Cape Town Journals

Cape Town, the Mother City

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A February 2004 trip to Cape Town by Overlander

Cape Town & Table Mountain   Photo, Cape Town, South Africa More Photos
Quote: Cape Town, perched (almost) on the southern tip of Africa, is unquestionably one of the most beautifully set cities on earth and is one of those dozen or so spots that everyone should visit at once before he dies.

Cape Town, the Mother City

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Overview

Cape Town & Table Mountain   Photo, Cape Town, South Africa
Quote:
No matter how many friends, both South African and non-South African, had praised Cape Town for its setting, climate, harbor, beaches, friendliness, and sheer beauty, neither my wife nor I was prepared for what we found. This is a staggeringly impressive city, both from afar and up close. Draping itself down the slopes of its trademark, Table Mountain, she beckons to all. Thanks to a South African who kindly picked us up at the airport, ours was quite an introduction. Within an hour of arrival, the friend had taken us to the top of Signal Hill, an extension of the Table Mountain massif, from which we could orient ourselves: the harbor and Table Bay to the south, the business area to...Read More

Ballyna House

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Hotel

Ballyna House Photo, Somerset West, South Africa
Quote:
Call it chance, serendipity, or just plain dumb luck, but my wife and I stumbled onto the Ballyna House at the end of a long day's drive as we hurried back to Cape Town to catch a flight. For some reason we had neglected to reserve a room in another B&B where we had stayed earlier and were turned away when we finally got around to calling. What to do? Checking a South African tourist accommodation guide, we spent a good hour and a half at a motorway rest stop attempting to find something--anything--that either a) wasn't a huge distance from the airport or b) didn't cost an arm and a leg. We were just about to give up hope when we found the phone number of the Ballyna. What luck! They had had a can...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 20, 2005

Ballyna House
13 North Ave.
Somerset West, South Africa 7129
+27 (21) 851 4398

Spur

Restaurant | "Santa Ana Spur"

Spur Photo, Cape Town, South Africa
Quote:
Commonly known simply as "The Spur," this South African chain of steakhouse restaurants is definitely to be recommended. The food, which concentrates on American and Tex-Mex-style steaks and burgers, is well prepared, well presented, and amazingly well priced: per head, you'll pay around $5 to $6. And you won't go away hungry!A few menu items:Salad BarSteaks 6-18ozs. (150-500g)Spare RibsTex Mex: fajitas, enchiladas and quesadillasKiddies MenuThe branch at the V&A is especially nice because you have the option of eating outside on a wide balcony with stunning views across the harbor to Table Mountain. At night this is a stunning...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 19, 2005

Spur
Victoria Wharf mall
Cape Town, South Africa

Two Oceans Aquarium

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Attraction

Two Oceans Aquarium Photo, Cape Town, South Africa
Quote:
The Two Oceans Aquarium displays spectacular examples of the many-splendored marine life found off South Africa's long coastline. Some 3,000 different fish, shellfish, mammals, reptiles, birds, and plants can be seen in this underwater natural park. The Aquarium will also arrange dives with sharks, diving tours of kelp forests, and even copper-helmet diving, which is probably unique anywhere in the world.  I’ve always liked large aquariums, and Cape Town’s is one of the best ones you’ll ever see. I think its exhibit of African and rockhopper penguins is probably unique, and it’s at its best when feeding time comes around. Two or three young aquarium employees appear with buckets full of macke...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 15, 2004

Two Oceans Aquarium
Alfred Basin, Dock Road
Cape Town, South Africa 8002
+27 21 418 3823

St. George's Cathedral & the Company Gardens

Attraction | "St. George's Cathedral"

St. George's Cathedral & the Company Gardens Photo, Cape Town, South Africa
Quote:
St. George's Anglican Cathedral, the home church of Nobel Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, is located on Wale Street in the center of Cape Town. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, a well-known early 20th-century architect, its foundation stone was laid by the future George V. Built of local stone, it features some first-rate stained glass windows depicting the lives of several prophets, martyrs, and saints. The rose window alone is worth the trip to see the edifice. We were there just after Christmas, so some of the decorations were still up, including a quite delightful creche. There's also a plaque commemorating a 1995 visit of Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of South Africa's first Human ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 19, 2005

St. George's Cathedral & the Company Gardens
Wale St.
Cape Town, South Africa
27 21 424-7360

South African Hospitality

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Story/Tip

Quote:
My wife and I have traveled widely, and we've met wonderful people wherever we've been; however, nowhere else have we ever been met with such openness and generosity. At the risk of sounding maudlin, I'll try to explain myself. During the planning stages of the trip, we were in contact with a South African, a native Capetonian, whose brain we shamelessly picked. Enough messages had flitted back and forth between Muscat and Cape Town that I was almost beginning to feel a trifle embarrassed. Questions just seem to beget other questions, if you know what I mean. That said, we had seemed to hit it off, and it was clear that he wanted to meet us at some point during our stay. Fine. Fair enough. I ...Read More