Monday, April 28, 2008

Cape Trip - Part Six

On the Tuesday we were in the Cape, we awoke to a grey, rainy day. I was beginning to get a little anxious that we would not be able to take a trip up Table Mountain in the cable car. It’s a “Must Do”, but is only really worth doing in good weather and when the “table cloth” is not covering the mountain. By this point we had determined that as soon as the weather was agreeable we would forgo all other plans and head straight for the mountain. But as that was not on the cards on this misty day, we decided to head to Simonstown.

First stop was Muizenberg - I was determined to show Paula the little huts on Muizenberg beach, so even though it was pouring with rain, I insisted we take a walk down to the beach, to get a photo of the huts – which we did!

huts on Muizenberg beachHaving seen the huts and been duly impressed (if rather wet!), we got back in the car, turned the heater up and steamed our way to Kalk Bay. Kalk Bay is really beautiful, a quaint little fishing village, complete with a picture perfect harbour. Having warmed up and dried off over a mug of hot chocolate in an unusual coffee shop, we headed off for Simonstown.

coffee shop in an old trainKalk Bay Harbour
A must-do when travelling through Simonstown is a visit to the Scratch Patch, where the kids (and adults if they are so inclined) can scratch through an enormous pile of semi-precious stones to select some to take home. You can also take a walk through the factory, watching semi-precious stones being cut and sorted and spend a fortune in the gift shops if that is what floats your boat. It’s all quite fascinating.

Scratch Patch
Having been there and done that, we meandered on to the centre of Simonstown, where we made a visit to the statue of “Able Seaman Just Nuisance” (do follow the link and read up on this remarkable dog, it’s a lovely, true story) and perused some naval vessels in the harbour, Simonstown being the naval headquarters in South Africa.

Just Nuisance
We then took a pleasant walk to Boulders Beach and spent some time with the penguins.

By this time the sun had come out and we drove back to Cape Town, via Hout Bay (where we had an extremely yummy lunch!) along Chapmans Peak drive, a truly delightful drive.

Chapmans Peak Drive
Chapmans Peak Drive
As we got back into Cape Town we looked up at the mountain and it was beautifully clear and sunny, so we made a bee-line for Table Mountain and took the trip to the top in a cable car. The views were absolutely spectacular!

Table Mountain

View from Table Mountain, showing Lion's Head, Signal Hill

and Robben Island in the distance


Elinor Dashwood said...

Oh what memories you have brought back for me! I worked in South Africa back in the late 80's and I fell in love with the country! I was based out of Port Shepstone (Natal) and yet was able to travel the whole country. I loved going to these places you visited!! On our trip we stopped off at the Scratch Patch and I still look at my rocks today and remember the fun time I had picking them out. I also was able to go up Table Mt. on a perfectly clear day! The hike up top is breath-taking. We even ate in the restaurant at the top. Yummy! I could go on and on but I won't bore you. I just wanted to say 'hi' from the USA and let you know I enjoy your blog.

Have a blessed day!

Gill said...

I'm so glad you stopped by Elinor and that you enjoyed reading about our trip. We live close to Port Shepstone, lovely area.

Marsha said...

I'm enjoying your vacation vicariously... I really enjoyed the story about Just Nuisance! Thanks again for sharing your memories!

Amy said...

Great photos!

RE: your comments about the free digital scrapbook software: I got the free program from Scrapbookflair. It's ok- easy to use, but very very basic. I'm still looking for something with more features, but for free, I guess I can't complain! ;)

Jeanne said...

Awww, how homesick you make me now! We also went for lunch at Hout Bay when we were in CT in Feb, as well as driving Chapman's Peak. Skipped the mountain this time and went to Robben Island instead - fascinating!

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