He drove us to The Paradiso and we had wine with 3 appetizers...salmon and peach salad, a veggie antipasto, and butternut ravioli. Then he drove us to our self catering apartment which had 2 bedrooms each with its own bath, and a kitchen with an eating area and a small area adjoining with a sofa, fireplace and tv. Then we went to sleep.
|On the left on other side of the 8 foot high barbed wire fence was our apartment.|
Nevertheless, we had a fine tour of the southernmost part of the greater Cape Town area. We drove along the coast. We stopped at Kalk Bay which was a lovely little artsy town;
Simon's Town where we saw a statue of Just Nuisance who was a Great Dane that the Royal Navy had adopted during WWII. He drank beer, slept with officers and was given a full military funeral upon his death. (This should be a movie!)
|Touching his nose brings good luck.|
an area called The Boulders- a penguin colony and we found many of them living in the bushes.
We continued on to Table Mountain National Park which is nowhere near Table Mountain. All along this drive the scenery was spectacular!
The highlight of our visit to the park was getting to Cape Point...which you may have never heard of...and The Cape of Good Hope which is the furtherest south western point of Africa. Cape Point was absolutely breathtaking to behold. They are only about a 1/2 mile from each other.
|The Cape of Good Hope|
|Cape Point is just east of the Cape of Good Hope.|
While unsuccessfully looking for zebra for Diane, we did spot Bontebok, an relative of the antelope, baboons, and two ostriches which walked alongside our car.
We went up the western side of the peninsula and eventually back home, where there was a cloud covering Table Mountain which Grant referred to as a tablecloth.
A couple of interesting observations along the way. We saw the US Embassy which was situated next to a large prison and Cape Town rush hour traffic was bumper to bumper. It reminded us of Los Angeles.
We walked to dinner at a Mexican Restaurant called The Fat Cactus. This was at the request of Miss Johanna because it's been over a year and a half since she had Mexican food. We had chips and salsa and guacamole dip. She had a large chicken burrito and 22 Marguaritas. John had a pork quesadilla and 2 Kraft beers. Diane had a spinach quesadilla and a strawberry Marguarita.
Grant picked us up and we drove through the downtown area. There were brightly painted houses...buildings which were occupied by former slaves...from India and Pakistan. Now this is a big Muslim area.
We saw a few McDonalds and a Subway.
Although Parliament is in Capetown, the capital is Pretoria. We also went past the stadium that was built for the 2010 World Cup and is referred to locally as the Toilet Bowl and if you saw it from above you would understand.
Unfortunately, it is only used for a few concerts every year. When it is used for soccer games, it is a loss because it is the poor people who follow soccer and they cannot afford to pay high ticket prices. Then we went to the Victoria Wharf Shopping Center which was down on the waterfront area...very pretty and modern. A lovely place to just watch the water and relax or eat or shop.
Table Mountain was closed today so we headed out to the wine yards as they call them. Grant took us to the area of Stellenbosch. In this area there over 200 vineyards. Ernie Els was the first one we went to and was absolutely beautiful. We ended up having lunch there overlooking the vineyards in the valley and the mountains in the background. At one point Johanna was artistically challenged to take a picture of the Ernie Els wine glass against the scenic background. She took at least 20 pictures to get it just right. We were proud of Johanna for her uniqueness. When it was all done, the wine steward said, "Oh yeah, everybody does that!"
|This is the Ernie Els Vineyard.|
John bought a golf shirt and we took some pictures of Ernie's trophies.
Then on to a second wine yard called Muratie. The very first owner was Lauren's Campher who fell in love with a slave girl who lived in a fort in Cape Town which was a three day walk. When she was freed, he moved her in with him. When he died he left the vineyard to her. This was very out of the ordinary...having a slave own land. She sold it. In 1763 Marvin Melck bought it and then sold it. It didn't get back into the Melck family until 1987. In 1927 Georg Paul Canitz bought it. On a regular basis he told his wife he was going to the chapel to pray. She thought he was wonderful. In reality he was visiting his mistress. When he did she found many pictures of her under the floor boards. Many of the names of the present day wines come from the people involved in this tale.
And the third one we visited was Warwick Wine. Very nice. Warwick picked the present logo based on a story of a silversmith in love with the nobleman's daughter. The nobleman would not give his blessing and locked him in the dungeon. The daughter would not eat so the nobleman agreed to let the two lovers marry if the man could make a cup that two people could drink from at the same time without spilling. Within a week the silver smith did just that and the two were married. When the owner died he left the vineyard to his wife who became the first woman vintner in South Africa. John and Diane drank from the replica of this cup which represents love, faithfulness and good luck.
We returned at 4:45, and sat around for an hour and then went down to Checkers, a local grocery store and John and Johanna bought themselves dinner including a Lindt chocolate bar.
We really didn't do too much today but we had the chance to see how beautiful the Cape Town area is. (And we had 15 sample glasses of wine!)
Today was the perfect day! The sun was shining, there were no clouds in the sky, and the temperature was perfect. Grant took us up to Table Mountain and we were able to get right on the cable car. This car has a revolving floor for its 65 passengers and an announcer with a great sense of humor.
At the top we took MANY pictures of the Cape Town area.
After this we went back to the Victoria Wharf and had lunch. John had steak tartare, Diane had white asparagus risotto, and Johanna had hake and angel hair pasta.
At 1:00 we boarded the Nauticut and went to Robben Island. It took an hour to get there, with a 2 hour tour and then back home. We did see Nelson Mandela's cell but all decided we needed to read up on this part of history a little more. Our second tour guide had been a prisoner from 1977-82.He had been a student protester in high school at the time.
Grant brought us home. He was a terrific guide and we saw practically everything we had on our lists. We highly recommend him!
We had a quick glass of wine to finish it all up and then went out to DaVinci's for dinner. Africa's pizzas have no mozzarella but feta cheese instead.
John and Diane took a walk in City Garden. It is a lovely park with families and couples strolling down the brick walkway. Many were feeding the squirrels and pigeons. We also saw 4 high school musicians- three trombones and a trumpet, playing on the street.
We gave them a tip. Then we walked back to our place, had the leftovers from previous nights, packed up and had our driver take us to the airport. Johanna had to go to a different gate so we said our good byes early. It was a wonderful vacation and we want to come back here again.
IF our trip still interests you, I am loading videos onto You Tube almost every day. If you search You Tube for "An Oryx Holiday" there are about 8 of them. And I am only half done!!
Thans for reading our blogs. We would encourage everyone to visit Africa someday.