travel

What I will miss most about Cape Town

When you’re busy planning an adventure of a lifetime you tend to only look forward to all the new discoveries you will experience. I am bracing myself for a major culture as I have never travelled anywhere near to Asia. So it is then easy to forget that I will be leaving behind the most amazing place to live. Tourists flock here every year to marvel at Cape Towns beauty and despite warning about the high crime rate they leave speaking highly not only of the sights but the warm Cape Town hospitality. I’ve compiled a list of what I believe I will miss the most:

The view from where I live, i.e. the first thing I see everyday. Not waking up to this even for just a few days is hard, hell going for a drive on the other side of the mountain is hard. I am always amazed how excited I get when it comes into view whether is was for a few hours or days that I did not see it. I have never not appreciated this view and never get tired of it.

Table Mountain

Devil’s Peak

Lions Head

South African treats and snacks like biltong, mebos and my favourite chips Nik Naks – I will be grateful and forever indebted to the one who would send me care packages filled with these treats. Other food stuff that I will miss: Koeksisters, Samoosa, Salomies (curry wrapped in roti), Full House steak sandwiches, Fish and Chips (not only a British thing), Ostrich, Gatsby’s (foot long rolls filled with meat, chips and salad), Malva pudding and custard and the list goes on.

biltong, mebos, nik naks

 

Exploring Chapmans Peak

The beaches, yes I know I am going to a place renowned for its beaches but it’s just not the same. Maybe I like the long drives to the beaches more, I don’t know but it will be missed. Little harbours like Simonstown, Houtbay and Kalk bay – the train ride/journey along the beach is what makes visiting these places memorable.

Kalk bay

Long Street – there is a lot of hype around this one street even though Kloof street which is further along has just has many cool eating places to visit. It does however hold little gems like the hidden away sushi place Bamboo that I love and Lola’s which makes a cheesecake so delicious I would sell my mother for it and Royale Eatery famous for its gourmet burgers that will have you licking your fingers when you’re done.

Long Street Cafe, Long Street

And so many other little things like people watchings in St. Georges Mall, feeding squirrels at the Company Gardens, Minibus taxis.

Stall at St. Georges Mall

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travel

All the way to wineland Stellenbosch

Whenever I go to Stellenbosch I am reminded that I live in a beautiful country and I try to appreciate it at every oppurtunity possible. So what if I didn’t get to hire the beetle for my birthday the scenic road more than made up for it. I was worried that it would rain but the weather was brilliant which made having lunch in the highest tree at Moyo even better. The only downfall was climbing all those stairs to get back to our table.

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Life, travel

Crime? What crime?

According to most of  modern civilisation and the western world South Africa is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to visit. We’ve even been nicknamed the rape capital of the world. A sad reality for such a beautiful country. Recently two colleagues on two separate occasions were mugged on their way home from work. This is quite scary as I take the same route to get to the bus station at night. Many foreign tourists are aware of this and rightly so as one needs to be cautious and constantly aware of your surroundings.

It’s interesting that the one thing I was constantly warned about before my trip to Barcelona was to be aware of pickpockets. I have never been mugged (touch wood) in my life and I was going to make sure that it does not happen to me overseas. On our first night one of the girls that was staying at our hostel was pickpocketed. Sadly I think the reason why this did not happen to me is because growing up in Cape Town has already taught me to be vigilant. Bag always in front and hand securely held over bag. It’s a no brainer and I certainly did not have to consciously think about doing this it was as natural to me as breathing. Look left, then right, and then left again and don’t forget to check your blind spot – it’s a little bit like the K53 driving system.

A while ago I was reading about an Argentinian travel blogger’s experiences during the 2010 word cup in South Africa and he explained how he felt constantly fearful and paranoid. When a group of street kids joked and told him they knew the security code to the gates of the hostel he was staying at he stayed up all night on the lookout for a possible break in. I laughed when I read this but then I realised that it not funny at all and that his fear was real. I think I’ve probably become desensitized to all the crime around me.

Despite all the crime – people however fail to mention that most South Africans are warm, kind, friendly and generous to assist others. The reality is no matter where you travel to it is always best to exercise caution and use your common sense.

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Photography, travel

Travelling slowly

 

Balcony in Barcelona

The reason why I want to live and work in another country is that it isn’t enough for me to visit a place for a few weeks and race against time to see it all. Where does it say that you have to cram all the sights into the little time that you have? Rushing around and constantly being on the move is as exciting to me as route canal is to the average human being that is to say I hate it.

How is it possible to really submerge yourself into a culture if you only there for 10 days and doing everything at a whirlwind pace? As fun as taking in all the sights was at some stage I grabbed an early night (in bed by 8) and I’m glad I did as I felt refreshed the next morning. I also decided against going to the beach and chose to relax and watch a movie at the hostel.

Another mistake that I made was not taking into account actual travelling time. Which is why I ended being only able to spend 2 days in Istanbul which was not nearly enough especially considering the fact I fell in love with this city the minute I saw it. Once I arrived in Barcelona I realised that it would have preferred more time in Turkey as opposed to the bulk of my holiday being in Spain.

Yesterday I decided to take the hop-on hop-off bus and learnt another valuable lesson: ‘travel’ in your own city/country first before deciding to jet set over the oceans. I always knew Cape Town was beautiful but after visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens I actually felt ashamed that I never make the time to appreciate what my country has to offer. It’s not as if I’ve never been there but it’s the first time that I really took the time to walk around and marvel at mother nature. There is a reason after all why so many foreigners flock to South Africa every year.

Protea - SA National flower

 

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travel

Why I need a state-of-the-art camera. . .

I don’t seem to be doing Cape Town justice with my digital camera. Donations welcome – I’ll accept payment via PayPal.

One of the things I love about living in Cape Town is that the ocean and mountain is not far away. Some photos I took along Chapman’s Peak.

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