An American traveler’s first 48 Hours in Cape Town, South Africa
Images by Travis Levius, @misterlevius
My Johannesburg visit was lovely- very grateful to have experienced the misunderstood city for myself- but Cape Town has been one of my “must-visit places before dying” for ages. It’s a place that doesn’t need much selling…we’ve all seen the Mother City top many a list as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, anchored by Table Mountain’s magnificent presence. I have yet to meet an American who’s been and didn’t love it (and want to move there). Anything attracting such constant superlatives runs the risk of being over-hyped, and I was sure I’d correctly assess Cape Town for what it was in my first 48 hours. Is the city really as amazing as everyone (and every travel article) says it is?
In terms of natural beauty: yes. Yes, indeed. Throw in all of those hefty words connoting “greatness” and “gorgeous” and “paradise” into a hat and pick one…they are all apropos for Cape Town.
Enjoying a remarkable sunset on Signal Hill
The city had me even on the plane’s descent flying from Johannesburg. I sat slanted toward my seat’s window, craning my neck to search and lock eyes on that mighty mountain from above. The plane passed over several ranges and hills minutes from landing, and I wondered if the real Table Mountain was so underwhelming that it had passed me undetected…then the plane turned. Like a dramatic film, my window view slowly unraveled a monstrous form in the distance, silhouetted by the backlit haze of the sun with its peaks blanketed by pillowy clouds. I sat speechless in my seat. This was the sight I’ve anticipated for years, a dream finally made real.
My iPhone shot of *that* moment
The dreaminess continued on a scenic taxi ride from the airport- through the city with more amazing mountain, city and sea views- to Camps Bay, a posh and popular beachside area with Table Mountain National Park towering from behind. There, I witnessed a gorgeous bright stretch of Atlantic beach, a diverse scattering of people and plenty of cosmopolitan restaurants/bars yards away from the waters. Cape Town, just 3 hours into my trip, was paradise.
The spectacular Camps Bay
Little Bit of Everything
As a traveler, it’s difficult to resist comparing cities, but alas, I give in all the time. I mentally compared Cape Town with Johannesburg (ha…that will be an upcoming post on its own!) and other cities that resemble a facet or two with the Mother City. While exploring Cape Town’s compact neighborhoods, I saw Miami: Continue reading