Sunday, May 10, 2009

Our Easter trip through SA, part 2

Finally the second half of our trip. After the safari we went to Plettenberg Bay, the jewel of the Garden Route and a thriving beach town on the Indian Ocean. We stayed 2 nights and enjoyed some seafood, and a whole day on the beach. Just a super nice relaxing stay after the activity filled safari. We are driving now the Garden route, a beautiful area in SA and the coast line is just unbelievable gorgeous!!







This area is also famous and one of the best Whale spotting areas in the world, although we weren't in the right season for that, what we did see where a few groups of dolphins, but unfortunately no whales this time.

From there we went to Oudtshoorn, a town in little (klein) Karoo country, miles of flat country in between mountain ranges. The Klein Karoo is an oasis-like setting in a fertile valley cupped by the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountain ranges. Crops such as lucerne, tobacco, fruit, grapes and grains grow here in abundance. But what was most visible to us were the ostrich farms. Fields and fields of ostriches. Very interesting to see! We stayed for 1 day at the Zeekoe; an ostrich farm. And of course this is when JJ sat on an ostrich. We had some great lunch and dinner, of course ostrich steak :-) which is btw more healthy than beef. Less cholesterol and much more lean.


From there on we had to do our last leg of travel up to Capetown, but first we stopped in Hermanus for lunch. Also described as the Riviera of the South, offers the best shore-based whale watching in the world. Nature lovers from all over the world visit Hermanus to view these magnificent creatures from the cliffs. We had a superb view of the Indian ocean, however no whales, we need to come back around July. It was just nice to be here and have lunch at one of the oldest buildings in Hermanus, the Burgundy restaurant. Wow, what a view we had here! Again a beautiful seaside town with lots of tourists and activities.


Now up to Capetown! YEAH!!

While in Capetown we saw so many historic and other beautiful sites that it is almost too much to cramp in one posting, but you just have to come for yourself to SA and discover this beautiful land on your own. It is just magnificent!!

In Capetown we stayed at the Waterkant, which is a unique European influenced village of semi-detached quaint cottages and cobbled streets preserved from the 1760’s. Cradled between the city and the Waterfront, De Waterkant Village is avant-garde, a cultural urban refuge highlighted by the abundance of restaurants, art galleries, gay clubs, salsa clubs, tapas bars and Parisian inspired café’s. So we didn't need to go far for lunch and dinner. Around the corner we had so many restaurants, one even better than the other. So happy we stayed there. It reminded me a bit of the old Soho in NYC, when it was still undiscovered and very artsy. This is how the Waterkant is in Capetown.

We made a half-day trip to Boulders Beach, which is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between granite boulders and where a colony of African Penguins settled in 1982. From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony has grown to about 3000 in recent years. It is funny to see penguins in SA, so it is quite the tourist attraction, but of course while here we had to see it as well!




We went up to the famous Table Mountain. The Cableway takes you to the summit in under 10 minutes and is quite the ride! Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town. The highest point on Table Mountain is 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level. The views on all sides are just magnificent!! Because it is a level plateau, approximately 3 kilometres (2 mi) from side to side, surrounded by steep cliffs you feel you are on top of the world. Amazing, worth while to visit next time you are there!! On one side there were young girls abseiling and that was quite the view. Straight down, ... scary!! But fun to watch :-)




Of course we had to visit the surrounding wine lands, there are so many great wines coming from SA and this is the area where it happens all. First we went to Stellenbosch. It is the second oldest European settlement in the province, after Cape Town. The town became known as the City of Oaks or Eikestad in Afrikaans and Dutch due to the large number of oak trees that were planted by the founder to grace the streets and homesteads. Soon after the first settlers arrived, especially the French Huguenots, grapes were planted in the fertile valleys around Stellenbosch and soon it became the centre of the South African wine industry. Nature is just beautiful, all these fields of wine. Amazing. We did some wine tasting, but soon we became hungry and it was time for lunch.


For food we had to go to Franschoek, supposedly the food capital of SA. People told us that is was world renowned for its spectacular beauty, superb Cape wines and world class restaurants… the village of Franschhoek is a definite must-visit destination on any trip to the Western Cape of South Africa. So, we went. And indeed it was true, so beautiful so many good restaurants, shops and boutiques. We could have spent much more time there than we did. But I am glad we visited these 2 quaint towns!!
In Capetown itself we wandered around the waterfront. Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town's working harbour, the V&A Waterfront has become South Africa's most visited destination. Set against a backdrop of magnificent sea and mountain views, exciting shopping and entertainment venues are intermingled with imaginative office locations, world-class hotels and luxury apartments in the residential marina. Enough to see and wander around, watch all the diversity between the people, having a choice of so many different cuisines, it was heaven for us to wine and dine there!

I wish Hilti was located close to Cape Town, I wouldn't mind moving there, so much to see! Much more a friendly city than Joburg and because it is on the ocean it is just so nice!! Everybody we meet raves about Cape Town. Now I know, and I rave about it too know. We have just seen a tip of the iceberg in those few days we were there. But I want to go back. The quaint shops, the delish restaurants, the cobbled stoned streets, there is so much to see!! The only thing the weather is much better in Gauteng, where we live ;-) So as you see, every negative has a positive!!

All in all, our road trip through the beautiful land of SA was such a memorable trip, and although I don't like sitting in the car for so long. I wouldn't have wanted to miss all these sights, which I would have never seen would we have flown both ways. Now we just headed back in the plane and in less than 2 hours we were back in Joburg.

What a wonderful and memorable trip! We just loved it!!
Mireille

1 comment:

Emm said...

I love Hermanus and I'm in love with Cape Town now too. Your photos are awesome!!!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails