Bringing me back from my leave was a trip to Cape Town, which is a favourite destination of mine and one that I had been looking forward to since I saw it on my November roster. We flew out of Dubai International Airport at 4am and landed 9 hours 30 minutes later into South Africa at 11:30am. We only had blocked seat rest for an hour on this flight, so I landed feeling very tired. So I napped for an hour or two, before getting changed and heading in the direction of Table Mountain.
I jumped in an Uber in the direction of Table Mountain which was around a twenty minute drive away. On the way across, the heavens opened and it began to rain which I was really irritated by, however, it worked in my favour as I got to the base of the mountain for the cable car, and a double rainbow had appeared giving the most spectacular view over Cape Town!
What an incredible view, hey? I paid the 330ZAR for the aerial cableway, and waited in line for the next one. In this time the rain had stopped thankfully and I jumped in the car grabbing a window view. What I wasn’t expecting was that the inside of the car was going to oscilate, so everyone got the most amazing panoramic view as they ascended the mountain side. It was well worth the money for the aerial cableway, and I definitely recommend this to anyone visiting the city!
Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. Table Mountain is home to a large array of fauna and flora, most of which is endemic.
At the top you have the most amazing views, and despite the absolutely baltic temperatures (even though its meant to be summer) it really was worth the solo trek up mountain side.
The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately 3 kilometres (2 mi) from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil’s Peak to the east and by Lion’s Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. This broad sweep of mountainous heights, together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbour. The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear’s Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey. It is 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level, and about 19 metres (62 ft) higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.
My plan was to stay for sunset, but I didn’t realise how much the wind chill would make the temperature drop, thankfully I threw in a denim jacket last minute, but under this was a sleeveless gym top, so I was freezing! So I grabbed a coffee at the top, tried to last as long as I could, before taking the cableway back down to the bottom.
At the bottom, I popped back to the hotel to change and meet a couple of girls from the crew for dinner. However, they overslept from their nap and I wanted to eat some steak and have a quick wander through the mall before dinner. So putting on a little warmer clothing, and made my way back out towards the V&A Waterfront.
Ready for something to eat, I had a quick browse through a couple menus before opting for a place called Karibu which I cannot recommend ENOUGH. I started with a gorgeous glass of red whilst I waited for my starter of grilled calamari. WOW. This was one of the BEST tasting calamari I have ever eaten, and I have eaten A LOT of calamari in my life let me tell you that.
Before my main course of a 300g fillet steak with a side dish of local chakalaka. Chakalaka is a South African vegetable relish, usually spicy, that is traditionally served with bread, pap, samp, stews, or curries. Chakalaka may have originated in the townships of Johannesburg or on the gold mines surrounding Johannesburg, when Mozambican mineworkers coming off shift cooked tinned produce (tomatoes, beans) with chilli to produce a spicy relish with a Portuguese flair to accompany pap. The many variations on how to make Chakalaka often depend on region and family tradition. Some versions include beans, cabbage and butternut. For example, a tin of baked beans, tin of tomatoes, onion, garlic, and some curry paste can be used to make the dish. It tasted absolutely amazing, and I can’t believe its taken me this many visits to South Africa to finally try this! I’m definitely going to try and make this myself back in Dubai at some point.
Feeling super full and incredibly sleepy, I made my way back to the hotel after our long nine and a half hour night flight combined with a trek up the mountain side and slept right through til the wake up call.
I had a brilliant layover despite spending it solo, and it confirmed all my thoughts on why Cape Town is the perfect holiday destination for anyone. I can’t wait to see this fabulous destination on my roster in the near future.
As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more daily updates: http://www.twitter.com/Jessicaaahhh http://www.instagram.com/Jessicaaahhh http://www.facebook.com/JessicasJourneyWithEK