Busy day today – I woke up around 7 and planned to get out to Table Mountain on the first bus, but a quick check of the website showed that it was closed due to poor weather conditions, so that kind of put a damper on the morning. I took my time, had a nice breakfast downstairs and sorted a few things out.
Around 9 I checked and Table Mountain had reopened, however conditions and visibility were still poor. I decided to get on the hop on/hop off bus anyway (easiest way to get up to the mountain) and then make a decision when I made it to that stop.
Hop on/hop off was reasonably priced and had some good stops and information. I made it to Table Mountain around 9:30 and despite still seeing some clouds I decided to head up, not really knowing if it would get worse or even close later. Plus I didn’t really want to around the bus route twice.
Costs about $25 to go up, the cable car was cool and had a rotating floor. Table Mountain was named one of the new 7 natural wonders of the world somewhat recently and they’re quite proud of that, as they should be. It’s beautiful.
I had taken a jacket with me just in case and out that on – at the top it was quite chilly. You’re literally in the clouds. It’s a cool feeling, and since it was still very cloudy there were some real cold spots.
I think it was actually more interesting to go up with the limited visibility, saw some really cool sights with the clouds and also had some good visibility times so was able to see quite clearly. It was truly stunning.
Amazing views of Cape Town from the top, could see Robben Island and some ships at sea. I spent about an hour up there – wandering around, taking pictures and eventually going up to the “wifi lounge” where you’ve got free wifi and a little cafe. Bought myself a hot chocolate, enjoyed some wifi (quicker than anything I get on the ground) and then made my way down to continue my day.
It was a little after noon when I got down the mountain, I hopped back on the red line bus and went a few stops before hopping off down at the beach. Truly beautiful area, I can understand why so many photo shoots, movies, etc are all done here. I had a nice pizza for lunch on the strip, relaxed a bit walking along the beach and then hopped back on the bus!
Went a few stops to the green garden, this beautiful spot of greenery in the middle of the city – tons of school groups, kids playing, people exercising, tons of greenery… just beautiful. I think they were shooting for a Central Park type of feel and while it’s not quite as dense from a nature perspective they did a really good job.
I generally don’t like to walk back the same way I came so I went right through the park in hopes of finding another way. The park is also directly across from the stadium so I wanted to take a peek there and see if I could convince someone to let me go inside :p This is the stadium they built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – absolutely beautiful building.
As luck would have it, just as I was wandering up to the stadium after poking my head through the gates here and there I came across the tour desk, and lo and behold a “quick tour” was starting in 5 minutes for the price of 10 Rand (or about $1). Sign me up! A nice guy by the name of Jason took us right in and brought us down to the grass which was quite cool – we were allowed to touch but not walk on. The view from the bottom is pretty impressive – and I’d imagine considerably cooler when you’ve got 17,000 people or so cheering you on.
After that he took us up to the suite level and we got some pictures from the top. I was thrilled. I love big empty buildings like this – theatres and stadiums especially. It was so cool! We only went for about 15 minutes but we got a great view and got some information on the building too. Perfect timing!!!
After that I decided not to worry too much about the bus, I walked back towards the water and found my way back to the waterfront area. Took me about 15 minutes to walk back. I passed a protest about housing prices which is apparently a hot button issue at the moment – affordable living downtown.
Made it back and decided it was time for a rest, so I returned to the hotel. Connected with my friends from iRYLA to confirm dinner plans which is awesome – haven’t seen them since Montreal in 2010. It’s very cool to have connections like this around the world! We confirmed for 7pm so I took a bit of a nap before getting up and out around 6 for another stroll down to the waterfront. I’d figured out a short cut by now through the Marina that shaved a few minutes off the walk.
Sun was setting so it was nice getting in around then – again Table Mountain looked absolutely beautiful, as did the rest of the waterfront.
Got to the restaurant (Quay 4) right on the water and met Laura and her boyfriend Matt – great to see her again! And then Justin and his brand new bride Ruth arrived shortly after. It was so nice to catch up, hear what everyone has been up to and swap stories on travel, politics, etc.
All four of them had just come back from trips of their own (Justin and Ruth from their honeymoon!!) so it was a short evening – I think we were there for a couple of hours. Great food, beautiful restaurant, some good music and incredible view of the water.
They went home, I hung around the waterfront a bit longer. Got myself some dessert and just had one last walk around, knowing that I was heading out early the next day. I caught the hotel shuttle back to the hotel (since I’m not supposed to be walking around on my own at night) and that… was it! It was a great last day in Cape Town, I wish I could have spent much longer here. I think I’ll have to make an effort to return for a week sometime and really get a chance to see more of the city.
Tomorrow morning I’m up early again to get ready for my flight, not quite sure how traffic will be so I’m planning to catch an Uber at 8am. Quick flight to Johannesburg, then an overnight 11hr flight to Zurich. Yikes!