Wednesday 28 August 2019

Cape Town, South Africa: Part 3

Rain is always a dampener when I travel as whenever it rains I won't be able to take photos freely, my shoes will get all wet, my photos will not turn out nice, &,... &......I can name a long list of cons that is attached to this 4 letter word "RAIN". Needless to say, my heart sank when I saw the weather forecast for Cape Town just before making the trip as rain was predicted on my 3rd day there. I prayed for a miracle to happen and guess what! God heard it and stopped the rain.

Table Mountain
The first item on my itinerary that day was a visit to Table Mountain. Dark clouds loomed over the horizon and rain was imminent as we approached the cable car station. Table Mountain will be closed to visitors if the weather is bad but surprisingly the ticket counter was opened and already selling tickets to other early bird tourists. 

Table Mountain is deemed a 'Must-Visit' destination in Cape Town as it is the most spectacular landmark in the city. It is said to be one of the oldest mountains in the world, believed to have been formed 280 million years ago. It is the best viewpoint over Cape Town and boasts of plethoras of plant species, many of which are floral. It has a very unique shape. It rises from the sea and is flat at the top just like a table. 
It was extremely foggy at the peak and visibility was bad. I couldn't see far ahead not to mention seeing the city below so I won't be able to say how fantastic a view point it makes. But the important thing is it didn't rain and I was thankful just for that.

I did manage to take a few photos but what is shown here is about the best that I could get.

Visitors can choose to hike up the mountain or take the cable car which is constantly revolving. It only takes 5 minutes to go up or come down. Seen with me here is my tour guide, Reddish, a Shanghai born Chinese who has migrated to Cape Towns 2 decades ago and has decided to call it 'home'.

At the cable car station a few big signage are hung where South Africa announces to the world that 'Table Mountain is one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World', a heritage it is obviously proud about.

The cable car station is at an elevated ground on the mountain slope. You can get a good view of the city below even from here provided the weather is good.

This is the view of Cape Town from the cable car station which has been edited to make the image sharper.

Table Mountain can be seen from many parts of the city. This is taken from my hotel when the fogs cleared up.

Neethlingshof Estate In Stellenbosch
South Africa is one of the world's top wine producing countries and its wineries are attractions not to be missed. In Cape Town, Stellenbosch is the most famous wine producing region boasting of many vineyards and we visited one of them called  Neethlingshof Estate. This is one of the oldest vineyard estates in South Africa being established in 1692.

The entrance into the estate was impressive indeed as the avenue was lined with stone pines that branched out very artistically. 

The estate ground is gorgeous!. Vineyards on hill slopes against the backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, elegant and historic Dutch buildings and manicured gardens set a very enthralling ambiance. 

We came here to have our lunch and also to visit the wine factory, the cellar and to do some wine tasting.

The meal we had at the estate restaurant was quite unforgettable. Thumbs up to its chef.

 The scenery of its surrounds was fantastic. The buildings were tastefully colonial and I just loved being there.

We did a tour around the factory and the cellar before proceeding to do some wine tasting.

Sightseeing Bo-Kaap
We were taken sightseeing around Cape Town and one of the sites that attracted me was Bo-Kaap which was formerly known as the Malay Quarter. This township has houses that are vibrantly painted with rainbow colours but what captivated me was not so much the colours but the history behind its origin. Apparently it was started as a place for slaves brought over to South Africa from Indonesia and Malaysia (my home country). I even met a salesgirl whose great grandfather was from Malaysia at a diamond shop I visited.

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