By no means was this a planned trip. In fact, it was so in the spur of the moment that we rejected the idea twice before actually finally deciding that maybe we should make the trip. The deciding factor was that Alex, my son, would have to start this year doing online classes . The Corona pandemic has hit hard during this second wave, and like many sectors, treading with caution remains priority. As a result, Alex’s school began the 2021 calender with online lessons, freeing up the the hesitation of proceeding with any travel arrangements.
Being part of a medical family, traveling on a plane was a major concern, so we opted for a more private mode of travel. Yes, there is nothing better than a family road trip. But a 17-hour trip is nothing to be smug about, bearing in mind that South Africa is in the grips of a state-imposed curfew. Therefore, making a 17-hour trip was going to present challenges.
We had 16 hours to make a 17 hour road trip, fun times ahead.
At the stroke of 5am sharp, we were on the road leaving the beautiful red sky of Durban. With absolutely minimal stopping and eating in the car, we arrived in the Windy City at 20:48. Phew! we made it by the skins of our teeth.
Exhausted, we hit the bed like heavy stones in the ocean, only to sink into a deep sleep, reviving our spirits to start unravelling exhilirating Cape Town.
V & A Waterfront
Shopping is my weakness, and unfortunately Durban does not quench this thirst for me. So whenever I hit the Windy City, its time for a spree.
It was an emotional visit to the V&A Waterfront. A once bustling location crowded by tourists and locals now sits scattered with sparsely populated shoppers. Favourite resturants sit vacant and to my disappointment some have closed their doors permanently.
As I sit in a previously in demand sushi restaurant, Willoughby & Co, I reminisce standing in queues waiting to get seated just to relish their fresh sushi. But here I was, with a maximum of 6 tables being filled. Nevertheless, the food was as fresh and delectable as it was pre-pandemic.
The Cape Town Eye, a massive structure that boasts a beautiful viewing post for locals and tourists seemed to stare at me like a massive white elephant, waiting patiently for the room to be filled.
For more information http://www.waterfront.co.za
Described as “where Mediterranean meets cool Cape Town”, Bungalow restuarant is definitely where the coolest of cool congregate. It is quite easy to see why. A fusion of classic decor that unfolds into its modern seating that suddenly stumbles into a beach vibe, similar to what you would expect from the beach clubs of Mykonos. This sets the backdrop for true Cape Town style festivities.
Loving the Mediterrean vibe of Greece, stopping off here for “sundowners” and a meal was a no brainer.
Although the energy in the space was diminished, the food was appetising. Alex had sushi, that was so fresh, the salmon felt like butter melting into the mouth. I tried the fillet, which I must be honest was pretty average.
The spirit of Bungalow that I have become so accustomed to was clouded by the pandemic. The prohibition of alcohol sales has definitely affected the party vibe, and what was noticeable was that instead of having a meal and then relaxing to the sounds of the music whilst sipping on cocktails, people ate their meals and left.
However, the ambient setting that Bungalow finds itself in, still makes it a worthwhile visit whilst in Cape Town. It is important however to understand that it is not the same as a pre-pandemic.
There is something to say about intoxicated people adding merry to a venue.
For more informationhttps://www.thebungalow.co.za
Boschendaal Wine Estate
Cape Town is synonymous with wine, and if you are in the city, wine estates are a must-visit. The reason why I chose Boschendal for my visit was simply that it holds sentimental value. I remember 15 years ago, sitting under the shade trees, a picnic basket filled with deli treats sipping on glasses of full-bodied wine, flavored with hints of black pepper and cherry notes. And now, 15 years later, I sit under the same tree, with the same person who is now my husband, with a new addition, our son. Of course, through the years, we have been to numerous wine estates together, but when in Cape Town, Boschendal is a must-visit.
This visit was just as spectacular as our previous ones, minus the wine. For the first time, standing in the vast estate, tall trees towering over us, the sounds of water shooting up from the fountains and the smell of fresh grass filled my senses, I did not mind not having wine.
We decided to have lunch at the restaurant, and I am not sure whether it was my surroundings, but this meal could have been one of the best meals of this trip. I delighted in a plate of fresh pan-fried fish with garden green, that was crisp and fresh. What is interesting is that the vegetables used in preparing our meals is grown on the farm.
Although people are not permitted to partake in wine tastings or even purchasing wine, the estate was still busy. The lengthy walks through the estate, the picturesque scenery, biking through the dirt tracks, and of course, the spoilt for choice food options make the Boschendal wine estate the perfect family fun day out or even a beautiful romantic day trip.
For more informationhttps://www.boschendalwines.com
Sante Wellness Retreat and Day Spa
Nothing takes your mind off a pandemic like a treat at the spa. Sante is one of my favourites in Cape Town. Nestled snuggly in the wine lands, this spa boasts a glorious menu of treatments.
This spa is without a doubt a sanctuary. After indulging yourself, you can enjoy a scrumptious healthy lunch overlooking the pool on one side and the vast wine lands on the other. It does not stop there, wait until you unwind in the indoor swimming area, a small bit of heaven on earth.
If you are on a tight budget, as many of us are as a result of the pandemic, I caution you. The price list can be intimidating , but its worth every cent.
The question I have is, did you even go to Cape Town if you failed to visit what is the official new 7 wonder of nature?
Table Mountain is an attraction for both locals as well as tourists. I remember taking this excursion many times. All of which was extremely uncomfortable for me. If you are close to me personally, one of my pet hates is being in crowded spaces. So visiting Table Mountain on this occasion was heavenly.
I was expecting to see long tiring lines of excited people, screaming brat like children and the odd all boys outings, but what I was met with was hardly any people.
One would have been shocked and disappointment, not me. I relished in the feeling knowing that I had this magnificent miracle of nature all to myself.
I got to take in all the wonders of this beauty without the hassle of dealing with the pushing and shoving, and for the first time, I really got to see what the fuss was all about.
Long strolls through to each viewing point, captivated by the grandeur of Cape Town was the afternoon I was looking forward to. I was not disappointed.
By no means should this wonder of nature ever be missed.
For more information https://www.tablemountain.net
The “Mother City” is that one place I can go to and fully immerse myself in theatre productions, delectable food and glorious wine when in South Africa. Instantaneously, I can be transported to what may seem a city somewhere in Europe. From the clean streets to the buzzing promenade, this city can easily make you forget that you are still in South Africa.
The pandemic and the lock down has definitely had a negative impact on the city with entertainment venues and restaurants closing their doors. Tourist go to Cape Town because there is a “vibe”. Unfortunately, that vibe was not there during my visit.
There was however, still plenty to do and my family and I enjoyed our time together, exploring a city that we had visited many times before. What lock down did do was give us the opportunity to enjoy each attraction and venue a little more.