This is the last trip that I took during my college years and definetly one of my favourite trips.I can easily say that South Africa is my favourite country in Africa and the Western Cape my favourite province of South Africa.
I departed from Rome and after a layover in Doha,I arrived,late in the evening,in the city.I usually walk a few hundred meters or so from the airport to find cheaper taxis when I arrive in big cities,but I was exhausted so I just took a taxi from outside the airport.The ride from the airport to the Long Street Backpackers Hotel was $20.I checked-in at the hotel and went to sleep.
Next morning I had a meal at a nearby cafe,The Company's Garden.The food was good and it's a nice place.After I was full I headed over to nearby Iziko Bo-Kapp museum.It's a great place to learn a bit about the local culture and about how the Malay population was brought over here as slaves.The entrance fee was $1.20 and the colorful streets make for a great picture.The place is kinda touristy,but beautiful and a must-do in Cape Town nonetheless.
After wandering a bit around the area,I found myself in the Green Market Square.It's a very dynamic place,where I bought some souvenirs for my friends and family.The prices are OK but I did bargain for some things.I bought a Springboks jersey,even though I'm not that big of a rugby fan.After sampling some local dishes and drinks,I went back to the hotel to get a good sleep.
In the second day I had fish and chips for breakfast and then I set out to see some of the city's museums.
I started out at the South African National Gallery.I'm not big on art,but I always try to visit the National Gallery of a country,as it's a great way to learn some things about the local cultures and their history and it's interesting to see how they differ from place to place.The South African National Gallery makes no exception,as it's a very well-curated place with an extensive collection of art pieces.I spent a couple of hours there before moving on to the next museum.The entrance fee was $1.20.
The next museum I visited was the Cape Town Diamond Museum.It's a small informative place that holds a very impressive collection of diamonds and such.I learned a few things about diamonds,how they came to appear as a symbol of wealth,how they take shape and about South Africa's history as the world's largest producer of diamonds.The museum has a souvenir shop at the end where you can buy some diamonds if you want.The entrance fee was about $6.
In the evening I bought some biltong,the local beef jerky,for dinner and then I headed to a bar to sample some of the local beer.
In the third day I had a quick coffee and some of the leftover biltong from the day before and then I took a taxi to the Table Mountain.The driver left me at the cable car station,where I bought a round-trip ticket to the mountain.The price was $12 and the entrance fee to the national park was $7.The ride took about 5 minutes and the view from up there is spectacular.I got an incredible view over the city on one side and the ocean on the other.
At noon I returned back to the city,where I rented a car.The price was $15 a day and I used it for the rest of the trip.I continued my visit of the park by driving through it to get to the Cape of Good Hope,famous for the fact that the portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias reached it in 1488.It's a very scenic and peaceful place.I spent hours watching the waves crash and I ate at the nearby restaurant.In the evening I drove back to the city and went straight to sleep.
In the fourth day I went to the cafe to eat breakfast and then I headed over to the harbour on the northern side of the city,to take the ferry to Robben Island.The ferry ticket was around $30 and the ride was half an hour long.
On the island I took a bus to get to the prison museum.The island has a tumultuous past,due to the fact that the prison on it operated for centuries.First by the dutch,in the 17th and 18th century,then by the brits and finally by the Apartheid Government.The prison also held 3 south african presidents,the most well-known of them being Nelson Mandela,who was the country's first post-apartheid president and maybe the most famous south african of all time.He spent 18 years imprisoned there and I visited his very own cell.The island has very beautiful nature as well,with a colony of african penguins on the north side of it.
I spent a couple of hours there and then I took the last ferry back to the mainland.I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the city,before heading to a restaurant to have dinner in the evening.
In the fifth day of the trip I drove intro the countryside.The Western Cape is well-known for its wines,so I had to try the wines out,even though I'm not a huge fan of wine.
My winery of choice was the Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate.The food was awesome and the wine even more so and not that expensive(about $6 per bottle).The highlight,though,was watching the hundreds of ducks just strolling around,looking for snails to eat.I spent the rest of the day relaxing there and watching the beautiful south african countryside.I bought a bottle of wine for the evening and then I drove back to the city.
In the sixth day I drove to Gansbaai,a small town on the Atlantic coast known for one thing:shark cage diving.
Since I was a kid I was obsessed with sharks,so I knew quite a bunch of things about this place.It's one of the few places in the world where you can do shark cage diving,but definetly the best,as the place where we did it was not that far from the coast.The agency I chose was Marine Dynamics and they offered great service.They are eco-friendly and the experience was incredible,definetly the trip's highlight and one of my most memorable experiences.We did spent some time waiting for the sharks to appear,but they eventually did.Unfortunately,they weren't Great Whites,but Copper Sharks,though it was incredible anyway.The whole thing was very organized and well-prepared,and well worth-it for the price of about $150.
In the evening I had a traditional dinner at a restaurant nearby and slept at the cheapest hotel I could find at $30 a night.
In the seventh day I drove East towards Cape Agulhas,the southernmost point in Africa and the place where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean.I went for a quick swim between the two oceans.The indian side of the beach was warmer than the atlantic side,and the view is really beautiful as well.
The region is a national park,so I had to pay a $10 fee to enter.I also visited the nearby Lighthouse Museum.The top of the lighthouse offers a very scenic view of the two oceans on one side and the African continent on the other.I spent some time admiring the view,before heading back to Cape Town to catch the flight back to Rome.
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