New Years Eve was our third day in Cape Town and we had a check list of places we wanted to tick off the list before we rang in the New Year.
Taking the famous Cable Car to the top of Table Mountain was at the top of the list, so off we dashed bright and early. Arriving at the cable car we saw a mass line up that was not moving…oh dear, not a good start. We parked the car and were nearly blown off the side of the mountain.
Well as it turns out they were shut down until the afternoon due to high winds, and for good reasons – those cable cars would have been doing full rotations around the cable had they been running.
Cedric the Gnome kept being blown off his perch when taking his picture with the city in the background!
Well, with this hiccup in the plan we decided to take a drive over to Signal Hill. Offering similar stunning views, Signal Hill gives a great vantage point for the whole city.
We had a great view of the World Cup Soccer Stadium.
After admiring the city from above we stepped back in time for a visit to the Castle, the site of the first settlement at the Cape. In 1666 the Dutch East Company felt it would be prudent to build a fort to protect themselves and their interests at the Cape of Good Hope from the British.
Interesting to note that the Castle was built right at the waterfront, however today it stands about 10 blocks back from the water due to reclaimed land and development into the harbor.
Exploring this type of historical site is just up Mr. T’s alley, and we were quite pleased to know there was a tour starting within 15 minutes of us arriving. Mr. T’s first request: can we please go with the English group?!? Haha! A quick aside: he has been fully immersed into Afrikaans since arriving as my Aunt Caroline (who we are staying with in Cape Town) often switches between English and Afrikaans within a conversation. I must say he is picking up the lingo quite well as we go!
We started off with the firing of this little cannon. Don’t let it’s size fool you! I blocked my ears and still had them ringing for at least 20 minutes afterwards. So for me it didn’t matter whether the tour was in English or Afrikaans, I couldn’t hear a thing!
Having a walk around this significant historic site was a great reference point for how The Cape, and more over, South Africa got settled. Much of our history reflects back to the Cape being a refreshing station for ships on their way from Europe to the East on the trading routes.
After our history lesson for the day we picked up my cousin from the airport and headed to Blouberg (in English: Blue Mountain) beach for a late lunch. We were told to eat at Moyo’s a fun authentic South African restaurant on the beach.
With some GPS challenges, we finally found it and gosh we were glad we persevered!!!
The patio “chairs” and “tables” were surfboards and underneath was a wading pool that was calf deep! So AMAZING! What a way to cool down after a hot drive in the car. Honestly that was the best.
With views of Table mountain behind us and authentic South African fare on the menu life couldn’t get better! We sampled Springbok Carpaccio ( thinly sliced raw buck meat) – so flavourful and tender. Mr. T. was weary at first about eating raw meat in Africa but he loved it when it came, and we lived to tell you the tale about it
My cousin Serena ordered fresh oysters that were caught that morning.
Mr. T. and I were trying to think of an equivalent restaurant theme that would work in Canada – the closest we could come up with was sitting on snowboards with snow underfoot. Somehow it’s not that appealing and we didn’t think the concept would fly so well!
The New Year was rung in on the beach with fireworks and stars over head. A stark contrast to the cold and chilly New Years’ celebrations back in Canada!
Happy New Years Friends. May you be blessed in 2012!