Initial Thoughts on Cape Town
Not surprisingly, I had no idea what to expect when I touched down on the African continent for the first time. My travels to date had been confined to North America and Europe and the prospect of exploring somewhere completely different was exciting and took me out of my comfort zone. As if the 20+ hours of flying wasn’t enough of a sign, my first steps in South Africa reminded me just how far we were away from home. While the original rainy weather that Tuesday morning was not a warm welcome, the next four days in Cape Town were nothing short of spectacular.
Arriving at the One & Only, we sat in the shadows of Table Mountain in awe of its astounding size. It was by far one of the best breakfast views I have had the pleasure of experiencing. And while we did not have the most successful trip to the top (hello fog!), there is no denying that it is the most defining aspect of the city.
Both the scenery and history of Cape Town are dramatic. The staggering natural beauty surrounds you from the moment you arrive and you can feel the storied past of the Mother City amongst its colorful neighborhoods. South Africa is still the only country that has made the transition from British colonial rule to a nonviolent democracy, but the struggle to reach that democratic rule has defined the people and the city. This gives Cape Town a charm and life all its own. It differs from many of its European counterparts in that it is not overbuilt or overly touristy. The city is real and complex and breathtaking. And there is something about its beauty which is not quiet tamed or refined yet – it is still a little wild, but I believe that is what makes it so enticing both to locals and visitors alike.
My only regret is that I did not have longer to explore this complex and beautiful city. It is clear that each neighborhood has its own personality and I would have loved to have spent more time wandering the streets and exploring more of their cafes and galleries. I will return Cape Town. Partially to continue to explore your stunning city, but also to finally get that view from the top of Table Mountain. The “tablecloth” and dangerous winds prevented us from experiencing the highly acclaimed views of Cape Town.
There is so much potential still in this beautiful city – unlike many hot destinations, this city is not yet saturated. As a World Design City in 2014, I think the art, design and appeal of this city is only going to grow, and I am excited to follow along to see where the next decades bring Cape Town.
More posts on South Africa to come in the next couple of weeks!