Cape Town at it’s finest.

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By midday, I arrived on my dream destination after a 2-hour flight from J’oburg. Feeling excited to finally see one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But at the same time sad knowing that my adventure would soon come to an end. Just eight days left before going back to Norway.

Situated on the southern most tip of the African continent, the city and its surrounding area is one place I will never forget. I had a hard time finding a hostel in terms of location. The city is quite large. But not as large as J’oburg. Eventually I ended up in Cape Town Backpackers. The location of the hostel is superb. Only halfway between Table Mountain and V&A Waterfront in the City Bowl. Long Street is also within walking distance.

 

While in Cape Town….

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There were so many things to do in Cape Town. First thing I had in mind was skydiving. I thought it was the right time to do so and since it was cheaper than in Norway. The hostel had it organized for me on my third day. A 40-minute drive north along the West Coast road was all it took for us to be whisked from the city centre to the only drop zone serving the country’s tourism capital, boasting one of the best views in the world from altitude. That was the time when I got extremely nervous once again since the Zambezi gorge swing. After a short briefing, we boarded a small plane and flew all the way up to 10000ft. The view from above is absolutely breathtaking. To the south, the city lies sandwiched between the iconic Table Mountain and Table Bay harbour. Further to the south, and to the far side of the mountain, lies False Bay & Hout Bay. To the West, I could see the Robben Island. And the Langebaan lagoon to the north, which is an ideal place for kitesurfing. The whole thing was just simply amazing. I felt the adrenaline rushing through my body the moment we jumped out of the airplane. It was a 25 second freefall at 200km per hour before the chute was released.

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The plan was to visit Robben Island afterwards. However, I got obnoxious after skydiving which lasted for the rest of the day. So I ended up walking in Long Street looking for a particular book which I couldn’t find in J’oburg. Long Street has a lot of bars, restaurants and small shops. I could literally find everyting I need. I stumbled upon a small bookstore where I finally found that book I’ve been searching for. The “House of bondage” by Ernest Cole, who is a gifted photographer and spokesman. I was surprised how pricey it was. So rare and ridiculously expensive. The book itself is a series of photographic essays, an indictment of the inhumane conditions under which black South Africans were forced to live during apartheid.

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“House of Bondage”. Published in 1967 & once banned in South Africa.

My favorite part during my stay were hiking to all three mountains. All of them gave me a great view of the city. Lion’s Head was the first mountain I summited right before sunset. The view of Camps Bay was just priceless. Followed by the iconic Table Mountain a few days later and eventually the Devil’s Peak. Other highlights were the Robben Island, township tour and penguin encounter in Simon’s Town.

Finally, I want to mention about the nightlife, which is obviously not so important. During my stay, I could go out often. The nightlife in Cape Town is very active. There are so many bars and nightclubs. Furthermore they are often full and have very good DJ’s too.

View from the top of Lion's Head.

View of Camps Bay from the top of Lion’s Head.

View of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain.

View of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain.

Devil's Peak. The view to the left is the Lion's Head & Robben Island to the right.

Devil’s Peak.
The view to the left is the Lion’s Head & Robben Island to the right.

 

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V&A Waterfront. Cape Town’s bustling, dining, shopping and entertainment area.

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Boulder’s Beach

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Last day was spent on cycling and a little bit of shopping at the end of the day. I rented a bike at V&A Waterfront and started cycling on the way to Camps Bay before settling down to relax on Cape Town’s famous Clifton beach. I could only bathe for a few minutes. The water was so cold so I laid down on the white sand for most of the time. It was the final day of my 7-week adventure and South Africa was a perfect place to end it.

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Sea Point

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On my way to Camps Bay.

