Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
8Trip End May 21, 2013
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Where I stayed
Since the weather was nice, we spent our first full day walking around the city and just exploring. We walked through the Company Gardens which reminded us a lot of Central Park in New York City. There were wide pedestrian paths, rose gardens, herb gardens (which were completely out of control, much like the herb garden I had at home last year), and various museums
We eventually made our way down to the waterfront area (after taking the long way around a set of high end condos, oops). The waterfront area has a bunch of restaurants, tourist activities, and a mall where we found some very tasty macaroons. We ended up having lunch outside where we got our first taste of the pace of South Africa... Every aspect of food service is slow compared to the US and they often seemed to ignore or forget requests. Then at the end of the meal, they just forget about you completely. No bill, no more eye contact, no nothing. It took us almost 15 minutes to find somebody that was mildly interested in having us pay for our meal. This turned out to be the norm and we got good at asking for the bill at any opportunity that presented itself.
The next day we took one of the Hop On, Hop Off bus tours so that we could see some of the sights that weren't within walking distance. We visited the botanical gardens (third largest in the world) and it was incredible. The gardens stretched on as far as the eye could see and was made up completely of indigenous species
Our next stop was a bird and monkey sanctuary which was started by a single man back in the 70's. It now contains over 4000 birds and 400 monkeys, with more being dropped off every day. The sanctuary itself was pretty run down since they don't seem to have sufficient funding to keep it up. The animals all looked healthy though and all seemed to be well cared for. In the end, we couldn't decide if we should feel bad for the animals since it was run down or happy since none of these animals would have survived without the sanctuary.
Finally, we stopped at the oldest vineyard in South Africa. Not being very big wine drinkers, we walked around the area, got some nice pictures and were on our way. On the way back to the city we saw some amazing houses built right on the cliffs leading to the ocean where the wealthiest people live. Their driveways are actually on their roofs (which were on the same level as the road) and they would then take beautiful glass elevators down to their homes.
On our last full day in Cape town, we walked up to the cable cars that bring you to the top of Table Mountain, the plateau that surrounds Cape town
The next day we spent 18 hours in the air flying from Cape town, to Johannesburg, to Dubai, and finally to Amsterdam. The flight was as miserable as it sounds and we were happy when we finally made it to Amsterdam.