Friday, 1 October 2010

Cape Town. Day 1.

After packing up the apartment and living in a hotel for more than a week, saying final goodbyes to our friends and the city of Berlin, which we love, it was time for the next adventure. On our way back to Australia we decided to visit South Africa and Mauritius, and really make it a ‘special’ home journey.

After travelling over Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, we arrived in Cape Town at about noon. For Phil, this was about his 7th visit to South Africa, but for Nicole and the boys it was their first time. Having heard lots of ‘stories’, Nicole had some trepidations, and as usual, the boys took it all in their stride.

We were picked up at the airport and delivered to our guesthouse – Derwent House, which sits about half way between the Harbour and the base of Table Mountain. It was a lovely guest, and we were shown to our apartment which would be home for the next 5 days.

After a short break to settle in and unpack, we walked down the hill to catch the Red Line‘City Circle’ bus tour. This is a hop-on hop-off open top double decker bus that shows the major tourist attractions around the city. We each had a set of headphones and the boys tuned into the kids channel and Nicole and Phil chose the normal English one. Later the kids had some great facts that we didn’t get from the adult channel - Perhaps you need to go around twice, once as an adult and once as a kid, to get the full story!

We like doing these hop-on, hop-off bus tours when we first get to a new city.  It's a great way to get a bit of an idea of the layout of the city, get a bit of a rough history lesson and highlight the things you really want to visit more in depth.
 The Castle of Good Hope, built 1666-1679, the oldest surviving coloniel building in Cape Town.
 Table Mountain. visible almost everywhere in Cape Town.
 Up near the base of Table Mountain, overlooking the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (known as the V & A Waterfront)
 Part of the sprawl of Cape Town, Nicole was surprised how large it actually is.
The view of Clifton, a more exclusive side of Cape Town.
Our last stop of the tour was at the  V & A Waterfront, so we walked around the harbour and looked for somewhere for dinner.  We looked for something familiar and ended up at a German Brauhaus of all places! No sentiment in this decision, but at least we knew what we would be served!
We caught the last of the red buses back to the centre of town, Queen Victoria Street and walked up to Derwent House for the night.  As South Africa is in the same time zone as Berlin, we were not fighting jet lag!

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