From Cape Town with Love: Coast, Mountain, Wealth and Leisure

For most people, Africa seems to be synonymous with underdevelopment and poverty. Not South Africa. It is at least a developing country, and in some regions, such as Cape Town.

Cape Town is a coastal city in South Africa located on the shore of Table Bay. It is the second-most populous urban area in the country and 10th in the continent. Cape Town is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. Its good climate, natural setting and well-developed infrastructure have everything to offer. Hollywood celebrities snapped up beautiful homes in the city; just to name a few: Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many more.

In 2014, Cape Town was named the best place in the world to visit by both New York Times and Daily Telegraph. It is beautiful for sure, and I can attest that the trip there worth every minute of my time and every penny spent.

We went to the Cape of Good Hope. The tour guide reminded us not to pick up anything – even a small piece of rock – from the coast, because the coast would not be what it is now if every visitor took home something from there. Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias who led the first European expedition to round the rocky headland of the Cape Peninsula in 1488 named it the “Cape of Storm”, making it a sea route from Europe to Asia. It was later renamed “Cape of Good Hope” because it brought hopes of a new sea route to India. The Cape of Good Hope, however, is not the southernmost point of Africa as most people believe; The southernmost is Cape Agulhas, about 150 kilometers or 90 miles to the east-southeast. It is the place where the official dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans passes, and where the warm-water Agulhas current meets the cold water Benguela current and turns back on itself. I saw where the currents met and the water color changed, but I was not able to capture that in a photo to share.

We also went to Table Mountain. This flat-topped mountain offered one of the best views overlooking the city of Cape Town. The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately 3 kilometers or 2 miles from side by side edged by cliffs. It is one of the oldest mountains on earth – six times older than the Himalayas and five times older than the Rockies. The temperature at the top of the Mountain is at least 18°F (10°C) lower than that at its foot, and so warmer clothing is called for. Did I buy any souvenir from there? Yes, check out the cowgirl hat I got!

I enjoyed very much the food and drinks in Cape Town: the fruits and fruit juices at breakfast, the seafood meal by the harbor, and the wine tasting at Groot Constantia. Good times and good memories.

(Click on picture for full size)