Flew to Cape Town Sat. night. We were picked up at the airport by John Van Deiman, a taxi driver someone had recommended to us. In my life I have never met a more interesting character. John is a colored man who has lived in Cape Town his whole life, and worked as a taxi driver for over 40 years. He has an opinion about everything, and talks non-stop (often repeating himself). In my opinion (and his), the only way to see Cape Town is with John.
My birthday! John dropped us off at Table Mountain and we took the cable car to the top. It was so windy and foggy that you couldn’t see two feet in front of you and my fingers were getting frostbitten. The whole scene was so surreal, I felt like I was in the twilight zone. The mist was creeping over everything and there was this hushed atmosphere. The edges of the mountain disappeared into nothingness – you couldn’t see anything below.
After Table Mountain, John made a stop in Hout Bay where there was a woman feeding the seals by holding a fish in her mouth and making them jump up to eat it. She called the seals “Pitty Boy” and “Johnny Boy”. From Hout Bay we drove on Chapman’s peak where the views were breathtaking.
The one thing I was most looking forward to on this trip was the penguins at Boulder’s Beach. Hundred of penguins in every direction waddling around… too cute for words.
Started the day off with a tour of the Great Synagogue (Gardens Shul), Holocaust Museum and Jewish Museum. We ate lunch in the pretty museum cafe where I had my second Chilla (hot this time – it was cold in Cape Town!) After lunch we walked to the Company’s Garden and Parliament where we were able to arrange a tour for the next day via a friendly security guard.
John then drove us to the V&A Waterfront. Verrrry touristy area. Lots of expensive designer shops. Spent some time browsing the shops, and then went to the Nelson Mandela Gateway Museum. Unfortunately we couldn’t get tickets to Robben Island b/c it was sold out for weeks.
On our last day in Cape Town we had a tour of Parliament. There was a memorial service for the miners that were killed, and we went in briefly. There were a lot of women in traditional costume with their faces painted, and they were singing Zulu songs.
Because it was raining we went to the Two Oceans Aquarium which was all indoors. The aquarium is rather small, but beautifully done.
When we got back to our apartment the rain had stopped so we went down to the beach to take pictures before flying back to Johannesburg.
My last day in SA
Packed up in the morning and discovered that I was bringing back a whole suitcase filled with candy…
My cousin took us to see some very pretty Shuls in Johannesburg, and then we picked up all the kids from school and had chips ‘n dips at the Corner Cafe. I’m not a big fan of french fries, but the concept of chips and dip is really fun – they give you a paper cone filled with fries, and you can choose as many dips as you want.
I was flying solo back to NY and all the kids wanted to come along to say goodbye. The little ones were clinging to my legs in the airport and I had to pry them off. I was sad to leave them and wasn’t ready to go home yet.
I hope you all had a great summer – now back to reality!