Cape Town, beauty and the beast

 

Overlooking Table Mountain from the waterfront

Overlooking Table Mountain from the waterfront

Undisputedly, Cape Town is one of the prettiest cities in the world. With all its natural surroundings, it offers pretty much all kinds of outdoor activities. Not only Table Mountain itself , but a whole mountain range invites to go hiking and mountain biking. Ocean shores almost all around, all the way to the ‘Cape of Good Hope’, one of the roughest passages known to sailors. Any activity is possible within short distance. Sailing, diving, surfing, fishing, kite surfing, kayaking, whale watching and the latest craze, shark cage diving.

The city centre, known as the bowl, is modern and clean, in disguise of historic buildings. Party mile ‘Long street’ reminded me a lot of ‘Bourbon street’ in New Orleans, y’aalll.
Parallel runs a large park/botanical garden, flanked by historic government buildings.

Historic buildings, Cape Town

Historic buildings, Cape Town

The area of Bo-Kaap is as colourful as a rainbow.

Colourful Bo-kaap, Cape Town

Colourful Bo-kaap, Cape Town

The waterfront and wharf area caters for the mass tourism in style, even fur seals drop in for a snooze in the sun.

South African fur seal, Cape Town

South African fur seal, Cape Town

With all that money pouring in from tourism, comes opportunity for the less fortunate. I haven’t been asked for money so often anywhere else, for a loaf of bread they say. Cape Town has a huge drug problem I been told and it’s hard to tell, who is hungry or just in need of another fix.

Squirrel in the park, Cape Town

Squirrel in the park, Cape Town

Ironically, in the park not far off, they sell nuts and seeds to feed squirrels and pigeons.
Even though I never witnessed or encountered any serious incidents, one gets the impression, the beast could come out anytime.

I stayed at ‘Once in Cape Town’ backpackers for 6 nights. A friendly and helpful run hostel, attracting a rather young crowd of travelers. With an upstairs and downstairs bar, a large braai and chill area, self catering kitchen and daily activities, as well as tours to all sorts of destinations, it wasn’t hard to work out why this place was very popular. I went out on several occasions, Cape Town sure knows how to party. When it came to beer ping-pong, that’s where I drew the line.

Waterfront in Cape Town

Waterfront in Cape Town

First day, nice and sunny, I went for a walk through the city to the waterfront. It is an old ritual of mine, to explore the city, to soak in the vibes and get my bearings. The vibrant waterfront caters for the usual tourists, restaurants, cafes and boat tours of all kind. Plenty of souvenir shops too. Some hard working trades men enjoyed their lunch break. Good to see.

Lunch break

Lunch break

Next day, I met up with Nicole, my paramedic friend I met on the bus ride to Johannesburg, some weeks back.

Nicole enjoying the beach

Nicole enjoying the beach

Coffee and a stroll by the beach, featuring table mountain across the bay, covered in storm clouds, sure gave me a few photo opportunities.

Cloudy display over the bay, Cape Town

Cloudy display over the bay, Cape Town

One brave surfer did go out for a surf, but not for long.

Swell wasn’t much chop

Swell wasn’t much chop

It was a sunny day and I was gonna climb up the Table, but it was incredibly windy and cold too, dangerous conditions in fact. Some of my backpacking friends climbed up Table Mountain, only to find out, that the cable cars weren’t operating today due to gusty winds. The idea of hiking up and cruising down got blown away.

Black and white image over the bay, Cape Town

Black and white image over the bay, Cape Town

 

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