Sunday, December 15, 2013

South Africa Part 3: Cape Town

After our Garden Route tour, we took it easy the next few days and just lounged around Cape Town. We felt like regulars at the Whole Foods like store down the street as well as the tapas place called Fork one block away.

Our neighborhood

Also in our neighborhood, Central Methodist Mission 

We decided to stay a long time in Cape Town because we had to apply for our Brazil visa. All our research told us that it could take 7-10 business days and since we had already booked a flight from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo for December 13, we had to make sure to get our visas! We had submitted our applications at the Brazil Consulate (located on Riebeeck and Long Street in the Triangle Building, 21st floor in case anyone is wondering) and paid the expensive visa fee (about $190 per person for U.S. citizens) the day we arrived in Cape Town on November 19. We were told to pick them up on Thursday, November 28 but we got a call that morning telling us to pick them up on Monday, December 2 because of a possible protest that would probably be happening basically right by the consulate building and outside our hostel. Apparently the last time there was a protest like this from the “The Cape Town Informal Settlements Organization," it got a bit unruly. The security message we received from the U.S. Consulate said they estimated 50,000-200,000 protesters. So, needless to say, Paul and I decided to play it safe and stay indoors. Of course only after securing a decent amount of food and wine.

On November 30 we found out that there was in fact no protest the day before as we headed out on a day tour of Cape Town. Our first stop was supposed to be Robben Island but after getting our tickets and standing in line, we were told because of weather (crazy wind), all tours were cancelled that day. Strike one. The other thing we were supposed to do was to visit Table Mountain but because of the high winds, Table Mountain was closed too. Strike two. So, the things left to do: Castle of Good Hope, the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, and wine tasting at Groot Constantia.

Castle of Good Hope

Walking the grounds

Table Mountain is covered in fog

We didn't think we'd get to go up today

Lion Head mountain to the left

Canon pointed toward Signal Hill

Still on the grounds of the Castle of Good Hope

I love the doors...surprise, surprise

Dolphin Fountain

No Table Mountain for us

On our way to the V&A Waterfront, we passed by this unfinished highway. Apparently two different contractors were hired to build a highway to connect but they weren't working together to connect them.

Paul is sad for this rhino

The first Christmas tree we've seen

Great music from this group

Table Mountain is clearing up...

It turned out to be a pretty nice day! But Table Mountain was still closed.

The Manor House at Groot Constantia

Nice pathway


Our last stop of the day was visiting the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, formerly known as the Malay Quarter. It is known for its brightly colored homes and cobbled stoned streets. Check out the pretty colors!


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