Day 353 of 400: Waterfront in Cape Town – South Africa
Nothing like waking up to tasting red wine…we did eat breakfast first, but the tasting immediately followed! Today we will drive to Cape Town to stay a couple of days before going on our safari. The B&B we were staying at was also a winery called Lovane, (www.lovane.co.za) and we hadn’t tasted their wines yet. We went down into the wine cellar and tasted the wines…their specialty being red, we bought our favorite, the Petit Verdot, 2006.
The drive to Cape Town was under an hour and on a normal highway. We have been to some countries where the roads are really under-developed and we weren’t sure what to expect in South Africa but so far so good. We did pass by “the slums” area…tiny shack-like boxes/houses, side by side with rusty tin roofs, and in the middle of no where. But then we drove further and couldn’t stop staring at the amazing scenery surrounding us.
We arrived in Cape Town at our hotel on a quiet residential road, everything in the area had huge gates protecting each building. We parked and rang the buzzer to get into our place called, “An African Villa” (www.capetowncity.co.za). The villa owner welcomed us and helped bring our things in from the car. The place had a really nice boutique feel, with a living room area decorated in African style decor and a large kitchen where breakfast was served. They also had a small pool in the back and the rooms were all upstairs spread out over three town-home style houses. We sat in the small office first and the owner gave us a map and walked through what areas were safe and what areas were not safe (we are after all in Africa!). He showed us nice areas to drive through, good shopping and his favorite restaurants. Then we walked up to our room which was nice and spacious. Since it was a weekend and he said it was not a great idea to walk downtown on the weekend…we drove to the main Cape Town Harbor. It reminded us of an East Coast harbor town with all the restaurants surrounding the water, and a boardwalk for visitors to meander down while looking at the cute shops. There were many large boats docked and everything was surrounded by the gorgeous South African Mountains. We felt completely safe…and had a great evening leisurely shopping, eating and taking pictures of the water, boats and mountains.
Right before the boardwalk is a African Crafts building which holds all kinds of vendors side by side selling local things. There was art, precious stones, jewelry, pottery and all kinds of other things. It was super fun finding treasures and talking to the locals. We picked up some hand-made copper jewelry, African Verdite (a local semi-precious stone) carved into an animal, and Giff found a small hand-carved soapstone piece made by a very-well known local…the symbol was for a medicine man, kind of a protector…one who cures people. The guy put it on a small piece of string and around Giff’s neck, it actually looked pretty good.
After stopping in at an art gallery for a bit, we found a place along the water for food and a beer. The service was extremely slow, but the food was fine. After eating and a bit more walking around, we drove back to our villa and relaxed at our place for the evening.