Posted by: englishdubai | February 4, 2007

Table Top at the Bottom of the World


After a tough week in Johannesburg with the local team I made my first visit to Cape Town. A short but busy flight and I was literally transported to what felt like a whole new country.

I was told numerous times that it would be very relaxed – but I was still surprised how laid back the place was and more importantly how much safer I felt it was than Joburg. On arrival at the hotel I decided to skip the Shuttle to the Waterfront and take a stroll there instead. It was a refreshing change as in Johannesburg I was not able to walk anywhere.

The Waterfront is one of the many tourist attractions that Cape Town has to offer and was buzzing with street acts and people eating at one of the many restaurants. At night the place comes alive and looks really rather good:

Feeling refreshed the following day I was joined by some of my colleagues from the local team and partner. They proceeded to provide warm hospitality and treated me to an excellent weekend. First stop was lunch at Camps Bay. It appears this is the spot to hang out and be seen. We took a more low key approach and grabbed lunch at Blue’s Restaurant which provided a very nice setting:

After lunch we took the hire car on a little drive up to Chapman’s Peak. It is a toll road now – they used the money to make major safety improvements on the coastal road and to prevent errant landslides. I would have probably paid considerably more judging by the awesome views:

And we also took a little detour to the very exclusive town of Llandudno. Where the houses are carved into the hillside and provide vistas that are truly world class:

It seems with so much to look at it would be easy to make a small error on the road. Rather like this unfortunate chap:

After Chapman’s Peak I was luck enough to get the cable car up Table Mountain. As it was the J&B Met at the time – there was no queue and we shot straight up. I am told at peak season the queues can be very long. I think this picture speaks for itself and going up there rivals my trips to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park for wow factor:

On the Sunday we took a short drive out to Constania Wine estate. We had a relaxed time having a leisurely drink and wander around whilst enjoying the perfect weather. It was so odd to be in a place that was so verdant and relaxed. I could have been anywhere – New Zealand, France, California, Australia – it was odd to imagine I was actually in Africa.

The end of the weekend and with some local knowledge we took a drive to Kalk Bay and visited a stunning sea side restaurant called “Harbour House” – not only was the food incredibly good but was also very well priced (for Europeans). I could not pass up the opportunity to try the Crayfish:

Cape Town taught me that there is another side to South Africa which is somewhat mis-represented by the reputation of Johannesburg. I can see now why South Africans often elect to go back home after periods abroad. I for one will be going back soon as there is so much more to see and do there. If I were to describe my time in Cape Town in word – easy really – Lekker!


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