For someone who travels a lot, I spend a surprisingly small amount of time travelling in my own country. One might think that it’s because South Africa is small, or there isn’t much to do outside of a booming city like Johannesburg, but that’s far from the truth. SO I’m not actually sure why I don’t travel more around SA. This weekend though, I packed my little hand luggage bag and boarded a super small plane without my passport (shock and horror for anyone used to travelling internationally because you know that a passport is basically the only thing you can’t make a backup plan for) and had a three-day trip down in Cape Town. It may have been short, and not exactly intended to be a holiday trip, but my word it was a lot of fun!
First, let me tell you all the truth. I didn’t head to the Western Cape to work on my tan and sip wine from the copious vineyards there (even though that does sound like a smashing holiday doesn’t it?). My family has a small house near Fishoek, a cottage on the mountainside overlooking the sea. After years of not really knowing what to do with it and spending the odd holiday there, we’ve decided that it is time this gorgeous little house got a proper makeover. My boyfriend and I came down to assess how it is looking, make sure the walls aren’t falling down and try come up with a plan for the future of this wee house. We’re not entirely sure yet, but before we think about what to do with it, we’re definitely going to be giving it the love and attention it so desperately is crying for. The coastal air is not exactly kind or gentle on the houses nearby, so everything from repainting to sanding windows is on the cards. It’s a beautiful house in a fantastic location, so we thought that it could use a little bit of love. And who knows – maybe the next time you hear about the house on this space we could be putting it up on Airbnb?? I’ll be sure to let you all know so you can start making bookings and flight reservations.
Now even though the primary purpose of our trip was to check up on the house (and rearrange some furniture and jot down a few measurements), that doesn’t exactly take up three full days’ worth of hours. Besides that, who goes to Cape Town and doesn’t do at least one touristy thing? It’s practically a crime, in a place that has so many fun leisure activities I’d barely know where to begin as a first-timer. So, between measuring curtain lengths and moving couches, my boyfriend and I decided to stretch our legs and pretend that at least a few hours of our days were a holiday.
Like I already said, there are dozens of great activities to do in Cape Town, and if I tried to squeeze them all into today’s post, you’d be reading until tomorrow morning. So, for both our sakes, I’m only going to mention the few that my boyfriend and I got to and one or two other cliched options. BUT, if any of you are planning a trip to Cape Town or are curious about what nice things are there to do, let me know in the comments section, and I’ll be happy to do a post with that info in it.
One of my long-time favourites to do in Cape Town, something I’ve done with my family for as long as I can remember, is to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium down by the waterfront. So, as you can imagine, that was a definite stop for my boyfriend and I. I’ve always loved the ocean and marine life, even though I am also honestly a little bit terrified of sea creatures (because come on even the tiniest ones are significantly faster than me! I stand no chance if disaster strikes). I just think it is so fascinating how we are starting to develop ways to live on other planets and yet so much of our ocean is still unexplored. Basically what I’m trying to say is that the two of us had a load of fun at that aquarium, even though we’ve both been to it more than a few times.
Since we had come all the way to the waterfront to go to the aquarium, we also decided to walk around a bit. If you’re looking for something to compare the waterfront to, it is kind of like Fisherman’s wharf in San Francisco. There are the boats, the seagulls, the smell of the ocean, street performers/musicians and some truly magnificent arts and crafts stalls and stores. There is a fantastic food market, some spectacular restaurants (one of which we stopped at for a great seafood lunch) and a shopping mall for anyone who likes to browse (where I treated myself to a new book – who can resist indulging in a new book when they walk into a bookstore?). One new thing at the waterfront this time, something I’ve never seen before, was this incredible dog adoption programme/charity where people can interact with rescued dogs and adopt or donate if they can. It truly reminds you that there are some amazing people in the world. We left a donation for them and by the end of the day, five dogs had been adopted. Amazing!
Last but not least, we had to walk down the pier to the small lighthouse at the harbour in Kalk Bay. It is less than a five-minute walk from the house, and there are some pretty great restaurants there so after dinner one night, what better way to finish off the evening than to stroll down the pier, take in the view of the ocean and let the salty breeze blow your hair frizzy while you watch the seals? There are a few resident sea lions at that harbour, and even though they’re quite intimidating up close, I’ve always loved seals. They are so adorable and playful – they’re basically puppies of the ocean! Puppies that smell really bad …
I know there is so much more to do in Cape Town, like visit Boulder’s Beach and see wild non-arctic penguins or trail walk down Table Mountain. Still, there isn’t time to mention all of them and seeing as though we didn’t do much else this trip, I thought I’d save those locations for another post (just let me know if you’re interested!). Just don’t be fooled to thinking that the only thing to do in Cape Town is to visit the beach and swim in the frigid water. There is so much more than that.
Apart from leisure activities, we also got to eat some great food, and that was just within walking distance! Within 500m of the house, we went to a delicious tapas restaurant called Salt, a pretty good seafood restaurant down by the harbour (complete with beach chickens and ocean puppies), one of the best cafes and that’s coming from a person who doesn’t drink coffee, and an absolutely scrumptious Italian restaurant called Satori. The café is called the Olympia Café – my dad has been singing its praises for as long as I can remember. It serves fantastic coffee, and great fresh pastries (including a great baked ham and cheese croissant) so is the perfect breakfast spot for people on the go or if you don’t quite feel like cooking your own breakfast. Satori, the Italian restaurant though was by far my favourite. Even though it’s small, the vibe is so alive, the smells are enough to make one salivate, and the food is … wow!
So all in all, it was such a great trip. I’m on the plane now writing this and just looking back on it all is making me smile. Yes, it was short, and we only got to do a small amount of all the fun activities available, but you know what … that just means more fun the next time we visit. As always thank you all so much for reading today’s post! Please don’t forget to hit that little like button and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on future posts. Also, if you liked this more diary-esque post, if you’ve ever been to Cape Town and enjoyed a specific part/activity or if there is any advice you can share for turning a house into an Airbnb, please let me know in the comments section!!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx