A Warm Welcome
"A Bit Worried"
I must admit, there was a certain degree of trepidation when booking our trip to South Africa. I had heared so many mixed reports, some people had enjoyed perfectly uneventful trips, whilst others had the living bejeus scared out of them either by things they had seen, or things they had witnessed. However armed with my usual travellling mantra of "if you dont feel safe do go down the road", we took the bull by the horns and booked a trip to capetown, staying in both the city and the suburbs, and i can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Never felt threatened, and only experienced friendliness from all we came into contact with.
"Sea Point and the City"
Our first port of call in Capetown was Sea Point. Sea Point is itself a fairly innocious part of Capetown, with a long, clean promenade overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, which gives it beautiful sunsets and probably doesnt warrant more than a day or twos stay. Probably the main reason to visit Sea Point, ( other than the Sunsets) is to take Sunday Jazz Brunch at the charming Winchester Mansions Hotel. ( See Separate Entry in Local Customs). We then spent some time in the City Centre, in the trendy Townhouse Hotel, which is in the location of Bishop Tutu's church, and unfortunately the department of correctional services, which did lead you to not really want to explore this area once the daytime workers had gone home, however taxis are plentiful and cheap, so safe travel is not a problem. Whilst in the city a trip to the V&A is a must, and whilst this is a somewhat sanitised Cape Town, it is a good starting point to sample South African hospitality. But do make sure you book a township tour to sample all aspects of Capetown life. One thing I must say is that I am confused as to why the main stadium for the 2010 world cup has been built so close to the V&A waterfront. This area is already developed and there are other areas of the city that would have benefited far more from the investment and infrastructure improvements that this project will attract.
After our time in the City, we moved venues to the beautiful Camps Bay. Overlooked by the Twelve Apostles mountains, Camps bay has most things you could want, a beautiful beach, nice hotels and B&B's, plenty of nice restaurants, enough bars to keep you going, and really nice friendly people. Camps Bay is also a great base for exploring Cape Towns surrounding areas, whilst still being close enough to the City to take a taxi in. Unless you really want to spend all of your holiday in a city hotel, I would recommend you decamp to Camps Bay ( no pun intended ), the B&B's in his area are excellent value for money. In fact English B&B owners could learn a thing or ten from the proprietors of these estalishments. ( see review of Fulham Lodge Guest House)