Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are sonorous names that make the heart of every wine connoisseur beat faster. On the way there we visit the beautiful winery Vergelegen in a wonderful location and get in the mood for the coming days.
There are not many options for camping in the wine region and we go to the Berg River Resort south of Paarl. The campground is located on the river and is strategically located for our upcoming wine marathon. We meet Ebi there with whom we have been in contact via social media for some time. He has been traveling in Africa for years and is currently traveling alone because his wife is visiting her parents in Germany. With the Uber cab, we can easily get from A to B and we are already sitting at our first wine tasting at 11 o'clock in the morning. Five wines are available and each glass is poured generously, so about a good eighth. No wonder that the mood rises and very elated we walk a few hundred meters to the next winery. There we treat ourselves to the exclusive wine tasting with appetizers and eight wines. Towards evening, we visit the night market at the Boschendal winery and then return to our car, very satisfied with the day.
The next day we take it easy and start with a delicious lunch at the Noble Hill winery. As the name suggests, it is indeed noble in a very appealing ambience and we eat a delicious fish dish. For the wine tasting, we then drive to the Plaisir de Merle winery. For much more the energy is not enough today and we are back at the car in good time. On the third day Ebi leaves us and we go off alone. It is Sunday and almost 40 degrees hot. We can't get an Uber cab. We assume that they are doing wine tasting on the weekend. After an hour of futile efforts, a camping permanent guest offers to drive us. Today we rather feel like pizza and beer, but probably more people came up with this idea today. In the early afternoon we decide to end the day with a cool bath in the river. Unfortunately, we have again the Uber problem, but the manager of the winery arranges a ride with an employee who brings us back to the campground.
On the way to the cape we pass a workshop because of a brake control light that turns on unmotivated. The repair drags on and sometime in the afternoon one suspects a defective switch that must be ordered. Without further ado we decide to bring forward our visit to Cape Town, because we can leave the car comfortably in the workshop. We book a hotel in the city center and are even driven there by an employee of the workshop. We are right in the pedestrian zone not far from Long Street and can reach many sights on foot from there. For today, our Energy is still enough for a short walk to a delicious steakhouse around the corner. Then it is enough for today.
Tourism is an important economic factor for the city and Cape Town is a popular destination in the European winter. However, it is also a city of contrasts and the gap between rich and poor is wide. Due to strong security presence, one can move more or less carefree in the city center during the day. After dark, however, it is strongly recommended to take a cab, even for short distances. The city center around the Waterfront is the Cape Town of the whites and the young wealthy city population who have made it out of poverty and like to show it. There is then already times at noon in large round Champganer for 150 euro the bottle in the Nobelrestaurant at the Waterfront consumed around afterwards in the Ferrari, or the Stretch Limousine the next goal headed. The other Cape Town are the townships that extend south and southeast around the city and where a good 3.5 million people live in abject poverty in the hope of work.
In the morning we go on foot to the city tour. Just around the corner is the Malay Bo-Kaap district with the beautiful colorful houses you see on the postcards of Cape Town. From there we continue to the Waterfront. The waterfront was completely redesigned in the 1990s and is now the center of tourist Cape Town. Here restaurants, bars, supermarkets and stores line up and offer everything the supposed tourist heart desires. We stroll around and use the good light for photography.
With one eye we squint every now and then to Table Mountain, which is covered in clouds until noon and then shines within half an hour in full splendor and cloudless. We take an Uber cab to the parking lot and from there the cable car up to 1100m. At the top, a fantastic panoramic view awaits us and we stay there for a good two hours and walk the trails.
Afterwards we visit the Holocost Museum. The only center of its kind that commemorates the Holocost in Europe and racism and discrimination in South Africa. We spend the evening in a good fish restaurant on the Waterfront.
This morning it is raining and so we don't go to the Waterfront until around noon and buy tickets for a visit to Robben Island the next day. The Zeitz Mocca Museum of Contemporary Art is the largest museum of contemporary art in Africa. The interior of the former grain silo has been architecturally redesigned into a work of art, and it houses lots of galleries and temporary exhibitions on nine floors. Some of the artworks are quite somber and deal, among other things, with the genocide in Rwanda and with rape and violence.
Right next door is the Shimansky Diamond Museum. During a guided tour, you learn everything about diamonds, which then ends in a large sales room that looks similar to Tiffany's in New York. After Karin did not want to give away some of the good pieces, we now have to shorten our trip around the world.
Opposite the World Cup stadium is Wednesday evening Farmers Night Market. Here you can stroll around and try the different dishes at various food stalls. Then it is enough for us for today and we take a cab to the hotel.
At 11 we have tickets for the tour to Robben Island. The island was already used as a convict colony in the 17th century. From 1939 Robben Island served as a military base, in 1961 it became a prisoner island again. South Africa interned mainly political prisoners here during the apartheid era, but also criminals. In 1991, the maximum security prison for political prisoners was closed. The most famous prisoner was Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned there for 18 years and became the first black president of South Africa after the abolition of apartheid in 1994. So we are on historical ground. The tours through the prison complex are conducted by former prisoners who describe the prison conditions at that time very drastically and authentically. Our guide was imprisoned at the age of 21 and spent 5 years there. His only offense was his membership in the ANC.
Today we take a city tour by hop on/hop off bus. After a ride through the canyons of the city center, we will go far out into the countryside to the Constantia Winery. There we do a wine tasting and afterwards enjoy a very tasty lunch in a beautiful ambience.
Exhilarated we board the bus again which takes us via Hout Bay and Camps Bay along the beach promenade back into town. We get off at the famous Mount Nelson Hotel and walk along the beach to the waterfront for sunset.
After five nights we leave the hotel and move back to our home sweet home. The problem with the brake light is solved and we can drive down to the Cape without any worries. At the colorful postcard houses in Muizenberg we make a short photo stop and then head for a campsite in Simonstown. There we meet Wolfi & Lucia from Brunnthal and Ivonne & Rene from Gross-Gerau. We had already been in contact with both of them via Whatsapp and are now looking forward to meeting them in person. At the evening braai (barbecue) there is a lot to talk about and the time flies by.
A beautiful walk along the beach leads us to the penguins at Boulders Bay. The many bays with the large stones and the clear water remind us a little of the Seychelles and quite courageously we dive into the sea for the first time since we have been on the road.
Right after breakfast we go the 20km to the Cape of Good Hope. Finally we want to be at the marker point without crowd and before 10 o'clock the chances are very promising at Covid times. After an extensive photo shoot we leave the cape region.
Now we are driving up the west coast to the Cederberg Mountains and from there across the country to Johannesburg. What we experience there we will tell you as always in the next blog. Until then, have fun reading and looking at the pictures.