It is a special sight to see Table Mountain rising up across the water. This huge, hulking block of rock seemingly rises out from the sea and looms over an energetic city on the edge of terra firma. Driving through the suburbs was a less exciting experience, but to finally be arriving in Cape Town brought a nice level of anxiousness.
For more than a year we have been told by everyone that we will love Cape Town. So far we have put off going to Cape Town in favour of more remote and wild attractions. This trip provided us an opportunity to have a little look, though it was more of an ‘add-on’ our of convenience than a determined choice of a destination. Still, cities excite the senses and it was great to find ourselves amongst the throngs of humanity once more.
We were lucky and had a fairly clear day on the only morning we were in Cape Town so we took advantage and made our way up Table Mountain. It was cold and very windy, but the views were fantastic and it was great to stand atop that huge plateau and see the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching away towards the immense open space of the Southern Sea. Looking over the city was a special sight as well, but it was the wilder more natural views down the Cape Peninsula that captured our imagination.
As we stood up there, we knew we would come back to Cape Town to explore not only the cityscape but particularly its wilder parts. In many ways our time in Lesotho and southern Africa has re-affirmed our preference for nature over city.
That isn’t to say we didn’t enjoy the pleasure of walking amongst the shops and restaurants of the waterfront on a fine winter’s evening. It made a nice change from our existence in Maseru, where driving is much more common and the choice of where to eat out is between six restaurants, not sixty! We enjoyed a lovely outdoor dinner for our anniversary, but we both felt the lure of the open road the next day.
A trip to Cape Town wouldn’t have been complete without a stop off in wine country and as our route took us directly through Paarl, we stopped off for a wine tasting at one of our favourite vineyards – Nederburg.
They laid out a tasting of their special line of wines created and named after various key individuals in Nederburg’s past. Surprises waited along that line of bottles and we were both pleasantly excited most by a lovely white wine, not the richer red wines that we tend to enjoy.
It was great to finally go to a South African vineyard and experience the wines from the source after all the enjoyment we have had from these grapes over the past few years. A future trip will bring more in depth investigations for sure!
Not even 24 hours after rolling through the northern suburbs of Cape Town, we rolled out of Paarl and started our journey up the N1 and towards the open expanse of the Karoo, our next and final stop before returning to our beloved Lesotho.