Cape Town, South Africa Day 1

                                                    Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain 

February 21, 2010

Cape Town was a much anticipated port.  Our first sight was of the famous “Table Mountain”, which was mostly covered with its frequent ‘table cloth’, which for much of our stay was very thick.  We did not see the mountain without its cloud cover until late on our second day in port.  We had an excursion planned for each day, connected mostly with wildlife, as that is one of the very special aspects of almost anywhere in the southern part of Africa.  Our first excursion went to the West Coast Ostrich Farm, where we got to learn about Ostriches and see several varieties of them.  Some of us tried standing on Ostrich eggs (they can hold considerable weight), and we also got to sit on an Ostrich.  Our guide had corn for feeding the Ostriches, which we could try if we wanted to.  It was fun to try that.  They come at your hand rather fast, but they have no sharp edges on their beaks.  

Following our time at the ostrich farm we headed for the Durbanville Hills Wine coop, where we were scheduled for a tour and wine-tasting.  It was a good way to get an introduction to the wines of South Africa.  We were amazed when they gave us eight different wines to taste.

There were four each of white and red.  They strongly recommended that we taste all of them before we tried the canapes they had sitting on tables along one wall of the room.  Most of the wines were quite nice.  Our favorite was the Pinotage, a red grape unique to South Africa.  It is a hybrid of two grapes that didn’t work on their own, but when crossed came out with a grape that grows well and tastes good.  South Africa is definitely a rising star on the wine scene.

One of the big treats was getting to drive around the beautiful new soccer stadium which was built specially for the 2010 World Cup (see photo below for aerial view).   Our guide had promised that we’d drive around it, and then decided we did not have time for it, unless it was really important to anyone.  We were the only ones to whom it was important, but we did drive around the stadium.  The stadium and the area around it are very beautiful.  The aerial view photo of the stadium was taken by our friend Daphne Grimes.

We also experienced a huge local shopping mall when we went to run an errand.  The place was huge, but very nice, and the people were helpful and pleasant.  Thanks to good help we were able to accomplish our goal at the mall - to get our video camera working again.  This was very important because we were going to need it the next morning.  

The winds are frequently very strong in Cape Town, which is great from the standpoint of air quality, but it literally blows the water around, and we had in interesting time getting on and off the ship in the evening, when the gangway was wet and very slippery.  One can be literally “blown away” by Cape Town...

                                           2010 World Cup Soccer Stadium

© Susan L. Stone 2015