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The Things I Love About Cape Town - the views and the oceans

Happy Monday.

I hope you all had a great weekend.  As for me, I had to look at the calendar to see what day it is!  Ah, the joys of being retired - and on vacation!

In case you missed my first blog post about Cape Town - you can find it here are this link.  Geographically Cape Town is blessed to be at the bottom of the African continent and having the Indian Ocean on one side and the Atlantic on the other.  It's divided by Table Mountain. Cape Town and Cape Point lie at opposite ends of the Peninsula Mountain Chain and the drive down through Capman's Peak Drive is one of the most beautiful drives.  Ah, Cape Point and the drive down Chapman's Peak!  One of my favorite places on earth.  Cape Point - and the drive there has become a lot busier - and much more touristic - than when I used to go down in the early days.  Regardless it is still beautiful.  We didn't hit Cape Point on this specific trip, so I wasn't able to take photos for you - but I will borrow a couple to add to this blog post.

It's really hard to capture the beauty of Cape Point.  Hidden beaches, swathes of fynbos, rocky outcrops, a birders paradise - at once soft and yet brutal.  Even though Port Elizabeth is known as the Windy City - Cape Point is, in fact, the windiest place in South Africa.  The wind is strong, crisp and cold.  Some days it can feel as though it is about to blow you off your feet - it feels wild and windswept and you really feel as though you are at the end of the world. It's home to penguins, baboons, ostrich and zebra and, at the right time of the year, the Southern Right Whale. Some people believe that Cape Point is the most southern part of the African continent but, in fact, that is Cape Agulhas and it's another 109 miles south east of Cape Town.  Regardless of whether it is the real end of Africa or not - it certainly feels like it.

Screenshot 2024-02-12 at 3.42.47 AMLooking down towards Cape Point photo:

And, looking back towards Cape Point:

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A few facts about Cape Point:

  • It's the windiest place in South Africa.  In fact only 2% of all hours in the year show calm conditions at Cape Point.
  • The old lighthouse was built in 1857 and was in use until around 1911.  The problem with the old lighthouse is that it a) sits atop Cape Point and is often in cloud/fog b) could be seen too early causing ships to try to round the point and crash- a little bit of a problem for navigation!  It was the sinking of the Luisitania in 1911 that prompted the build of the new lighthouse.
  • The brisk winds means that the air at Cape Point is some of the purest on earth and is home to one of the Global Research Watch's research stations - built to monitor trends and changes in the earth's atmosphere.
  • It's nearest landmass to the south is actually Antarctica.  Near is a relative term - as Antarctica is nearly 4000 miles away
  • Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was the first to round the Cape in 1488

Driving back up the Atlantic side (west side) from Cape Point to Cape Town takes you up the famous Champan's Peak Drive.

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The beauty of this drive cannot really be explained.

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Hewn out of the side of the mountain, the road was created on a layer of granite and the western flank drops dramatically hundreds of feet to the Atlantic below.  It offers 180 degree views and is simply stunning.  For me, it is the most coastal scenic drive in the world.  As you come back up and through Chapman's Peak on the way to Cape Town, you pass areas like Llandundo, Camps Bay, Clifton, Bantry Bay.  Houses on the ocean side are hewn into the rock face with parking spaces on top of the buildings and living areas underneath.  On the mountain side, you need a funicular (yes, your own personal one) to reach your house!  Spectacular views and access to beautiful beaches are worth the price you pay - if you have the money!

I ALMOST got to live in Llandudno.  Almost.  My later father-in-law bought an empty lot in a pretty much undeveloped area just outside of Cape Town called Llandudno.  He thought that they would retire there, but my MIL didn't want to.  So, he offered it to my first husband for much less than he had paid for it originally.  My first husband, much like his mother, didn't want to live there - no matter how much I nagged, pleaded, begged and cajoled.  So, my FIL sold it.  Back then, it might have been a place with just a few houses - but today - it is a rich enclave of amazing houses and we got to drive past it on our way back to Cape Town.  I took a photo of it - and marked the spot where the house would have been built.... ah, well!!!

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Stunning, seriously!  What a backdrop and the views are so fabulous.  Closer to Cape Town we reach the point where we can see The Twelve Apostles

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Green Point Lighthouse was one of our last landmarks before we reached the ship.  I love the shape of this lighthouse - and it's proximity to civilization

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Before we get to Green Point, we pass through Camps Bay.  Beautiful beaches fabulous restaurants, fancy hotels, art galleries, street musicians, palm trees and white sand - it's all a part of Camps Bay.  On the boardwalk there are art installations.   I saw this one hanging between two trees and thought it was the perfect way to end this blog post!

I really HEART Cape Town!

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I'll be back on Wednesday with my last Cape Town post.  In the meantime. warm hugs and prayers for those of you who need a little lift tonight.




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Jeanne H

WOW, what marvelous pictures of sites you are seeing. Lucky girl. Hugs, love your travel talk and photos.

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