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Camps Bay

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Clifton Beach

Clifton Beach

Racism & inequality

It’s been 22 years since the apartheid ended. I had the opportunity to get to know some locals who had experienced the regime. It seems that little has changed. Sadly, the abolishment of the system had only acheived political freedom. Not economical freedom. This colorful nation is a complex and changing country that is still dealing with a legacy of racial division. Wealth is no longer defined by skin color. But based on what I have seen, the vast majority of the poorest are still black. The gap between the haves and have-nots is as wide today as it was during the apartheid years. Nevertheless I had a great time although this problem is hard to ignore. For various reasons, diversity and multiculturalism can be too difficult to manage. There isn’t a succesful example in the world. Though of course many other people in multicultural societies live life in harmony with others. Some befriends, date or even marry people of other ethnicities. But the unspoken truth is that living in a former colonial multiracial society brings about many challenges that are yet to be solved. Can I see myself living in a place like this? To be honest, no. I can’t imagine living in a place where extreme racism is still thriving. It will probably take centuries until the differences are gone. This country is truly beautiful & has a lot to offer. From breathtaking landscapes to white sandy beaches. For me, post-apartheid South Africa is nothing more than a great holiday destination and will always will be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “Cape Town at it’s finest.

  1. T. Michelle says:

    From the stunning landscapes to the great food and people, Cape Town is amazing and rightfully considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But as you witnessed, it also harbors the ugly aftermath of apartheid – pervasive racism and economic inequality. I hope this will soon change.

  2. Sheri says:

    What an amazing experience. And the 20 seconds of free falling must have been such a great rush! I have always heard people traveling to South Africa and experiencing many life changing moments. I am happy you got to visit. South Africa still has a long way to go regarding racism and the effects of apartheid.

  3. Cape Town really is an amazing city, though the remaining inequality from apartheid is really apparent still.L I imagine the aerial views from skydiving there are fantastic! Love the penguins!

  4. Epepa says:

    Your photos are absolutely amazing, that one with view of Camps Bay from the top of Lion’s Head in my favorite! I’d like to go there one day and see it on my own eyes.

  5. Capetown definitely looks like an amazing destination with so much to see and do. We would love hiking to the three mountains atleast for that breathtaking views of Camps Bay and the jagged massif from the top of Lion’s Head. And so many penguins on the Boulder’s Beach just wow. Did you have a chance to see them from close?

  6. Jen Morrow says:

    Your observations of the racism make me sad and angry. What a shame, it is such a beautiful place, and they have penguins!! Someday I will visit and I hope the racial issues improve.

  7. wow that looks like such a beautiful place to visit. I had a friend once that grew up in Cape Town, she never mentioned how nice it was

  8. Great post and very well written, plus I love how your ways on capturing those photos! I wanna skydrive too!

  9. Cape Town looks like a really happening place. Great to see you got a pleasant weather there. Those penguins were very cute.

  10. star lengas says:

    I’m hoping to visit Cape Town in the spring, your pictures look great — I really want to check out Table Mountain! I loved your commentary on the on-going racism and social inequality happening in South Africa. I think it’s so important to remember that although we’re visiting as tourists, others have to live in these conditions — which is really upsetting.

  11. Kat says:

    There seems to be an endless list of things to do in Cape Town. Wonderful photos. The view from the mountain is lovely, and those penguins at Boulder’s Beach are adorable! Too bad about the racism issue. I think this kind of mentality takes several years or even generations to change.

  12. I agree that Cape Town is a wonderful place to visit. I loved shopping and eating on Long Street, going up Table Mountain and seeing the penguins. It was a wonderful place to go for New Year’s Eve and to see the Kaapse Klopse parade. I can’t wait to go back!

  13. Ana says:

    Your post made me nostalgic about my first skydiving. It was an exhilarating experience. I loved your pictures.

  14. Andra says:

    Cape Town is surely a must-see destination. The views it offers are just breathtaking. I would love to see those penguins. However, it’s sad to hear that there is still inequality there. It seems that there are a lot more things for people to learn and apply

  15. Voyager says:

    You had a great time in Capetown,enjoyed reading about your adventures. The skydiving was indeed an adrenalin pumping experience. Stunning pictures too. Sad to learn about the economic divide that still exists there.

  16. Tamshuk says:

    Really appreciate you mentioning those few words of the prevalent racism in the country because people hardly talk about it.

    The city is so beautiful and I can imagine your adrenaline rush while skydiving there. The table mountain and boulders beach are my two favorites in Cape Town for when I plan to visit there.

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