Over the next few weeks I’m going to feature my favourite places from my travels so far. The first off the ranks is Cape Town…
Cape Town is probably my favourite city in the world and I could quite easily pack up my belongings and move there in a heart beat. In fact, I would have done that already if it weren’t for visa technicalities (this is the only reason I regret not having a degree!). So until the day comes that I can actually live there I will have to continue to make it a holiday destination.
Most people are surprised when I tell them of my love for Cape Town and South Africa in general. Why?! It’s too dangerous! Aren’t you scared on your own? The first time I visited Cape Town I was doing it alone basically for two reasons. One, no one I knew wanted to travel there or thought it was too dangerous and two, I wasn’t going to sit around waiting for someone to join me on a trip I had wanted to do since I was a kid.
Yes, I was kind of nervous but how could I not be. The media portrays South Africa as a seriously dangerous country and I was going there alone. I didn’t know a single soul and this was the first country I had actually gone to solo. At the time I had money to blow so went a little crazy. In hindsight I probably would have done a few things differently, like used my 10 day budget over a two month trip instead. Oh well, I ended up doing that the second time around so no loss really. Plus, the first trip was unforgettable and like no other holiday I’ve ever had.
First stop was MannaBay (http://www.mannabay.com/en/) and the first time I had ever experienced proper luxury. I could go on forever about this place but I suggest you check out their website instead (also, the latest IOS 8 update deleted all my photos!). Icon Expeditions arranged private drivers for every part of my trip and as I looked out the window during each drive I realised Cape Town wasn’t as scary as everyone had warned me. So when I returned, less than a year later, I did things completely differently (plus I was on a very tight budget so no more luxury for me!). I stayed in a hostel (http://www.ambertreelodge.co.za/), I ate where the locals ate, I drank where the locals drank and met some pretty cool people along the way. Gone were the private drivers – I pretty much walked everywhere and tried to explore as much as possible. Given it rained nearly the whole time I explored a lot of cocktail and wine bars…
I love the passion people have for Cape Town and love that people come from all over South Africa to live there (I am yet to actually meet someone in Cape Town who is originally from there). Everyone seems to be proud of the city especially when it comes to the natural surrounds; Table Mountain, Devils Peak and Lions Head dominate the city. Every morning I would look out my dorm window and just stare at the (mostly cloud covered) Table Mountain. Both trips here have been during winter so the weather hasn’t been ideal. Next time I return will be in the summer months so I can actually spend a decent amount of time hiking and exploring the tracks.
Now, if only I could convince my friends to come along next time to understand why I am in love with this city!