Cape Town, as you see it, is magnificent. Right smack in the centre you see the Table Mountain (Officially one of the new 7 Wonders of the World), a little far right to the Table Mountain (that peak) is the famous Lion's Head, whereby standing there you could almost get a perfect overview of Cape Town. Moving slightly lower in the middle, you see the Stadium where Fifa World Cup 2010 was held. Surrounding them were rows and terraces of buildings, all of them competing with one another to be higher up the mountain to grasp the amazing view of the ocean. How beautiful is nature and these structures.
(I grabbed this overview of it from the net)
Our plane took off at around 1:30am in the morning of 17th December (we took SQ) so the route saw us stopping by at Johannesburg (after 10 hours of flight) for an hour before arriving in Cape Town International Airport (2 hours flight), it was a total of 13 hours flight! We arrived in Cape Town at around 8:30am (South Africa time, 6 hours later than SG), so we had an extra 6 hours!:)
It was summer time in South Africa when we went, morning temperatures were floating around 24 deg and it can get as low as 10-12 deg at night when the sun sets!
(All photos captured by my OLYMPUS PEN Lite E-PL5 // All Panorama shots captured by my iPhone 5s.)
DAY 1: Company Gardens, Malay Quarter (Bo Kaap), Signal Hill
We were greeted by the Table Mountain when we arrived, everywhere in Cape Town you go, you will constantly see Table Mountain, its as if its following you, haha! If you see carefully, the layer of fog/mist laying on top of the flat mountain, will always be only laying flat, the mist won't go higher/ lower or in any weird shape, sometimes it may be more/ less, but they will always stay on top (when there is), nice and flat, often named as the 'table cloth' - just like what we saw on the top photo.
Fast facts about Table Mountain: 1067m above sea level, it is officially one of the New 7 Wonders of the World & it is approximately 260-million years old (!!!) I'll share more about it with pictures when I talk about Day 2.
We went on to exploring the Company Gardens, because of the fog, Table Mountain was closed and we could not make a trip up. Company Gardens, located at Queen Victoria Street
is the city area of
metropolitan Cape Town,
where you see beautiful architectures, buildings that are almost british like - mainly due to the
years where by the British Invasion into Cape.
We would havethought that South Africa will be mainly filled with blacks, but to our surprise, the number of whites outnumbered the blacks (don't worry, its a safe and official term there to call them the blacks and whites). We had a chat with a white there while my brother and me were purchasing phone cards for our data plan,strong british accent but he is named as a local there, he said he was brought up by a British family in South Africa.
Scorching sun but it wasn't at all warm or hot, the Cape Wind was doing her job well, accidentally slipped into the mode of relaxation, fell in love with the environment...and my favourite flower of them all, a rose :)
(P.S. Cape Town is also known to be free from bugs/ mosquitos/ pollution mainly during spring and summer, because of the Cape Doctor, aka the Cape Wind, a strong and persistent wind that blows on the South African Coast, blowing them all of them away, interesting! I guess it also explains the really clear and bright sky.)
Here comes the interesting row of houses! Named as Bo-kaap, formerly known as the Malay Quarters, it is filled with rows and rows of colourful houses, which are perfect of taking photos, how could I let go of such opportunities to snap a few quick photos :B
ROMPER: Floral Romper c/o of www.thestagewalk.com
WATCH: CASIO G-shock Rose Gold Collection
OUTERWEAR: Leather Jacket from H&M
SHOES: New Balance 990
After lunch we then checked in, into our first hotel of the vacation (we stayed in 3 different ones in total) - Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, my brother and I did some research on how the hotels will be like, and we were happy to see this outdoor pool that stretches itself out of the main building and could be seen from a distance away when you are about to reach.
We happily brought our swim wear thinking we could swim a lap or 2 maybe after all the heavy meals, but the wind was.. JUST TOO STRONG and COLD for us!! I have no idea how the others could swam in bikinis!
A beautiful bridge behind the hotel, leading to South Africa's largest shopping mall - Century City. I think it was smaller than ION. Shops were almost about the same as SG's malls; overcrowded with international brands, I felt the time could be used to explore better places in Cape Town.
We were trying to test capturing the effect of how strong the wind was! Does this tell? I really couldn't stand still on the bridge, i tried very hard to balance myself!
The food at SEA PALACE was really okay only, i mean i don't think you can expect much of good Chinese food here in South Africa. i think there's only about 3 Chinese food places in Cape Town.
After dinner, our coach went up to Signal Hill (it is right beside Lion's Head if you could refer back to the first picture), I didn't get to capture the whole view because I do not know how to operate my camera under low light and when it is night time, the temperature is really cold with Cape wind blowing high up here, I was literally shivering. Its altitude is lower than the Lion's Head, but already way good enough for us to capture the whole gorgeous view of Cape Town, not to mention when we went up to the Table Mountain the next day, the view was really breath-taking.
DAY 2: Cape Peninsula: Maiden's Cove, Hout Bay, Chapman's Peaks Drive, Boulder's Beach, Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope, Table Mountain
Day 2 was the most packed day of the whole trip! We visited 8 places in total. (So packed I was slipping into my sleep mode by dinner time and constantly nodding my head unconsciously.)
