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Set the Table

From all the delicious tables we ate at, all the way up to Table Mountain

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Day one in Cape Town did not disappoint. I mean, I really do feel bad for all you guys suffering through the snow and cold back home. But more than anything I feel really happy to have just walked home in 73 degrees at 9:30 at night (yep, I’m that kinda mean 🤷🏽‍♀️). So good luck and can you make sure all that white crap is gone by February 9th?! Thanks 😉

Back to our day (yep, I’m selfish like that too 🤣). I had an amazing 6.5 hours of sleep, but I don’t think Brenda was quite so successful. I guess there was loud music and car lights, but I was blissfully unaware. Anyhoo, we were up and slowly moving around 7:30ish. First order of business was the hotel breakfast! We were thinking typical continental whatever, but were dazzled with baked omelets and delicious bacon and egg dishes made to order 😋 The owner, Ursula, then came over to introduce herself and give us the lowdown and answer any questions we had. Talk about amazing customer service right there!!


We didn’t really have a plan for our free day, but with Ursula’s help, we set off toward the big red hop on hop off bus office. This way we could get transportation to and from Table Mountain, as well as a trip down to the V&A (Victoria & Alfred) Waterfront. She also gave us the scoop on the reputable ATM to use and the ones to avoid at all cost. And since this was basically going to be a picture perfect day (sorry guys 😎), we had ideal conditions for Table Mountain. You need to take this giant cable car to the top and it is completely weather dependent. Too much wind (which can be a regular occurrence in these parts), and it’s a no go.

We got on the red line no problem and were on our way toward Table Mountain. By buying tickets for the cable car from the bus company, we saved ourselves time in one of the lines. About 30 minutes after arriving, we were loaded in and on our 5 minute, 2500ish feet, climb to the top. It’s really kinda great the way there are 360 degree views and the floor spins so everyone gets a chance to see out the windowless sections.


In 2011, Table Mountain was voted one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. And well in a word...WOW!!! And breathtaking popped into my head more than once also. On a clear day like today, we could see for miles. Off one side is the V&A Waterfront and Robben Island, and the giant Cape Town Stadium. And then you follow the paths around and the back side has all these neat little bays and cliff faces and we think we even heard water from a Falls at one point. People actually do full on hikes and rock climbing and abseiling up there, but we just stuck to the paths and the photos we could deceptively make look dangerous. Over on the Lion’s Head side, the fire I mentioned from yesterday seemed to flare back up between the time we arrived and the time we left (so within about an hour and a half). But I don’t think it was anywhere near as bad as last night. I also wonder if they were using helicopters hoisting buckets of ocean water to put it out, as we saw said helicopters later in the day near the beach.


Having seen all the sights, we caught the cable car back down and hopped back on the bus. Brenda stuck to the covered area, but I opted for the open air section. Once I survived the initial shock of practically first degree burning my legs on the seats, it was actually quite a nice ride. We followed the coast line around and got to see some of the beach communities. We also learned that do to the direction of the winds, the water is actually cooler in the summer than it is in the winter. But I don’t think that deterred people today from frolicking in the sunshine.


By the time we got to the V&A and started to look in the shops, we realized it was almost 3:00 and we should probably grab some lunch. More fresh, healthy food from this place called Pure Good was just what we needed. And ohhhh soooo affordable! Yet another of the bonuses of Cape Town is how far our dollars go. Gorgeous, giant salads for less than 5-bucks?! Yes please!!


Refueled and ready to go, we looked through all the stalls and shops in the Watershed. This is a great market chocked full of African crafts. After making a few purchases, we were confused about where the rest of the Waterfront action was. Turns out we just hadn’t gone far enough down, so off we headed toward the clock tower and the rows of restaurants and more cute shops. They have this really crazy swing bridge that actually pivots (or swings) open to allow large boats through. At one point they had to open it and as it was closing back up, something large swinging through there caught Brenda’s eye. She pointed it out to me, and then we proceeded to see one or two more. Not quite sure what it was, we moved on to buy some gelato (vacation’s not all about healthy salads after all). While eating my cone, I walked over to read the sign about Robben Island (the place that housed Nelson Mandela for 18 of his 27 years in prison) when I spotted a sign about the South African fur seals. I waved Brenda over to tell her that’s what we saw, then she pointed out Robben means “seal” in Dutch. Two mysteries solved!!


We did some more wandering before heading back to catch the bus. Sadly the first stop we went to we had missed the last bus of the day. So back to the other stop we went. By this point (5:30), traffic was pretty crazy and it took the bus awhile to get through there. Warm sun, long day, rocking bus...that is nap inducing circumstances right there. Luckily we did not doze off and miss our stop!!

We headed back to the hotel for a break before figuring out what to do for dinner. At this point, we got to meet Michel (Ursula’s son), who was just as kind and helpful with our myriad of questions. He was already gone by the time we made it back downstairs to search out dinner. But we had the general idea of where he had recommended, so off we went. Things were all fine and dandy, until we started to get followed by a guy begging for money or milk for his kid. All we could do is ignore him and keep walking, until he finally latched onto another couple. After they got away, he did give us a second try, but we kept our cool and ended up finding an absolutely amazing place to eat.

Initially we kinda just headed into the building to get away from him, but then we heard live music and saw this great courtyard. We asked someone what the deal was and found out there was a steak place and a chicken restaurant (Roast and Co.) that shared the courtyard. We said we were thinking chicken, and luckily the person we were chatting with was able to hook us up with a table. We each ordered a quarter chicken, split 3 different tapas type plates, and had a bottle of South African wine...all for the cost of roughly 40-bucks (total, not each!) 😳😍 And everything we tried was absolutely delicious. Nothing like a nice leisurely meal to cap off an already perfect day!!


Posted by JackiesJourneys 14:14 Archived in South Africa Tagged table_mountain

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