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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.

Beautiful view of Cape Town from above

Beautiful view of Cape Town from above

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.

Chapman's Peak

A drive along Chapman’s Peak

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.

Not a bad Plan B to Table Mountain: Signal Hill

Not a bad Plan B to Table Mountain: Signal Hill

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! 

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Looking forward to reading more of your travels in South Africa. We visited Soweto and Cape Town and found both to be fascinating places.

    November 12, 2015
    • Thanks, Rusha! We took your advice and went to Kirstenbosch Gardens. They were beautiful!

      November 13, 2015
  2. Beautiful pictures! I have only traveled throughout North America and Europe as well. Would love to visit Cape Town. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy travels 🙂

    November 12, 2015
    • Thanks, Lauren! It is definitely a different experience from both continents, but a good introduction to Africa I thought.

      November 13, 2015
  3. Joanie #

    Cape Town has been on my bucket list for a while. I have to admit I am a little jealous:) It sounds like an amazing city! Look forward to your next post.

    Great photos!

    November 12, 2015
    • I think you should move it up on your list 🙂 very interesting city! More to come in the next couple of weeks!

      November 13, 2015
  4. Julie @ The Red Headed Traveler #

    Beautiful pictures and also great accompanying text. Although I’ve never been, I definitely could envision much of what you wrote in my head. I’ve heard that Cape Town (and South Africa) is a wonderful introduction to the African continent and it sounds like you had just that. It’s definitely on my list of places to visit one day.

    I so look forward to reading more of your Africa posts!

    November 12, 2015
    • Thanks, Julie! It was a great introduction to the African continent. From what I know of your travel style, you would love it! Fantastic food too – the food scene is huge down there right now!

      November 13, 2015
  5. Bernie #

    what a joy it was to read about your trip. Nice to have you back blogging; I have missed the travelingB!

    November 12, 2015
    • Thanks, Bernie! I was definitely slacking during wedding planning, but more posts to come in the next couple of weeks!

      November 13, 2015
  6. Stunning and ditto on that Bernie, on all accounts!

    November 13, 2015
  7. Oh take me back, so many places we didn’t even see!

    November 13, 2015

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  1. Intriguing Cape Town | A Traveling B

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