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Chasing a Dream - Part I "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost

Cape Town

SOUTH AFRICA | Saturday, 16 April 2016 | Views [237]

Let me start by saying a week is not nearly enough time to spend in Cape Town, there is so much to see and do that in 6 days I was only able to get a small sample of this beautiful city and its surroundings. I spent two nights in the city center, right on lively Long Street. This is where all the backpacker hostels, bars and restaurants are located, plus of plethora of African craft markets. Unless your goal is to bar hop every night, I wouldn’t recommend more than two nights here; it gets very noisy at night, and this part of the city can be pretty sketchy even during the day. There are some great atmospheric restaurants, including some traditional African ones, like Mama Africa’s and Addis (Ethiopian), and for the locals, Food Inn, which pretty much serves up everything at spectacular prices. Without a car hire, the Citysightseeing bus is a great way to get around, and takes you to all the key places in Cape Town, including up to the Table Mountain tramway station. If the weather is good, make the trip up to the top as the 360 views are unbeatable. If you have time I would highly recommend hiking up and/or going for a sunset picnic at the top. I could have easily spent a half day hiking around the summit.

No trip to the Cape would be complete without a visit to the Winelands. I opted to stay two nights in Stellenbosch town. My original plan was to rent a car and stay one night in Stellenbosch and one in Franschhoek, but alas I had forgotten my drivers license back in the states, so this limited my options. I took a taxi to Stellenbosch then got a two day ticket on the Vine Hopper bus, which has three routes through the wine country. I was pleasantly surprised; the bus was actually a mini-van and at most had 8 people and we went at our own pace, On both days I met some interesting people and we were all quite friendly by the 3rd winery. The wine tasting fees and the bottles were shockingly cheap, particularly compared to places like Napa Valley. I did both the Southern and Eastern routes, and found the Eastern route to be much more scenic and the wineries better than those visited in the Southern route. Visit Neil Ellis, you have your choice of wine tastings and the cheese platter is not to be missed! I stayed in a small guest house right in the center of town called de Oude Meul. The rooms were simple and clean and it was located right above a cozy coffee shop, where guests could take their breakfast. I would have liked to have seen Franschhoek, and if you are pressed for time, I would recommend taking an all day tour from Cape Town, which allows you to see both regions.

My final two nights I stayed in the idyllic and upmarket area of Camps Bay, an absolutely stunning crescent of white sandy beach, sheltered from the infamous Cape winds. All along the beachfront is a promenade of restaurants and boutique shops. My guest house (le Balfour) was a short 5 minute walk from the beach and had an amazing view of the ocean and Lion's Head from the private balcony. It's easy to tell this is where the elite and famous live, yet I think it manages to still feel relaxed and unpretentious. It was nice to unwind here from the constant go go of the last few months.

Tags: cape town

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