How do I love Cape Town? Let me count the ways

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May 7th, 2003, 10:33 PM
  #1
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How do I love Cape Town? Let me count the ways

The family and I visited Cape Town over the weekend of 3 May and, not having been there for a while, I was again struck by the magic of the city:

- Is it only me or is there a tangible force emanating from Table Mountain, something that charges your soul's battery?

- The air is softer - don't ask me to explain this. Maybe the higher humidity has something to do with it. And the smell of sea in the air.

- Eating a seafood platter at Django's in Simon's Town.

- Walking on Camps Bay beach. It was a little cool for Cape Tonians to come to the beach, so there was ample parking and except for a couple making out on the beach , there were very few people. (They left when things started to hot up - not the weather)

- Looking at the magnificent mountains behind you (still at Camps Bay) and wondering if the beach was at the top of the mountains a hundred zillion billion years ago, and if, in another hundred zillion billion years people would look up to where I was standing, enjoying the magnificent mountains.

- Running for cover when it started to rain, sitting in the nearest restaurant and actually thinking you are in another country. Most of the time, rain at the beach is regarded as a bad thing, but we actually enjoyed just sitting there watching and drinking some coffee.

- Being able to hear and understand the very specific way of how Afrikaans is been spoken by some of the Cape's people

Call me a romantic or whatever but there are not many places like Cape Town. We flew with Kulula.com and it was quite enjoyable - will do it again. I do not know if their special rate is still on but we paid R2480 for a return trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town for 2 adults and a baby. Stayed with family in Cape Town which was free of charge.

(Apologies to Elizabeth Barret Browning for using some words from her poem.)
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May 8th, 2003, 03:32 AM
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Hi Local, good to see you back. You have been MIA a while. Could that baby be part of the reason? Veels Geluk!

I know just how you feel about Cape Town. It doesn't matter how many times you go there. Each time, it hits you like a punch in the chest, just how magnificent it is.There is something incredible about Cape Town.

Glad you had a good holiday.
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May 8th, 2003, 01:31 PM
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Hi John
I'm from Edinburgh, Scotland and I'm going with my parents to Cape Town in December this year. We're meeting up with my Dad's sister and her family who lives in Jo'burg.
We're already very excited about the trip and reading of your wonderful holiday makes it all the more exciting.
Can I ask how you found Kulula? My Jo'burg relatives are thinking of travelling down with them. They are also considering driving which I think is mad!
Thanks
Gill
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May 9th, 2003, 06:40 AM
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Hi Lisa

Thank you!! Absence is actually part baby and part work related, more the latter But I am around enough to see what's happening, not always something that I can respond to.

Gill, it was also our first time on Kulula and I was a little sceptical, purely because of not knowing what to expect. We actually had a very good flight, there and back. My wife was excited about the hostesses' uniforms which are jeans and gholf type shirts with the corporate colours and running type shoes, something like Nike. The verdict was "it makes them look much more approachable than the others." They do not provide food on the flight but you can purchase (in cash) sandwiches, coffee, cooldrink, etc. I just thought R5 for a cup of coffee was a little steep.

Driving down to Cape Town is a mission and can take up an entire posting on its own for people that have done it. I have done in the "early" years to drive done or back in one day but now I am just too lazy and it is very tiring!

A few things to remember:

It is the best part of 1400 km. Some people see how quick they can do it - my best shot was about 12 hours but was not deemed good enough.

You can drive though Bloemfontein, which is the national road, or Kimberley, and go and see the Big Whole, biggest man made whole in the world. Some say it is 20 km shorter through Kimberley.

The 200 km between Beaufort West and Laingsburg is not called the road of death for nothing, especially by night. There are many fatal accidents due to speeding and driver fatigue. If you drive from Johannesburg in one go, by the time you get to Laingsburg, you are out for the count.

From Bloemfontein to Worcester there is very little to see and in the summer it is REALLY hot. If you do not have a comfortable car with good airconditioning, not December. From Worcester to Cape Town, about 120 km, you drive through the Boland mountains, etc which is spectacular.

The road is usually in a good condition. I have not diven it in a long time!

There are quite a few tollgates which adds to the travel costs.

We have slept over a the Karoo National Park just outside Beaufort West the last time I drove down and it was really nice. Many people also sleep at Colesberg, about half way.

The bottom line, however, is, it is a l-o-n-g drive - bring lots of music and topics to talk about

We have also gone down by train (Trans Karoo train) which is an experience on its own and very relaxing. Takes a day from JHB to Cape Town. As far as "on time" is concerned, however, you should not have made plans for a flight connection on the other side as they give new meaning to "Africa time."

Maybe other posters (Lisa, Traci, Rocco) have a more positive view on driving from JHB to Cape Town but this is my humble opinion.

Whatever way, you are going to have the time of your life! We have not really talked about it but we will most likely again go down to Cape Town in December. Maybe have coffee on the Waterfront?
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May 13th, 2003, 12:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Wow John thanks for all that advice. I'll certainly pass on the driving stories to my family and cross my fingers the choose the easy option.
We're in Cape Town from 28/12 to 16/1 so if your around coffee would be wonderful! I'll no doubt have more questions nearer the time so Ill keep in touch if that's okay.
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