Cape Town Day 1
Arriving in Cape Town
We set off from Stonehaven on a wet Saturday afternoon (after having a lovely lunch at the Carron with Andrea – Gran should have come as well but was feeling ill). The flight to London was on time, we had a 3 hour wait in T5 – which wasn't too bad at all – had supper at the V Bar which was also a quite surprisingly good meal (shame about the loud music though). Boarded our plane which was full and set off 5 minutes early. Can't complain about the flight – it was as expected, hot and difficult to sleep. We arrived half an hour early to temperatures in the low twenties. The early flight arrival confused the baggage handling – they publicised that the luggage would arrive at carousel 4 but it actually arrived on carousel 3. We shared a shuttle bus cum taxi into the centre of Cape Town. We booked into our hotel and after a refreshing shower went out to explore. We walked down Long Street where the hotel is towards the waterfront, were distracted by Green Market Square where we had lunch and browsed the market of local African crafts, then carried on towards the Castle. It was a Sunday and there weren't many people about and most of the shops were shut. We toured the castle and then walked back towards the hotel but came along a parallel street and through Company Gardens. The gardens are fantastic – lush and green with many flower beds, full of pigeons and squirrels and wedding parties taking photos.
Cape Town seems to be full of colours and contrasts, clean but untidy and modern and old all at the same time. There seems to be every nationality and religion.
We went to the Victoria and Alfred waterfront for supper, a very impressive shopping, hotel, residential, eating and leisure complex, rivalling the best of any American waterfont complex (apparently this one was to be the first built any where in the world!). There was every conceivable type of eatery and we picked on Thai. Very good food, beautiful restaurant and scenery and very reasonable cost. We'll be coming back here another evening for something to eat!
On the plane there was an Irish lady sat next to us who was visiting friends in Cape Town for a holiday. We said good bye to her as we got off the plane. As we entered the V & A shopping complex who should we bump into but our fellow passenger! What a coincidence.