Blog - South Africa (part 2)

Added on Sunday, 2019-06-02 22:15 CEST in category Traveling
(This blog post is part 2 of a series. You can start with part 1.)

For the rest of our trip we stayed within South Africa, which had plenty more to offer. (It's easy to forget how big African countries actually are due to the distortion of the Mercator projection. To give you a better feel: South Africa would cover the Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, and France, and stretches for about 2000 km!)

Cape Town

We had already noticed some Afrikaans language in Johannesburg, but in Cape Town it was a lot more prominent. Afrikaans is mostly derived from Dutch, and although the different pronunciation makes spoken Afrikaans a bit harder to understand, reading written Afrikaans was a breeze. (See also comparisons of various phrases in Afrikaans and Dutch.)

Afrikaans in Cape Town (1)Afrikaans in Cape Town (2)Afrikaans in Cape Town (3)

We had had some difficulties booking tours online, so we walked into the first tour agency we saw, where we booked a bicycle tour, a wine tasting tour, and a tour along South Africa's famous Garden Route. But before all that we simply went for a bit of a stroll :)

Cape Town architecture (1)Cape Town artworkCape Town architecture (2) Squirrel in the Company GardenTree in the Company Garden (1)Tree in the Company Garden (2)

It was in this park, the Company's Garden, where we first tried biltong, a dried cured meat. It resembles beef jerky, which I'm not a fan of, but biltong was actually quite nice :)

When in Cape Town it's impossible to miss Table Mountain — you can already see it on the picture with the colorful houses above. Although the cable car going up to the top doesn't always go depending on the weather, we were lucky the weather cleared up for the first time in days.

Going up Table MountainGoing down Table Mountain

Just going up and down Table Mountain by (revolving!) cable car was stunning, but once at the top we could enjoy the view from all sides. (Since Table Mountain is so flat, it's very easy to get around.)

View from Table Mountain (1)View from Table Mountain (2) View from Table Mountain (3)View from Table Mountain (4)

When we'd come down from the mountain, we found a tourist brochure for paragliding off nearby Signal Hill! Neither of us had tried paragliding before, but it looked like a fantastic experience, so we both gave it a try :) (I'd gone skydiving before, but that made me sick… Paragliding went great, though!)

Paragliding from Signal Hill (1)Paragliding from Signal Hill (2) Paragliding from Signal Hill (3)Paragliding from Signal Hill (4)

Cape Point bicycle tour

Our bicycle tour actually started as a boat tour to a seal colony :)

Soon we were on our bikes, though, and off we were :) It was a bit unusual cycling on the left side of the road again (and on the left side of the cars as well), but since we were on e-bikes, at least we didn't care about the elevation much.

On our route we passed by a small penguin colony, some baboons, and plenty of gorgeous views.

Cape Point bicycle tour (1)Cape Point bicycle tour (2) Cape Point penguin colony (1) Cape Point spiderCape Point baboonCape Point lizard Cape Point view (1)Cape Point view (2)Cape Point view (3) Cape Good Hope (1)Cape Good Hope (2)Cape Good Hope (3)

As we were cycling we noticed the vegetation to be very different from what we were used to, which we were told is due to the area being its own floral kingdom.

Wine tasting tour

The wine tasting tour was a lot more relaxing: we were being driven around from one winery to the next :)

When tasting wine it's important to remember the 5 S's: see, swirl, sniff, sip, savor. (No, "swallow" isn't part of the 5 S's… :) There's a lot more to it than that, of course, including the breed of grape, the year (sorry, "vintage"), whether it's barrel fermented, etc. Let's just leave it at my wife having had a wonderful time :)

Wine tasting tour (1)Wine tasting tour (2)

Garden Route tour

The first stop on our Garden Route tour was at an ostrich farm. Three fun facts about ostriches: they can only kick forward, their eggs can support my weight, and they love giving massages :D

Ostrich egg

The Garden Route is famous for its wonderful scenery.

Garden Route view (1)Garden Route view (2) Garden Route view (3)Garden Route view (4) Garden Route view (5)Garden Route view (6) Garden Route view (7)Garden Route view (8)

The next stop on the Garden Route was a private safari park! But since this post is already getting pretty long, I'll leave that to next time in part 3 :)