The “White tablecloth” was just beginning to cover Table Mountain when we arrived. That is what the locals call the white clouds that rest on the top and sides of Capetown’s most notable landmark.
Capetown is an incredible city, often compared to San Francisco. It sits on a peninsula, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Table Bay. The city is built on a series of hills and slopes, often terraced. There is mix of people and cultures reflected in the food, architecture, music and art. In the middle of the bay, lies an island (Robben) site of a former prison, which held Nelson Mandela for many years.
Just 25 minutes away, nestled on the back side of Table Mountain is the Constantia Wine Region, South Africa’s oldest wine producing area (started in 1685). We visited several of the wine farms and did our duty by tasting several of the vintages. It is a tough job, but someone has to do it. You would never guess that all this farm land is in a southern suburb of this cosmopolitan town of 3 million people.
As we drove down the coast of the Cape Peninsula, we saw plenty of seals and penguins. The “South African Penguin”, formerly known as the “Jack Ass Penguin” has had a recent name change. (The former name was deemed indelicate.) The transition to the new name has not gone so well, since every time these funny waddling creatures open their mouths, they bray like…donkeys.
When we stood at the Cape of Good Hope in the howling wind, we wondered how anyone was brave enough to sail around this ferocious corner of the world. The waves slam into the beach with jarring force and the shore is dotted with jagged rocks, both seen and unseen. Relics of many a wrecked ship, lie off this coast.
We love Capetown, the Cape Peninsula and the incredible beaches along the Indian Ocean. In fact, this is one place where our US dollars seem to go a long way, which is always a pleasant surprise. Capetown is high on our list of recommendations.
And now, we are off to Franschhoek, one of the better known wine regions in the Western Cape to see how the descendants of French immigrants have perfected winemaking in the region.