A five min drive through the city in the search of our hotel and I was in love. Not so much with our hotel (urgh) but rather the city itself. It’s a stunning stunning place. Multicultural, colourful and vibrant. Unfortunately we only had three days in the city, but decided to take it slow as we usually do when we are traveling. For us traveling is not about ticking boxes but feeling and experiencing the place you’re at. Despite our massive FOMO we stayed in the city, not driving out to see some of the major attractions. Sad you say? Not at all, but I am glad you asked. Here’s what we did instead.
We ate our weight in food and drank the recommended minimum of liquids a day – mostly in alcohol… We also breathed in, walked and felt the city. Of all the things we’ve seen and experienced two awed me the most.
Visiting Bo-Kaap (‘above cape’) was one of our first activities and an absolute highlight. Bo-Kaap is one of the oldest and most historic quarters of Cape Town. Overlooking the city as the name suggests, it is home to the diverse Muslim community of the city. It is just plainly pretty with its multicoloured bright houses and steep cobbled streets. Kids are playing in the street, elders are greeting from their patios and dogs and cats are roaming freely through the narrow lanes. There’s really no tour needed, just take an hour or two to stroll around and talk to some of the friendly and open-minded locals.
Hiking up the Table Mountain resulted in me almost collapsing at the top – and on the way. Though you see the table mountain from all over the city, nothing quite prepares you for the view over the city from the Table Mountain. Hopeful and a tat naive we started the hike in the burning late morning sun – obviously without any hats. Smart kids. The Gorge trail is supposed to be the easiest of the trails and the only one you can dare without significant prior hiking experience, but believe me it’s a strenuous climb. The first hour was challenging and second hour even more, as it got steeper and steeper. And all of this after spending a few weeks almost exclusively in our car during our self-drive safari…
But enough with the moaning. It was absolutely fantastic and worth it. The view is stunning and I can only recommend taking the hike if you are in Cape Town. Take your time, enjoy the view and reward yourself with a big beer and ice cream at the top. We made a full day’s activity out of it, hiking three and a half hours return and spending about two hours at the top soaking in the landscape and city. It’s much more rewarding to climb for two hours than queuing for the same amount of time to ride the cable car, isn’t it? And the best part: it’s completely free and guarantees a good night’s sleep.
There is so much more to see and do and this is just a small extract of our time there. I think we could have spent months in the city without running out of things to do or getting bored. If you have time, stop by to visit the National Gallery and admire their unique and at times quite controversial pieces. You should also go to the trendy Woodstock Neighbourgoods Market on a Saturday, bringing an empty stomach and a full wallet you’ll have the best time: plenty of food stalls, craft beer, live music and fashion, art and crafts off the high street. We forgot our cameras, but check it out for yourself: http://www.neighbourgoodsmarket.co.za/