South Africa TravelBlogue (Part 1)

It all began on Tuesday, November 13th


Stella was battling a cold but she was still willing to wake up at 6 am to drive me to the Salt Lake Airport. Now that’s a true friend! My itinerary to Cape Town was going to make for a very long day. The airplane tickets were reasonably priced ($1,700) but I had to make two different layovers. First I flew on Delta to JFK (a 4.5 hour flight) and then I had a 3 hour layover before flying to Amsterdam overnight. I didn’t have much luck sleeping on the 7 hour flight. It was my first experience flying on KLM and I found the seats to be super uncomfortable.


When I disembarked in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning I had to kill about an hour before my mom would arrive and meet me at the gate. (She was flying SFO-SEA-AMS-CPT.) I bought my traditional airport snack (a double chocolate chip muffin) and settled in at the gate. An airline employee made an announcement in Dutch and I had to ask the guy sitting next to me for a translation. The time passed easily as we continued chatting. My mom arrived and before I knew it and we were able to board without further adieu.

The flight from Amsterdam to Cape Town was a bit of a challenge, namely because it was 11 hours long and completely during daytime hours. (It would have been easier if it were an overnight flight.) I was flying KLM again and once again found the seat completely uncomfortable. I tried watching movies to kill the time but I had a bad headset and it took me a while to give up and go get a new one from a stewardess. By and by we made it to Cape Town just before 10 pm. We were greeted by the husband of the woman who owns the B&B we stayed at and he drove us to our destination…



We booked Room 1 for the duration of our stay in Cape Town (six nights total). Our room was spacious (it is designed for triple occupancy but there were just two of us) and we had an en-suite bathroom. We totally loved staying at The House on the Hill.


When we woke up the next morning we had a great continental breakfast at the B&B and then we were picked up by an employee from Tempest Car Hire to go sign papers for our cute little rental car. Their office was just a few blocks away. After everything was final we were able to get back to our B&B and make a plan for the day. Since the skies looked clear and there wasn’t a great deal of wind we made a beeline to Table Mountain.


Table Mountain is certainly a wonder of nature. Basically it is a massive “flat” mountain that looks a bit like a table. It overlooks Cape Town and its mountain range stretches all the way south to Cape Point. In order to get to the top you have two choices: hike or ride the aerial cableway. Due to a number of reasons my mom and I chose to ride the cableway. We bought tickets online before leaving the states. (You save 10% off the ticket price and you don’t have to wait in line to buy a ticket when you arrive.) We were aware that the cableway could close at a moment’s notice due to inclement weather. We were so happy to see blue skies! We zipped up to the top in no time and were up there for an hour checking out the views. 

We were trying to figure out what to do next when a very animated 83-year-old mountain guide crossed our path with four British tourists in tow. There were headed to the summit (highest point) of Table Mountain to see Maclear’s Beacon. The guide, Clem, invited us to come along. For the next two hours we walked with Clem and the other tourists soaking up new views and tidbits of Table Mountain history. It was a great little hike.

When it was finally time to descend the aerial cableway we decided to drop the rental car and some of our things off at the B&B and then walk to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront (V&A Waterfront or just V&A for short). 


It was fun walking to the waterfront because we could take a look at our surroundings. (When we were driving and we had to concentrate on where we were going.) The tradeoff was we felt a little more vulnerable. We had heard so many warnings about the dangers of touring Cape Town but I can tell you right now the only shifty person that ever approached us was a backpacking tourist asking for spare change. Despite the slight inconvenience of having to lie to someone’s face (“No, sorry, we don’t have anything”) we made it to the waterfront unscathed.

I had heard that the V&A Waterfront was a mecca for tourists and indeed it was our “safe” place. The place consisted of a sprawling shopping center, at least a dozen restaurants (ranging from the mall food court to plush steak houses), a lot of fun souvenir shops and a Ferris wheel for good measure. There were lively street performers and my mom bought CDs from the two musical groups we watched. There was also a group of stunt/dance performers who put on a riveting show. (The Limbo is hard enough with a broom – they did it with fire!)

Table Mountain looms in the background
These guys are very brave!
Our first visit to V&A was great and we scoped out the boarding dock for the ferry to Robben Island which we would be taking the next morning. 



  1. Okay these pictures are amazing!!! I can not believe those views. I'm definitely a traveler that loves nature mixed with cities. Cape Town looks amazing.

  2. Wow! Beautiful! Those street performers are amazing.