Today we traveled along the Cape Peninsula, the western cape of South Africa, a 52 km long from Mouille point in the north (Table Mountain) to Cape Point in the south (Cape of Good Hope, Cape point). I found a really good picture on the web that illustrate pretty well:
So we started our road trip leaving the northern part of Cape town area, heading towards the South. The first place we stopped by was the Maidens Cove, greeted by the beautiful beautiful sky, I could not be more thankful, we got up early, tired but there was no time to complain how tired we are, we were too busy admiring the place..
1. MAIDENS COVE
Situated between Clifton's Beaches and Glen Beach, it is known for its views of Table mountain and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range. For that moment how I wished I was one of the residents staying on the terraces of houses..
and how could we not take some pictures with the almost painting-like backdrop!!
Wilfred did an amazing job with the jump shot, mine all failed so badly!! haha! Heading to the next stop - Hout Bay!
2. HOUT BAY
Here we take a short ferry ride (about 10 minutes) to a small little island where all the wild seals play around in their little playground, I really really couldn't help it but to feel so surreal that i'm experiencing looking at wild life for the first time, and the seals are just too adorable :')
Here we are approaching them!!!
How silly of me to not take an instavideo of them! They were climbing out of the sea, some were sun tanning, and the others were just like splashing water on one another, I was almost at the verge of jumping into the waters to join them - okay I was kidding. But I really wanted to.
Along the bay, there are many locals selling handmade necklaces and accessories, you get to see and buy many exquisitely made handicrafts.
Moving on, slight away from Hout Bay, approaching Chapman's peak drive, we had to stop by again to experience the amazing view (again), i don't know how many are there, but its so many its overwhelming.
and here we are..!!
3. CHAPMAN'S PEAK DRIVE
It winds its way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast on the south-western tip of South Africa -one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world.
There's a little price to pay though - as they said there's not free lunch in this world, you will have to pay USD15 to drive through here to view crazily stunning view. I felt like the pictures I took just didn't do enough justice. I'm definitely going to rent a car to experience this amazing road trip when I step into Cape Town again..hopefully in the near future!!
5. BOULDERS BEACH
Headed towards Boulders Beach after lunch to see the African Penguins! Our coach parked outside and we had to take a little stroll into Boulders Beach, where along the way you get to see many of such handmade accessories, they have an abundance there!
One standing strong alone, but it seems more like standing there for tourists to snap a shot of him/ her!
HELLO LITTLE CUTIES!!!
I tried holding the little cutie on my hands, but i think it was too scorching i didn't realise it wasnt landing on my hands! :( hehe.
Amazing view and cooling wind again, I couldn't ask for anything more.
6. CAPE POINT
Arriving at the bottom of Cape Point, we took a funicular up. You can check out
http://capepoint.co.za/flying-dutchman-funicular/ for more info :)
Arriving, we had to climb the stairs up to reach the highest point, Cape Point. The wind was so so strong and cold I could hardly maintain my balance while climbing up, i had to constantly hold on to the railings while guiding myself up!
I'm sure my hair explains how crazily big the wind was. I took out my iPhone, risked it being blown away by the strong wind and took a panorama view of this magnificent place.
I took a panorama every 1/3 of the route I climbed:
View down, from the highest point. Right at the tip of this picture in the ocean, is Cape of Good Hope, our next destination! which is also the most Southern Western tip of South Africa.
and its time to head to Cape of Good Hope!
7. CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
One of the many panorama shots that I really really love.
I love how my dad stands at the extreme right of this picture trying to capture the beauty of Cape of Good Hope, how the sun rays shines itself into the sea like sparkles of diamonds, and how calm the whole place is.
TAKE ME BACK!!!
Family shot! :)
8. TABLE MOUNTAIN
Last and my favourite place of all that we visited for the day!
We were very lucky for it to be opened the the 2nd day of our trip, we only had 3 days in Cape Town, and to be here in Cape Town without a visit up to the Table Mountain, its almost like a wasted trip here! It was closed the first day when we reached as the fog/ 'table cloth' was covering over it, do remember to check its status (instructions below at the end) before heading there! You do not want to waste your precious time abroad :)
Captured a photo of this guy, who's also like anyone else, trying to the best shot from the warm rays of the setting sun, so glad to be up there at the time when the sun was setting, perfect timing!! ;*)
Honoured to be standing in one of the only 3 Rotair cable cars in the world - the other 2 in the United States and Switzerland. It rotates 360 degrees as it make its way up to the top of the Table Mountain, giving you a perfect overview of Cape Town.
See that highest peak? That's the Lion's head!
When we were almost reaching the top... I was lucky to be able to capture gorgeous shot of the golden orange rays :')
FINALLY UP HERE! The cable car probably only take about less than 5 minutes to reach the top!
Can never forget that carefree feeling of standing at the top, looking down...
Bricks painted orange by the rays of the setting sun.
From an altitude of 1067m above sea level, it is definitely the most breathtaking sunset I have ever, ever experienced. Totally unaware that we could abseil down Table Mountain!! Would definitely give it a try it next time!!! And..that's about the end of Day 1 and 2 of my South Africa Trip, blogging about it constantly makes me want to fly myself back there..but I guess it will be all hard work working now before a good long retreat again:) We headed on to Knysna and George after the 3rd day, so..till the next half of the trip..!
If you're interested in learning more about the Table Mountain, here's a good quick read:) You can also check its status here to see if its open/ closed for the day for your visit!