As I said in my previous article about Cape Town, this was one of the most wonderful trips I have made so far. I had 5 entire days that I decided to distribute in the following way: two days for visiting the city and three days to explore the province of the same name.
While it is true that anyone who has been to Cape Town knows that 48 hours there is nowhere near enough, I had the feeling that I had sufficient time to grasp the essence of the city.
On the day of my arrival I still had a bit of time to go for a stroll across the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, situated in South Africa’s oldest working harbor, a few meters away from the hotel I was staying at.
The V&A Waterfront is still a working harbor but it is currently housing over 450 retail outlets, restaurants and cinemas which attract millions of visitors every year. I had dinner in one of the countless restaurants in that area, which offered a high quality beef and traditional live music.
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is also the departure point to Robben Island, one of the greatest attractions of the country.
Used as a prison until 1996, this Unesco World Heritage Site is preserved as a memorial to those, such as Nelson Mandela, who spent many years incarcerated here. This was by far the most rewarding experience I lived in the city. This prison is to me the best example of the greatness and misery of the human being at the same time. I believe that one of the reasons why Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and traditional African beliefs coexist peacefully in this proudly multicultural city is the shining example of Mandela.
Walking to the city center across St Georges Mall -a beautiful pedestrian street packed with stalls of second hand books- is another experience that makes you feel a little bit Capetonian.
The city center itself is well worth to spend a few hours on it. The Company’s Garden, the Castle of Good Hope and the square of Cape Town city hall are some of the nice spots that one cannot miss out.
In the vicinity of the town is the Table Mountain -which can be reached taking a cable car or on a 4 hours walk across the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden– and the Lion’s Head, a mountain that peaks at 669 meters above the sea level which offers better and less crowded views of the city and its surroundings than the famous Table Mountain. It takes two hours to hike to the top and the walking is highly recommendable.
Cape Town enjoys more than 300 sunny days; it means that a dip in the sea should definitely not to be missed. I would suggest Sea Point, near to the city center and with clean and sandy beaches.
Before going to bed, taking a walk across Long Street is a must. This is a trendy area of bars and clubs where to enjoy excellent cocktails at affordable prices.
Next week we will continue our journey throughout the province of Cape Town, stunning from sea to sky.