Cape Town, South Africa is big, beautiful, vibrant, mountainous, coastal, cloudy, sunny, windy (very windy) and overflowing with history, stories and pride. The people we met during our ten days there were genuine and eager to share about their lives and The Mother City. Case and I were like little sponges soaking in the culture, food, sites and most of all our chats with locals. This is my longest post in terms of photographs, amazingly it was difficult to narrow it down to just these to briefly tell the story of our trip. It could have been made into several posts although I honestly think the magnitude of it all was holding me back from posting at all, so here goes.
Their winter is like our summer in San Diego, CA. It was blue skies and light jackets the whole time. From the moment you get off the plane you see Table Mountain. Lucky for us it was still open to visit (it closes for a period of time to prepare for their spring and summer). It is large and the center of attention no matter where you are in the city, much like the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Some days it sits with clouds on top, other days it is clear…those are the days you want to venture up there to see the view. We had to wait a few days to take the cable car up, and when we did it was magnificent. We were giddy to finally be on top and walking along the rocky pathways. You can see the coast for miles and miles, the view is grand. The air is fresh and crisp, it is fairly flat with many crevices and pockets in the rocky surface from the weather.
Luckily we chose to go to the Neighbourgoods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill on our only Saturday in Cape Town, if we’d had two Saturdays we would’ve gone back. Case and I loved it so much we had our breakfast, shopped, listened to music, and then had lunch and fell in love with double flat white coffees all at the market. From there we took a chance with our cab driver Nadeem and spent the rest of the day driving to see the South African penguins, the Cape Point and The Cape of Good Hope. I picked up colorful stones at a scratch patch, a wild baboon climbed into our parked car while we were not in it, an ostrich crossed the road and Case and I just kept looking at each other in awe, truly struck by the beauty of the Cape.
Our trip was full, in the very best way…a sandy walk along Camp’s Bay, a ride to Simon’s Town on a 100 year old locomotive, seeing the colorful homes in Bo-Kaap, eating twice at Sababa, shopping along Bree Street, actually being inside the Skinny laMinx shop, discovering Missibaba, exploring Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, eating the very best fish and chips, drinking flat whites at Jason’s, taking the ferry to Robben Island, strolling the waterfront, sleeping in at The Vineyard Hotel and all the other gems tucked into our hearts.
Visiting Cape Town was bigger than I had dreamed for myself. Case and I found our places, some off the beaten path and others right in the thick of the tourists. Cape Town is not without it’s struggles, crime, townships, harsh legacy from apartheid, economic inequalities and deep divisions. Case and I were told many times before we travelled about the bad things that people had heard, we listened and made well thought out plans, just like we would with any large new city. Grateful for the experience we had. Grateful the cabbies, waiters and shop clerks took the time to chat and enlighten us along the way. The people of Cape Town taught us more than what we could read about. When we arrived early in the morning our first day there and walked off the airplane I was hypnotized by the magnificence of the sunrise and Table Mountain, that is all I could see. Many days later as we rode to the airport to depart all I saw were the two extensive townships on either side of the road leading into the airport, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen them before. I got to see Cape Town…breathe it in, taste it, feel it, for all that it is and it will forever be in me.
A person is a person through other persons.
None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.