First Day in Cape Town

First Day in Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa, Africa
Ashanti Lodge Gardens

We had a great night’s sleep after such an exhausting day of travelling, and our day started with a decent breakfast at the hostel. It is a buffet style breakfast in the hostel that’s not bad considering it’s included in the room rate. We were asking some questions of the people at reception at the hostel, but they were surprisingly unhelpful. We asked how safe it was to walk to a walking tour meeting point, and they didn’t even know where it was. Luckily we had our offline maps, so we were able to find it, and it was very simple, and felt totally safe.

We walked through the Company’s Gardens to get to Green Market Square for a free walking tour. We met our tour guide Ken, who is a white South African from a city next to Cape Town. He is a bit of a hippy, but a very very good tour guide. He took us from the center of the city into District 6 and told us about the history of this part of the city and how it was affected by apartheid. It was really interesting.

After the tour we got a taxi to Woodstock, so we could visit the Neighbours Goods Market. This is a market that Ken recommended and it is only open on Saturdays. There was a bit of a hipsterish vibe at the market, but it was still pretty cool. There was a lot of really good looking food stalls open, and I was impressed at how cheap everything was. Melissa got a wrap and I got some Chinese food, and we each had a Woodstock beer, just because I’m from Woodstock. Everything was really good, and by the time we finished our food and walked around, we were exhausted.

We came back to the guesthouse and took a little power nap before heading back out. We got a taxi to the base of Lion’s Head and started to hike up the mountain around 4:30pm. The trail is a spiral around the mountain which is very cool because you get a nice 360 view when you are hiking up. You start out on the side facing Table Mountain, then walk around to see the ocean, and then right around to see the city of Cape Town. It was stunning!

We got really lucky with the weather today, so it was a perfect day for the hike. We got to the top around 5:30pm and the view was magnificent. It was a fairly difficult hike, especially near the top where there are massive rocks to climb up, and some ladders and chains needed to get through some areas. We spent a little while at the top of the mountain just enjoying the view and relaxing. We headed down past the worst rocky part at the top and then found a nice seat to watch the sunset. I’m really glad we did this because as soon as the sun set, everyone started rushing down off the top of the mountain and it became really dark, really quickly. I would not have wanted to come down those rocks in the dark.

By the time we reached the bottom, it was pitch black outside and we needed to use my phone’s flashlight to see where we were going. We got a taxi down to the V&A Waterfront to get some dinner and it is pretty nice down there. This is listed as the second tourist destination to see in Cape Town. I’m not sure that it’s that nice, but it’s nice.

We found a really nice restaurant called Karibu for dinner that specialises in traditional South African food. We started out with crocodile carpaccio and bobotie springrolls, and both were excellent! Melissa got a meat platter for her mains and I had some chicken skewers with a peanut sauce, and they were also great. For dessert we had a milk tart and a creme brulee, and they were ALSO phenomenal! But the best part of the meal was our waiter, Nigel. It was the best service I’ve had in a restaurant in a long time, and the whole experience of the meal is going to be tough to beat on this trip.

We set the bar quite high after our first day in Cape Town! But tomorrow we are going up Table Mountain, so let’s see if we can beat it!

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