05 || KIRSTENBOSCH || Goldfish concert in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
DAY 06 || WINE TASTING & THE R44 FALSE BAY COAST || Franschhoek, Babylonstoren, & the R44 Coastal Route to Hermanus.
DAY 07 || CAPE OVERBERG’S WHALE COAST ROUTE & CAPE AGULHAS || Hermanus, De Kelders, Gansbaai, Pearly Beach, Elim, L’Agulhas & Cape Agulhas, Bredasdorp, Swellendam, Ashton, Robertson, Worcester, & Du Toits Kloof Pass.
DAY 08 || HISTORY & HIKING || The V&A Waterfront, Robben Island, & Lion’s Head.
DAY 09 || WELLINGTON WIND DOWN || Wellington, road to Bain’s Kloof Pass, & the Napier Winery.
Cape Town & The Cape PeninsulaPICTURE OF THE DAY || DAY 1 || February 15, 2017
IMAGE || The distant city of Cape Town & Table Mountain as seen from across Table Bay in Bloubergstrand, Western Cape, South Africa
Day 1 || February 15, 2017.
Posted From || Wellington, Western Cape.
Day 1 Overview || Airport to Bloubergstrand. Bloubergstrand to Wellington.
I didn’t even take the real camera out today, day one in Cape Town & its environs, leaving the photographic duties to my iPod instead; there’s plenty of time for proper photography. After picking up the hire car, a brandy-new, no-frills, white Volkswagen Polo with 25 kilometres on the clock, it was an hour drive from Cape Town International Airport to the windswept white-sand shoreline of Bloubergstrand from where there were nice views, if a bit hazy, back towards the regional centerpiece of iconic Table Mountain (& the city of Cape Town) from across Table Bay. It was a nice introduction to the city and its picture-postcard setting.
The waters off Blouberg’s long, rocky coastline are a haven for kite surfers; as idyllic as the beaches are, with their white sand encroaching on the sea-facing settlements, seemingly there are better swimming options elsewhere. It’s both relaxed & scenic, the perfect place to ease into Cape Town after the 22-hour transit from the (much) chillier climes of the Northern Hemisphere.
Plenty more to come from down here. Eight days of it. I just gotta get some rest first, and adjust to this heat.