Tag Archives: cape town

Seal viewing at Hout Bay – Part 1

The most popular day trip from Cape Town is probably the drive down to Cape Point, about 60km south of the city. It goes along spectacular drives to coastal suburbs and villages, and then finally through the Cape Point National Park to wild capes.

Our first stop of the day was in the fishing town of Hout Bay. Originally it was the source of Cape Town’s timber – not much of the forest is still in existence, as you can see.

Seal Cruise

Its natural harbour made it a perfect place for a fishing port. It still maintains a fishing fleet today, although much of the catch seemed to be for export.

Seal Cruise

Nowadays, the holiday-makers, sea-changers and recreational sailors have also moved in.

Seal Cruise

Next, we’ll go on the water.

Cape Town – Part 5

One of the most colourful neighbourhoods in Cape Town is Bo-Kaap. It has traditionally been the home of the Cape Malays – descendants of slaves and traders originating from the East Indies (now Indonesia). The oldest house in the area was built in 1760s but the community has its origins all the way back in the mid 17th Century.

Bo-Kaap

Most were (and still are) Muslim, hence the high concentration of mosques on the block. Despite this, there did not seem to be much tension based on religion. Talking to locals and going by the nightly news, South Africans are much more concerned about the state of their government than differences in religion.

Bo-Kaap

The Cape Malays brought with them their culture and food – so much so in Cape Town that today many South African national dishes are quite heavily spiced, and popular with all South Africans, regardless of race. I sampled some of the food while in town, and generally liked what I ate, I must say that they are very different to any Indonesian/Malaysian/Indian or Malaysian dishes that I know. And yes, the samosas (or samoosas as the South Africans call them) are good.

Bo-Kaap

Nowadays, South Africa is a country of immigrants, especially from other parts of Africa. One community represented are the Ethiopians.

Addis in Cape

We had a taste of Ethiopian food one night. It’s certainly a different way of eating!

Addis in Cape

Addis in Cape

The spicing is rather unique, I thought – they seem to use quite a bit of cardamon in their savoury food. Their way of taking coffee was also unique. I’ve never heard of popcorn as an accompaniment!

Addis in Cape

Cape Town – Part 4

Another remnant of the Dutch colony of Kap Staad is the old fort, the Castle of Good Hope, built in the 17th Century. It was where the first commanders and their entourage lived, and though it had been fitted with cannons, they were never fired in anger.

Castle of Good Hope

Castle of Good Hope

The fort used to sit right on the beach, but since land was reclaimed and the coast line moved 1km further out to sea, it now sits by the highway and railway. Table Mountain views abound from here.

Not far away was the Company’s Garden that the Dutch established, initially to grow food for passing ships, but later expanded to include a pleasure garden.

Company Gardens

Company Gardens

I saw a local goose walk by, spring chicks in tow.

Company Gardens

And there was a statue of Cecil Rhodes, a somewhat divisive figure of Colonial Africa now, though he did much for South Africa.

Company Gardens

Cape Town – Part 3

Cape Town has had an interesting history as a colony. It was in the hands of the Dutch who docked to replenish food supplies on their sometimes year-long voyages from Europe to Asia in the 16th and 17th Century. There’s evidence of that it some of the buildings around the city, like this old church.

Historical Cape Town

Historical Cape Town

And this house Dutch-style house.

Historical Cape Town

Then the British took over in the 19th Century and brought their brand of Victoriana with them. It’s in the public buildings.

Historical Cape Town

Historical Cape Town

Historical Cape Town

And in the churches.

Historical Cape Town

Historical Cape Town

When the 20th Century came around, there was once again a burst of building in the Art Deco style.

Historical Cape Town

Historical Cape Town

It’s quite a cosmopolitan place.

Cape Town – Part 2

We walked from our hotel on the Foreshore to the V&A (Victoria & Alfred) Waterfront. It used to be the major dockyards for the city but now has largely been gentrified and upgraded for tourists and locals alike.

V&A Waterfront

V&A Waterfront

V&A Waterfront

The main docks are now elsewhere but it sometimes still gets some maritime trade.

V&A Waterfront

V&A Waterfront

Though we walked through relatively early on a Saturday morning, we saw plenty of people out jogging, cycling, even dragon boating.

V&A Waterfront

Cape Town – Part 1

At the end of August we headed for South Africa where Hubby had a week-long conference in Cape Town. I was lucky enough to tag along on what was my first visit to Africa.

Cape Town is dominated by Table Mountain. I’ve seen lots of images of the mountain and the city, but it wasn’t until I got there that I realised that the mountain was right in the middle of the city.

Cape Town

At just over 1,000 metres in height, it’s like having the Blue Mountains popping out of your backyard.

Cape Town

It dominated the city-scape and made for a very scenic backdrop.