Cape Town Diaries: Driving Tour

June 11, 2013
I went to Cape Town with four other graduate students from The Ohio State University. The five of us were studying South African children's literature. Two students are getting their doctorates in children's literature, one student has her Master's already and is becoming an instructor at OSU this coming year.  My friend Scott and I will be graduating with our Master's in Early Childhood Education this August and will become teachers.  My professor and her husband planned this trip, as they had lived in South Africa for a year and knew the area well. My professor's husband teaches at Ashland University, so took a group of undergraduate students to Cape Town as well.  We did some activities with the Ashland group, but some days we were on our own.

The first thing we did when we got to Cape Town was to "get the lay of the land."  We sat back and enjoyed a driving tour of the city, but exited the vehicle and got a closer look at certain sites.

Our first stop was a brief one at Sea Point.




Next, we stopped for awhile at Clifton Bay.  My prof's husband compared it to the Sausalito area near San Francisco.  The weather was so nice and the beaches were so beautiful.  I wish we could have spent a whole day there just having a picnic and lounging about.  The streets were lined with super cute cafes.




We then stopped at Signal Hill and got some nice views of Table Mountain and Lion's Head.



They had paragliding right off of Signal Hill!  It overlooks the whole city...how cool is that!?  If I ever go back to Cape Town, I definitely want to do this!



Our next stop was the Company Gardens which is right downtown.  We also saw an art museum, Parliament, and St. George's Cathedral.




Next we went to Bo-Kaap, which is the Cape Malay area of Cape Town.  When the Dutch colonized South Africa, they imported Malay slaves from Indonesia for free labor.  Because of this, there is a significant Muslim population in Cape Town compared to other areas of South Africa. There was talk of this colorful historic area getting torn down during Apartheid because under Apartheid many non-whites were forced to leave their homes and resettle further away from the city center.  Once the residents were forcibly removed, homes were destroyed, and there are still vacant gaps in Cape Town from where these houses once stood.  Although Bo-Kapp was and currently is an area full of non-whites, the homes and buildings in this area still stand because even the whites agreed that this neighborhood was too special to destroy.





Finally, we were dropped off at the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront and given some free time to explore it before we had a mandatory group dinner at a chain restaurant called Ocean Basket.





 Here's a picture from our dinner at Ocean Basket.  The dinner was compliments of OSU.


After dinner, we headed to a pub called Mitchell's where I enjoyed a Castle beer.  Scott enjoyed a whole sampler of various beers!


I really couldn't have imagined a better first day!  It was just what we needed--not too many activities crammed in, but just enough to enjoy the magnificent city of Cape Town.

What attraction appeals to you the most in Cape Town?
8 comments on "Cape Town Diaries: Driving Tour"
  1. Nice photos! It looks really nice there. I wouldn't do the gliding over the cliff though lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did paragliding before and loved it! I could never do anything like skydiving though...I'm too much of a wimp!

      Delete
  2. The pictures are so great. Especially the landscape. I'd love to see it all :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should go if you get the chance!

      Delete
  3. Your trip looked amazing! Your pictures turned out really good! I m glad that you had such a good time, but I am glad your back :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks! These were only pics from my first day. I'd like to post pics from the rest of my trip, too!

      Delete
  4. All the pictures are amazing. I think my favorites are from Clifton Bay - the beach AND the mountains - just lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was the perfect 1st day in Cape Town! My prof and her husband did a great job planning this.

      Delete