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Cape Town

Happy Days in Cape Town or How to Have an Excellent Holiday
I spent my first days in South Africa in Johannesburg, hosted in the house of an old friend. Here I met some locals, all different, part of this “rainbow nation” and I had the possibility to hear some of the eleven main languages of South Africa, like Zulu or Afrikaans. Nevertheless, I got by easily, as English is also on the list and most educated people have a basic knowledge of it.

In Jozi, I saw the impressive Origins Centre Museum and enjoyed an afternoon in the Gold Reef Park. But after a couple of days, I and my friend packed up and took a Mango Airlines domestic flight to Cape Town. And here I had a little bit of everything that makes a vacation sweet!

We dedicated our first days to exploring the secluded pristine beaches of Cape Town. We found Beta Beach, just a ten- minutes drive away from the city center and near it, the Oudekraal, part of the Table Mountain National Park. We found out that we can take a cable car up Table Mountain and abseil 112 meters back down - we did it and my heart nearly stopped.

The adrenaline driven activities didn’t stop here because I couldn’t miss the chance to dive in a shark cage. Only 175 kilometers away from Cape Town is Gansbaai and more than forty shark species call the waters around it.

We spent most of the evenings in Long Street sipping Karate Water( brandy+coke), on the roof deck of the retro bar Waiting Room or on the wide balcony of The Neighbourhood. Sometimes we would bump into some jazz concert and stop in a fancy cigar lounge, under the spell of the amazing African music. During the day, we would return to our exotic nature escapes. We visited Cape Point and stopped at Boulders Beach to watch the penguins. We went wine tasting in the rustic Robertson Valley, went down in the gloomy cellars and then out in the sunshine, walking along the grape vines.

I couldn’t leave without seeing Robben Island – in its former prison, Nelson Mandela spent 18 years. I also dedicated another day to whale watching, the cruises are splendid and observing these huge marine creatures follow their daily routine, fluking or skyhopping is heartwarming.

Of course, I tried some local cuisine. I noticed in local markets that some traditional meals are odd, like amangina (chicken feet) and smileys (sheep’s heads). While I was not really eager to try them, I wanted to taste some African food and I had the chance to taste a variety of delicious meals at Mama Africa and Marco’s African Place. Mozambican prawns, Ethiopian lamb and South African desserts, they all deserve more than a single try.

I am a passionate traveler, so I don’t get easily impressed anymore by the places I travel to, however my holiday in South Africa swiped me off my feet. I could describe my experience in many words, but what sums up the best of it is diversity in everything, from the scenery to the people and the entertainment, the options never end. I could have spent a whole month only in Cape Town without getting bored a minute.

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Cape Town, South Africa
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