This is a picture of one of the hostels where I stayed. This one is the better of the two. That didn’t mean I stayed there after two nights. I didn’t. I left for 3 reasons: (1) the noise was bad at night; (2) the room cost was relatively high; and (3) the internet was not free. I cut my cost by more than half by moving one block. The cost went from $28 to $12.50. It was still noisy at night but the cost has much more reasonable and the internet was free and it was fast enough. I believe that I could have moved to a larger dorm room (more beds) and cut the cost down to about $15 at this hostel, The Backpack, if I had tried to do so. I think I would have stayed at The Backpack had they done something about the noise because it was a very modern and clean hostel. I didn’t complain. I’ve complained about noise at hostels before and it never did any good. Now, I just move on to one where I hope will be less noisy.
Some of the people who live at the beach at Cape Town have it pretty nice. I’m sure their condos are like condos at any other beach property anywhere else in the world. They’re relatively expensive. They’re smallish. The best ones have ocean views and the very best ones are higher up in the building and have a patio. The very best patios are the large ones big enough to entertain a football team.
Yes, that’s right. I am a dedicated beach guy. Once in a while. This is me at the beach in Cape Town. I went out to lunch with two friends I met in the city and we went for a walk at the beach. It was a beautiful day in Cape Town. I think winter must be the best season in Cape Town because it only gets cool/cold at night. I’m not sure I would want to be in Cape Town in the summer. I was told it gets hot. However, when I looked at the weather averages at one of the weather web sites, I only see it getting up to around 80 degrees. Could it be that some people in Cape Town have no idea what really hot means?
It was amazing. I wanted to go to see Robben Island, the notorious place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 26 years. Unfortunately, all the available tours were booked for over two weeks. I had been told this by others that were staying at the same hostel that I was staying in even before I went to see if I could get a ticket. But, I had to try. When I approached the ticket counter, I saw no one in line line but did see four persons behind the counter doing anything but selling tickets. I could tell they were really bored. The whole thing struck me as ridiculously funny. Why were there four people selling tickets for a tour that was sold-out for two weeks? I guess people need jobs. So I walked up to the counter and no one paid any attention to me for the longest time. I guess they were so used to having nothing to do that they don’t know what a potential customer looks like.
The Cape Town Stadium is a hard thing to miss in Cape Town if you are anywhere near it. I’m sure they play soccer there, but I’m not sure what else. I assume they have cricket matches, but I know so little about cricket that I’m not sure where it’s played. Anyway, they did have the FIFA World Cup finals at this stadium in 2010. The stadium has a capacity of 64,100. Perhaps one of the coolest things about the stadium is that there is an elevated Fan Walk to the stadium from the downtown section of Cape Town so that the fans going to the stadium from the downtown section where many of the restaurants, bars, hotels, and hostels are located do not have to walk in the traffic.
The hop-on-hop-off (HOHO) bus It’s one of my favorite pastimes. Riding them is such a joy. I was holding off on buying my ticket until I got a better lay-of-the-land. My big question was whether I needed a one-day ticket or a two-day ticket. I had thought I had seen on the web site that I could buy a one-day ticket and get the second day free. Maybe I had been a little tipsy at the time as the local brochure mentioned nothing of the sort and had what I considered to be a higher price point than I was willing to pay for the ticket given the limited number of sites on the tour. I could see $15 or maybe $20 for a ticket, but not $30 or $40. I thought that was a bit much. Had this been New York, Paris, London or Tokyo I wouldn’t have quibbled. But it wasn’t. In the end the ticket price was $22 for a two day ticket if I bought online. Not bad.
Cape Town is a large city with an estimated population of around 3.5 million people. I consider that to be a lot of people. The city is quite modern with a substantial sprinkling of older 20th century architecture. This picture was taken from the Castle of Good Hope, a 17th century structure that gives away the age of the city. It was build by the Dutch. Speaking of the Dutch, I was surprised how so many things that are in South Africa bear Dutch names. I had always imagined South Africa to have been a British colony, but it becomes evident very quickly that Dutch names tend to be at least of equal importance in the country. I found that a bit telling. Cape Town is a large city with an estimated population of around 3.5 million people. I consider that to be a lot of people. The city is quite modern with a substantial sprinkling of older 20th century architecture. This picture was taken from the Castle of Good Hope, a 17th century structure that gives away the age of the city. It was build by the Dutch. Speaking of the Dutch, I was surprised how so many things that are in South Africa bear Dutch names. I had always imagined South Africa to have been a British colony, but it becomes evident very quickly that Dutch names tend to be at least of equal importance in the country. I found that a bit telling.
It was one of those classic old buildings that draw me to them. I like the monuments and structures that mankind builds to embody the soul of the species in a semi-permanent temporal state. When I first saw it I wanted to know what it was. I could tell it wasn’t just another building. Granted, it needed some loving care, but I still liked it. When I asked a traffic officer what it was he told me it was City Hall. He also pointed to the place on the steps of the building where Nelson Mandela addressed the crowd out front when he was released from prison. I wondered if the officer had been there when it happened.
Table Mountain is a landmark in Cape Town. The pictures of Cape Town that come from people who take them at the top of Cable Mountain can be simply amazing. I wanted to get one of those pictures if I could. However, the cable car that takes people to the top of Table Mountain was being serviced for two weeks and I was not to be able to get there by cable car. Drats. I could have climbed, but I’m not much of a climber, especially when I have to climb something that has the word Mountain in it’s name. Double Drats.
Cape Town had signs for those who needed directions. It also had a very, very good tourist information center and a very informative staff. It’s very obvious that Cape Town loves visitors. There were hostels everywhere. I got a $30 bed at the same hostel where we had the tour departure dinner, but soon found a $12.50 bed at a hostel that was down the street. The sign that you need to concern yourself with here is the one that says Poverty. It’s the one I had on my back after spending two months in Africa with no income.