Oct 19, 2012

Cape Town - the city of many cultures

If you are traveling to Cape Town for the first time you will be struck by its beauty, language and culture. People are friendly and helpful and the city is a smorgasbord of nationalities. Table Bay is where the first boatload of settlers and slaves landed and Table Mountain is the first thing you see when you arrive. It is said that when the mist hovers over the mountain the cloth is being laid. Situated at the southern tip of Africa is the bushy Reserve where the two oceans meet; a spectacular sight and open to visitors who can dine in a restaurant or take walks along many pathways.  There are baboons walking around freely and you are advised not to feed them.  There is a lot of history, romance and mystery about the early Cape.

The people of the Cape:  South Africans like barbecuing and camping and outdoor activities of which there are many. They like boerewors – thick sausage grilled over a fire – and also love their beer and the Springboks, the national rugby team. For fun and adventure there is bungee jumping as well as a cable car coming down Table Mountain; this is a huge attraction with places to walk and ride a bike. Traveling north from Cape Town you can book into a resort in the Cedarberg mountain range to see the rock paintings of the early peoples of the Cape – apricot-skinned San in loin cloths on display for tourists – and spend a weekend driving around in the jeep looking for wild animals. These people are known as the San and the word bushmen is not used. The city is inhabited by people from all walks of life – Muslims, Christians, Jews, Indians, African Traditional, and there are eleven languages spoken. Because of its beaches and great climate the city is favored over Johannesburg.

Sights and sounds: The first and most remembered site to visit is Robben Island where the former president Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years. The small cell where the president spent most of his life is on display and entails a boat ride to the small island. South Africans love music which includes kwaito, and rap. The city has its favorite comedians and artists and is the birth place of writers like the acclaimed JM Coetzee and Nadine Gordimer. Cape Town is one of the few places in the world where the city, the desert and the sea are within driving distance. As far as cuisine the city has some fine hotels, restaurants and eating places and visitors can have a new taste bud experience in a township with some delicious pap and meat. Cape Town caters to all cultures, wants and needs and the city rocks.

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