By Reliv Europe`s German Translator, Lisa Schwarz
In the early 90s, I had the privilege to call this beautiful city my home. This is where I got married and my heart warms when I think about my time in Cape Town. In my opinion the pleasantly warm climate, the long days and the mesmerising daylight are just a few of the many reasons why South Africa is the most beautiful place on earth, especially early in the morning and during sunset.
Known as the “Mother City” (because it gave birth to civilisation), Cape Town is South Africa’s second largest city; a place where culture, beach vacation, shopping, adventure and nature can all be wrapped into one holiday. A visit to Table Mountain, the beautiful wine-growing regions, untouched nature reserves, botanical gardens and the lively waterfront are some of the main attractions that should not be missed.
Did you know that the Khoisan people referred to the Cape as “Hui! Gaeb” the place where the clouds gather, describing Table Mountain’s famous ‘table cloth’? When you see it you will understand, which takes me to my first recommendation – a visit to Table Mountain. It can be reached on foot or by cable car. You will be rewarded with a breath-taking view of the harbour, the white beaches and Robben Island – on a clear day this is a view you will never forget!
The wine-growing regions Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are a must for anyone visiting Cape Town. Book a wine-tasting experience at one of the many wineries this region has to offer and enjoy the beautiful scenery, whilst sipping on a glass of wine. Head back to Cape Town via the Franschhoek Pass, a fantastic route with breath-taking views.
Don`t miss out on taking a trip down to the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula – “Kaap die Goeie Hoop”, the Cape of Good Hope, where the warm Agulhas current from the east runs into the cold Benguela current from the northwest. If you plan to go there during the winter months, make sure you wrap up warm, after all, there is a reason why in the 15th century it was called the “Cape of Storms” by the Portuguese explorers. To this day there are numerous ship wrecks that remind us how powerful nature can be. Speaking of nature, do not leave your car door open whilst visiting this beauty spot, especially if you have food inside. The cheeky little monkeys living in the region will pop inside and happily munch on anything they can find. My husband and I had to learn the hard way – we did have a good belly laugh about it though! Don`t forget to take a picture next to the Cape of Good Hope sign before you leave – something you will definitely want to share with your family and friends when you talk about your African adventure.
Another highlight not to be missed is the V&A Waterfront. A place where you will find bars, restaurants, shops, entertainment and a unique ambience. You can easily spend half a day here people-watching whilst having a nice meal by the harbour. Make sure you have your camera to hand to take some pictures of the seals who boldly like to visit the shallow waters!
Robben Island is another place I highly recommend visiting during your stay – a guided tour should definitely be on your to-do list. It is a former prison and the place Nelson Mandela had to spend 18 years of his life during apartheid. Visiting this place felt like stepping back in time and I learnt so much about South Africa`s recent dark history; it was one of the most humbling moments of my life. After spending a day on Robben Island you may simply want to switch off and relax the following day. Why not have a beach day and swim with penguins at Boulders Beach? Imagine telling your family and friends that you went for a swim with penguins? How cool is that!? If you love penguins as much as I do, you will not want to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. Just think about it, there are more than 2000 penguin species to be found at Boulder beach – again don`t forget your camera!
I would also like to encourage you to visit Sea Point, the place I once called home. Just around the corner from the city centre, its promenade stretches for several miles along the Atlantic Ocean. I highly recommend a stroll along the promenade early in the morning followed by a visit to the centre of Sea Point where you will find a variety of restaurants, bistros and shops. Whilst planning a trip to Sea Point make sure you take your bathing suit, just in case you feel like going for a swim at Sea Point`s public Pool. It was built right on the Atlantic Ocean in the 1950s and is filled with filtered sea water – one of the most beautiful public pools I have ever seen. If you are feeling curious and you would like to know where I used to live, head over to my happy place, Marais Mansion in Marais Rd. – photos would be much appreciated, thank you! Not far from Sea Point and worth a visit – Camps Bay and Llandudno Beach…the list is endless!
Finally, why not try and greet your host with some Afrikaans in the morning: “Goeie môre! Daai koffie ruik wonderlik!”, which translates into “Good morning! That coffee smells wonderful!”
I hope you love Cape Town as much as I do. Have a wonderful holiday and “geniet jou verblyf”.