We were oftentimes a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out what we wanted to do in Cape Town. There is simply SO MUCH to do, that we really should have made a more detailed itinerary than waking up every morning asking each other “What you want to do?” Because, every morning in Cape Town, went something like the buzzards on the tree in "The Jungle Book."
Hanfred (and Idette, our South African friends we met in South Korea) suggested we check out Franschhoek (a town outside of Cape Town) but that involved more driving. We heard good things about the hop on -hop off bus tour and enjoyed it so much in Joburg, we decided, in the end to stick to something we could do where we didn’t have to drive or get stuck in traffic. Our first day riding the Cape Town hop on – hop off bus tour began with a ride through District Six, a wander through Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, a tour and wine-tasting at the Constantia winery, and eating some fish and chips in Hout Bay. I know, it sounds like it turned into a really ambitious day, but it was a lot of wandering around, wine, and more wandering around. We were happy.
I had no idea what District Six was until we heard about it on the bus tour. There’s a recommended District Six museum in town, but having gone to two Apartheid museums and a visit to Robben Island, we decided to save the District Six museum for our next visit. To sum it up, District Six was demolished in the 1970s by the Apartheid regime, forcing around 60,000 black and white residents living in harmony out of the area. Now, only 24 houses stand with former residents having moved back to the neighborhood. These houses are surrounded by grass and empty fields as a reminder of what once was.
Our first hop off point was at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. We walked through, took pictures of pretty flowers. It was lovely.
Next hop off point was to get on the Constantia Wine Bus. Basically, this was just another bus that took us down to some different wineries. We decided on Constantia and took a tour and had a wine tasting. The wines were on the dry side. Something I wish was easy to tell by the label, I guess one of these days I’ll get used to figuring out which brands of wine I like more than others. You know, when I don’t hone in on the $9.00 or less bottles of wine…
We tried to go to the Hout Bay Market on our way back, but we were too late and it had already closed for the day. Instead, we grabbed some fish and chips at what looked to be a bit of an institution at the port. I could just be making that up to make a random fish and chips restaurant seem a bit more romantic than it actually was, but it hit the spot after the wine tasting. We walked back through the port, back on the bus and returned to our hostel for the night.
One thing about this trip that we did not expect was how tired we would get. Some nights we are simply exhausted. It never happens at the same time, but one of us will pass out exceptionally early. Tonight, I was in my bunk bed by seven and asleep before eight. Our hostel was rather hopping as well, a drum circle was going on out back, people were drinking in the front. I was asleep.
One thing about Cape Town that we did not expect was how many hostels were owned by young women. Technically, we were couchsurfing at a 28 year old girl’s hostel in Cape Town. It felt on the empty side compared to the B.I.G. Hostel we were at when we first arrived. It was nice, and we were grateful that it was free, but I have to say it just wasn’t as nice as the B.I.G. Andrew missed the brewed coffee and I missed the internet. As much as we prefer a cheaper nights stay, we prefer good coffee and internet even more.