The Mother City: Cape Town (III)

While the city is bursting with breathless views and attractions, the province of which Cape Town is the capital city deserves a special mention.

Washed by two Oceans –the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean- and spotted by vineyards, stunning mountains and picturesque fishing villages, the Western Cape Province is the fourth largest of the nine provinces of South Africa in terms of both area and population; it is the only one ruled by the Democratic Alliance party, the main opposition party to the almighty ANC, the party founded by Nelson Mandela.

To properly visit the province you will need a minimum of 2 days. Although I am not usually a big fan of group tours, I suggest you to use the service of the uncountable day trip companies if you travel alone or you don’t feel comfortable driving in a foreign country where in addition people drive on the left-hand side of the road. That is what I did.

On the first day I visited the province: my touring vehicle was a nice van driven by an enthusiastic South African –a little bit too enthusiastic sometimes- that headed south of Cape Town along the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula. We piled into the van and rode along Chapman’s Peak Drive. It winds between the steep mountainside and the ocean, cutting right under the cliffs in some spots.

After a few hours on a slow drive, we arrived to the Cape Point, a promontory at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula. Then, we went on till Cape of Good Hope, from where we had amazing views of the ocean. The Cape of Good Hope, contrary to what many people believe, is not the southern tip of Africa and the dividing point between the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Actually, the southernmost point of Africa is Cape Agulhas.

The second day in the province, I went to the Cape Winelands. The triangle formed by Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek it is one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen.

The origin of the wine production in South Africa dates back to the seventeenth century, when French protestants –mainly Huguenots- escaped from being annihilated and took refuge in the African country bringing along the vineyards from their country.

Since then, a sophisticated industry has developed till our days. Wine tastings in South Africa are about more than wine. It is mostly about experiencing and tasting an important part of its history. It is a whole touristic industry and it became part of the identity of the country.

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