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….
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.
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.
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.
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.