Notes from Cape Town

Reflections on the luxury of life interrupted

Wednesday Adventure 1: The City Bowl

red bus

I back out of the garage, head to the bottom of the road and have to decide.  Do I go left? Or right. On a whim, I choose left and end up on the Main Road heading towards Woodstock.  Within 15 minutes , I’m in the middle of Cape Town – the real Cape Town. The City.  This close?  It always seemed so far away.  And so begins my first  Wednesday Adventure – in Cape Town’s City Bowl.

Every cafe in Cape Town specializes in cappuccinos

Every cafe in Cape Town specializes in cappuccinos

For the next hour or so, I maneuver through city streets I’ve been on before, but for the first time connect them to one another in exploration with no destination.  Ah, the Bo-kaap is below Signal Hill, just the other side of Buitengracht Street.  Kloof turns into Long?  And that must be the road that heads to the Table Mountain Cable Car Station.  As I get a sense of the City’s layout, I decide I need a destination and end up in Seaport for a walk along the oceanside.

But first I need a cappuccino, so look for a cafe, and end up on a hotel veranda with a view of the water.  And that’s when I see it stop – right across the street from where I am – the double decker red ‘Hop-On Hop-Off Cape Town City Tour Bus.’  It’s been on my list ‘to do’ but I haven’t take the time to figure out how.  This is just the serendipity I am looking for today. By the time the next bus stops, I’ve finished my coffee, paid my bill and find myself waiting to board.

The rest of the day I ‘plug in’ with tourists from all over the world on the upper deck as we each listen in our own language to African music as background to a perfectly synchronized narration explaining the history and sites of Cape Town.

Purple Turtle Club on Long Street

Purple Turtle Club on Long Street

While most people get off and on, I’m in it for the duration to get a sense of where I want to go next Wednesday.  From the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, to the City Center and up and over the pass into Camp’s Bay and back through Clifton, I enjoy the sunshine, the sea breezes and the symphony of languages around me.

At the last stop, I walk back to the car with a fresh sense of enthusiasm for where we are living this year, and drive around the mountain just in time to pick up Niles from school.  Later that evening  Chuck asks, “How was your day?”  “Great!” I say.  I know it’s just the beginning of new adventures on my own in Cape Town.

View of Table Mountain from the Waterfront - through the bus window

View of Table Mountain from the Waterfront – through the bus window

The Twelve Apostles of Table Mountain end in Camp's Bay, one of the most beautiful - and glitzy entertaining - beaches in Cape Town

The Twelve Apostles of Table Mountain watch over Camp’s Bay, one of the most beautiful – and glitzily entertaining – beaches in Cape Town

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This entry was posted on April 29, 2013 by in Cape Town, Living Abroad, South Africa.

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