A Slice of the Cape

When a good opportunity presents itself, grab it. You don’t know if you’ll have another if you let it go. That’s one of the maxims that I’ve embraced growing older (you know you’re getting old when you use words like maxim), hahaa! Anyway, when my mum offered to take me with her as she attended a conference down South, I jumped in head first. I’d never been there before and who knew when next I’d manage to go if I declined?

Street reflection on bus.
Reflections in the city- Cape Town.

She would be making a presentation at the conference while I enjoyed what Cape Town had to offer. How cool is that? But before we could travel, there was the rigorous (and tiresome!) process of obtaining travel documents. If anyone has ever had an easy time with this, please drop me a line. Not to mention the nasty Yellow Fever vaccine that left me feeling dizzy and with abdominal pain. Argh!

The travel date finally arrived and I was all too happy to leave behind the 3-day blackout imposed on us by Kenya Power. You read that right- 3 days. We got to the airport just in time. It was intriguing to note how many security checks we had to go through. Air travel has become so complicated these days, it’s sad. The scrutiny is quite detailed that I’m afraid in the future we’ll be required to prove that we’re humans- not droids- before being allowed aboard. That’s in contrast to the numerous pigeons at the airport that I looked at in envy. They just spread their wings and fly. No procedures.

Airplane wing and clouds.
I got my head in the clouds a little…

Fast forward to our arrival. The flight was uneventful (except my ears almost exploding from pressure while landing). I was quick to embrace the extremely comfortable hotel bed for a much needed nap. I would have slept for hours if it wasn’t for the offer of dinner from one of mum’s associates. Who can say no to free food? I’m glad I accepted the offer, the food was absolutely delectable! That was the BEST chicken curry I’ve had to date!

Indoor self-portrait.
EPIC self-portrait in an EPIC hotel room.

Breakfast the next morning was no different. There was an embarrassment of choices ranging from juices, yogurt, fruit, cereal, ice cream, waffles, to various kinds of meat and bread… and that’s not even half of it. Westin hotel is just the best. The epitome of luxury living. The food, accommodation, prompt and kind service by staff…hats off to this establishment! I wouldn’t mind going there again.

The heavy breakfast came in handy to energise me for my expedition to Table Mountain. But before I got there, I was fascinated by seagulls at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. So noisy but kind enough to pose for a few shots.

Seagull bending.
Maybe if I curl up just enough, I’ll disappear.
Seagull looking back
Hey, what’s back there?

A ride on the popular City Sightseeing buses afforded me the opportunity to enjoy views of the city. I chose to take the top decker for maximum effect. Culture shock does not even describe what I felt going through Cape Town. The streets impeccably clean and safe, the buses on time, the roads free of traffic jam and things generally working the way they should! It was a total contrast to home! You need to visit for yourself to really get it. For real.

Cape Town street.Check out that CLEAN street!

Highrise buildings on Short Market Street, Cape Town.
Looking on up! Urbanscapes.

When we finally arrived at the mountain I was lost for words at the sheer beauty of it all. God’s creation is really amazing. Rock formations rising metres and metres high overlooking the great expanse of the sea. “By your (God’s) will and for your pleasure were they created,” goes a line from the Bible. I couldn’t agree more.

View of the ocean from Table mountain.
Magnificent views from the base of Table Mountain.

Rising to the top by cable car offered even more amazing views. It was thrilling yet slightly terrifying at the same time, looking out below through the transparent sides of the car. Especially when it jolted! The staff put us at ease by playing and singing along to ‘Don’t worry, be happy’. Talk of friendly customer service!

Cable car.
It’s a long way up!

Table Mountain was not done serving me views yet. I was mesmerized when we got to the top. I couldn’t decide whether to shoot or take it all in. I could have been there for hours and not noticed time flying. The animals also captured my attention. One of the most interesting creatures I’ve ever seen- the dassie- was quite fascinating. It just sat on the rocks scratching at unseen parasites, occasionally glancing up at us ‘pesky tourists’. Not making a single sound the entire time. The more lively Red-winged starlings hopped about waiting for crumbs from those having snacks.

Dassie looking up.
Back away or I’ll bite! The dassie.
Red-winged starling bird.
Red-winged starling giving me the side-eye.
Red-winged starling full body photo.
Red-winged starling looking stately.

After about 2 hours of wandering on the walking trails, I still hadn’t had enough. I only wrapped it up because of exhaustion. The beauty up there cannot be fully described, only experienced. The only downside is that I’d gone there alone, so I had nobody to take ‘cool’ photos of me. I had to ask strangers to do it, and at times resorted to selfies. (cringe!).

Author on Table Mountain.
One of the few cool photos taken by a stranger.
At summit of Table Mountain overlooking the ocean.
Sitting on top of the world.

With tired feet and a full (camera) memory card, I reluctantly began my sojourn to the hotel. It was definitely a day well spent. A sumptuous dinner awaited us again at the invitation of mum’s friends. I should joyride on trips more often! I got to try Mexican chicken quesadilla for the first time and was instantly sold. It was a great recharge after using so much energy on the mountain.

Large chess board with players.
This is how REAL chess is played.

The next day, we had planned to visit Robben Island. We arrived at the ferry station just in time but…nature had other plans. The ride was cancelled at the last minute due to rough sea conditions. It was with heavy hearts that we left. That was to be the climax of our short stay at the Cape. Especially for mum. I consoled myself by taking a few photos of the waterfront.

Looking outside the window at Robben Island Museum.
Looking outside the window at Robben Island Museum.
Table Mountain with clouds.
Table Mountain in all it’s ssssmoking majesty.

And with that, our trip came to an end. I wasn’t going to let the day close on a flat note though. I braced myself against the rather strong winds and explored the streets for some long exposure shots. As a photographer you’ll do almost anything to get the images you want- and in this case that meant walking alone on those cold streets.

Long exposure night shot South Africa.
Light swoosh!

I totally enjoyed the 2 days we spent there. Robben Island, we’ll be back for you soon! I thank God for allowing me to visit and enjoy a slice of the Cape.

Lively street band at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Lively street band at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
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6 thoughts on “A Slice of the Cape

  1. Envy envy envy envy jealousy jealousy green green green. Ata sijui chicken curry ni nini…good that I let that out. Anyway, back to photography and the blog. Maxim (what’s that?) I ain’t no photographer let alone a professional one. I don’t know the criteria that sets apart an exceptional pic.

    With that said, my instincts- which never fail me- told me…this is a heck of a good job. I love the pics. I feel like I was there with y’all. I like that ur blog presented to us a South African story from the girl next door kinda perspective. The kind you just wouldn’t find. Hope many people log in to this.

    I love the pics still figuring out how you took the bus pic. Next time try get the exact species of the bird. U can even go as far as getting the scientific name. For me still expecting the other half of the seagull story. I love the street pics too. Very different compared to ours. Is it cos it’s a posh neighbourhood? The dassie if you didn’t know is the only animal that can look into the sun comfortably. An adaptation against predation. And don’t worry about no one takin professional photos of you. The beautiful scene did all that for you. The pic is perfect. But if it still bothers you so, teach a good Samaritan how and what angle to take it from. Tourists are mostly happy obliging people ready to help fellow tourists.

    My fav photo…hard to pic but I root for- Sitting on top of the world. PS minus any professional knowledge. Just my fav.

    KEEP IT UP!!!!!!!!!! THUMBS UP

    One last thing…how are those long exposure shots taken????? They baffle me.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the elaborate and heartfelt comment Kiringo! Didn’t know about the Dassie’s superpower. For the long exposure shots you’re welcome to hang out with me one of these nights.

      Like

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