It was love at first sight. Funily enough, just few days before I was thinking how hard it is for the new place to enchant me. There were so many great cities I was lucky to visit that now I’m more careful with naming the destination “one of the best I’ve ever been to”. But Cape Town stole my heart from the very first moment that I arrived. And in next 5 days I was falling in love more and more with it. It’s actually hard to name one reason why I went so crazy about Cape Town. It’s more a compilation of places, vibe, views, scents that alltogether made me love the city so very much.
I’ve heard people raving about visiting Cape Town so many times that I was almost sure the place will leave me indifferent. I knew I will enjoy it but nothing more than that. And well, from the very first moment I just felt like at home there! I blame the Observatory for that too, the awesome bohemian neighborhood of Cape Town where I happened to stay. But the whole city was awesome and exploring it was a pure pleasure! Below you can see random things that I loved when visiting Cape Town
I love mountains and I like sea. But when the place has a mix of both I’m in heaven! And Cape Town was like that: located on the shores of Atlantic Ocean, right at the footsteps of the famous Table Mountains it couldn’t be any more perfect! Even if the weather was hot, the nice wind from the ocean made discovering Cape Town bearable. The only downside of the location can be low clouds covering Table Mountain but fortunately it wasn’t the case for most of my stay there.
Going to the top of Table Mountain is a must in Cape Town. It’s the city’s biggest attraction and I can understand that perfectly well – as soon as I saw the view from up there I was enchanted. It’s incredible that such a wonderful nature getaway is located right in the city. From the top you can see big part of Cape Town as well as Robben Island and the Atlantic coast. There’s also a possibility to hike a little bit up there and that means even more breathtaking views. Guess I could have spent hours there, just looking at the world around me, realizing it’s not a dream and I really am there.
During my stay in Cape Town I could see so many incredible exotic plants, growing wildly at the top of Table Mountain or organized neatly in Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. I must confess I’ve never been really crazy about flowers, trees and so on. I liked them, they looked nice but that was all. But what I’ve seen in and around Cape Town just amazed me. Actually in Kirstenbosch I spent much more time than expected because I just had to check every single flower and bush. I think I might have found a new interest in flowers over there!
During my time in Cape Town I stayed in the Observatory – the bohemian area of the city. It was so great to start the day with a cup of tea on the balcony overlooking the main street and observing how the neighborhood is waking up. But it was even better to return there after the busy day of exploring Cape Town – it seemed like the life is much slower there, the place was full of quirky shops and local cafes and I felt like it’s a right place for me. I loved the Obs so much that it deserved a blog post that you can find here.
For some reason I can’t explain difficult issues interest me, a lot. Conflicts, genocides, war, apartheid, divided cities – that’s what I like to focus on when I travel. And even if Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities ever it also hides a dark history. The suburb with the location like from the paradise is the home to Imizamo Yetho – a big township with a dismal living conditions. You can read more about my visit in the post about the life in townships.
In the center of the city you can find one of the “must visit” South African museums – District Six Museum. It tells the story of one neighborhood that completely disappeared during the apartheid rule. The museum is a testimony to the area and its inhabitants and visiting it is a really touching experience as it gives you the idea of the life in this terrible times.
Wherever I was in Cape Town I could feel the city is alive. Fancy Waterfront, bohemian Observatory or cultural Long Street – they all had this special vibe that I enjoyed there so very much. I love cities where you don’t feel like a boring spots or (worst) like a museum. And Cape Town was nothing like that. The young vibe and the joyful atmosphere was remarkable and clearly present all over the city.
In the center of Cape Town you can find this small colorful neighbourhood called Bo-Kaap. It was the highlight of downtown for me. The area used to be known as the Malay Quarter as the majority of inhabitants were Muslim slaves from South-East Asia. Bo-Kaap has a big historical value, is a multicultural center and well, it looks like from a fairy tale. Small houses painted in bright colours, cobbled streets and the overwhelming quietness make this place a perfect getaway from the bustling downtown. I could spend hours wandering around this place, soaking up the atmosphere of old times.
I might not be a big beach person as I get bored after a day of doing nothing. But beaches in Cape Town were incredible. Not only they were clean and sandy but also surrounded by breathtaking mountains that just added up to the overall picture of the place. Location on the shore of Atlantic Ocean makes the water a little bit chilly to swim in but on the other hand it gives a perfect opportunity to surf (or observe others surfing). Each afternoon I tried to spend at least an hour at the beach: in Camps Bay, Clifton or Muizenberg and it was a perfect relaxation time.
These were the small things that put together made me fall in love with Cape Town. At first I thought that almost 5 days there might be a lot but when the time to leave came I was really sad that I have to say good bye to the city. I felt extremely good there, like I’ve been knowing the place for ages. And right now I can only wish to be back soon, not to explore more but just to chill out and enjoy the vibe of Cape Town.
If you’re considering a trip to South Africa don’t hesitate and just go, Cape Town can be a great starting point to explore the country! eShores offers some great Multi Centre South Africa itineraries on their site which will give you some great ideas of the possibilities, however there really are endless options.
Is South Africa on your bucket list? Which place did you fall in love with?
If you think of visiting South Africa or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
NOTE: I wrote this post in partnership with eShores but as always all opinions are 100% mine and Cape Town really is amazing!
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