South Africa - Part II: Cape Town, the Perfect Vacation

After spending three days in Johannesburg, my friends and I hopped on a quick and cheap flight to our final destination in South Africa - Cape Town!  I'll say it...I'd move there TOMORROW!  I know, I know, Johannesburg has more culture, and it's more diverse.  I get it.  I'm simply going on the look and feel of the land, however.  It's beautiful, dammit!  I looks like Los Angeles...only in SOUTH AFRICA!  It's a win, for me! #WokeNation would probably side eye me for choosing Cape Town over Johannesburg, but I'onkurr.

 Me when I first saw cape Town from the car.

Me when I first saw cape Town from the car.

When we landed, our driver picked us up from the airport, and even the drive to our Airbnb home was breathtaking.  It was about a 20-minute ride, and I couldn't help but focus on Table Mountain, the clouds floating around it, the palm trees and the colorful landscapes.

But let's get to the information you'd like to know.

Where we stayed:

Our house was located in the Gardens suburb, and it was more than we could have asked for.  The front porch had a direct view to Table Mountain, there was a huge kitchen and family room, and a breakfast nook in the backyard. It was also minutes from a number of great restaurants.  The owner of the home was great, and there were absolutely no issues with the house or neighborhood.  It comfortably fits 5-6 people.  I highly recommend this spot!

Who we booked as our tour guide:

We scheduled a wine tour with none other than Granwell Farao, owner of Cape Trio Tours.  He came highly recommended from a South Africa Connections Facebook group, and we were not disappointed.  He's super friendly, very knowledgeable, accommodating and patient.  No, really...book him!

 

Granwell, in the middle, was an awesome tour guide...and the rest of us...well, this is what we look like after visiting three different wine farms. 

 

After getting checked in to our house, we were hungry, so Granwell kindly waited for us, and then drove us to Arnold's.  He said the breakfast was very popular, so we were a bit disappointed that it was so late in the day.  Luckily, however, we found out that they served breakfast all day.

Dishes you should try:  Flapjack stack, Carol's French Toast, and bbq warthog riblets (I know...I didn't have them, but my friends said they were delicious).

After brunch, we headed to the Canal Walk mall...just to burn time.  After spending an hour or so there, we went back to the house to drop off some things, and then two members of the crew stayed behind and rested, while three of us headed to the V&A Waterfront to walk around and visit the market.  While there, we stopped at Mondiall Kitchen & Bar for some South African wine, and to people-watch.

Bottle of Cloof Duckitt = about $11 — at Mondiall 'Kitchen & Bar'.
 

That evening, the gang decided to have dinner at Nelson's Eye, one of Cape Town's most popular steakhouses.  I didn't take any pictures, but I'll just say it was the best steak I'd had in a loooooooong time.  Also, order the garlic bread!

On Day 2, Granwell picked us up for the much anticipated wine tour. Our first stop was at Villiera Champagne & Nougat, where we tasted several sparkling wines, whites and reds, which they perfectly paired with various nougat flavors.

The set up as we arrived at Villiera Champagne & Nougat to begin our day full of wine tasting!

The fellas of the group at Villiera Champagne & Nougat right before heading to stop #2.

The only thing better at all the wine at these locations, is the scenery.

Next, we hopped back in the van and headed to Stop #2:  Anura Wine & Cheese.  This location was extremely rustic, and it felt like we had the place to ourselves.  We tried three reds and three whites, and they provided a cheese plate for us to pair with each wine.  After finishing our wine, we went out back to capture a few photos of the wine farm.

After Anura, it was time for lunch.  We headed to Le Pommier and sat outside while we dined.  This is recommended because the view is somethin' else.  Also, I have four words for you: Home Made Chicken Pie.  Order it, dammit!  Also, the bread that comes out before the meal is delicious...order seconds.

So we have about 10 glasses of wine in us, and bellies full of food.  So, you can only imagine the ride to the third location.  See below.

 
 

Our last visit was to Seven Sisters Wine farm.  We had the whole place to ourselves, and one of the owners, Vivian, was there to make sure we ended our tour in a great way.  What's cool is that Seven Sisters is one of only two black-owned wine farms in South Africa.

Before leaving Seven Sisters Wine, we made sure to get behind the bar to snap a shot with Vivian, one of the owners.

On Day 3 (shout out to the first day of Black History Month), we had a lot to fit in.  We woke up [late], and had breakfast on the front porch of the house.  Then, we headed over to Table Mountain.  We were lucky because it was a clear day, and there were no clouds covering up the top of the mountain.  No, we did not hike up!  We took the cable car, and that suited us just fine. My suggestion is that once you are at the top of the mountain, luxuriate, enjoy yourself and do not rush.  Because we had some plans after the mountain, I felt a bit rushed, and was disappointed we didn't stay at the top longer, since this was what I was most looking forward to. I'll make up for that next time I go.  However, we were able to get some pretty good photos.

Next, we headed to the beach to burn some time until we met a couple other friends at the V&A Waterfront.  While the beach was nice, and there's a beautiful view, the water is freezing (again, it's just like L.A.).  Because we didn't get there until about 4:30, we decided that we'd take another crack at the beach the next day.

We headed on over the the V&A Waterfront to meet our friends for a champagne sunset cruise with Waterfront Charters.  This was an awesome experience.  Although they say you only get one free glass of champagne, we got way more than that because we were super friendly and everyone was having a good time.

Pro-Tip:  Chartering a private boat is super expensive.  If you have a group of five or more, you may just want to pay individually (about $26 USD), and chances are, you will have the boat to yourself anyway.  We had two people we didn't know on our boat, but they were riding in the front.  So, as far as I'm concerned, we had a private boat, LOL.

On our final full day in Cape Town, we didn't have much planned, aside from briefly visiting Bo-Kaap, and seeing some penguins. We headed back to Arnold's for brunch, and then headed to Bo-Kaap.  Yes, Bo-Kaap is just a place with really colorful houses.  We know...that's why we wanted to go.  It's the perfect spot for capturing amazing photos.  

Then we headed to Boulders Beach to see the penguins.  

Pro-tip: If you go to Boulders Beach while in Cape Town, and pay the R70 to get in, you'll be able to go and see all the penguins on display with the rest of the tourists. But you'll only be able to take pictures from the boardwalk. You won't be able to get up close and personal. However, you can take that same ticket, exit the facility and walk down to the left for about 400 meters to visit the secluded beach area. Show them that you already purchased a ticket and walk right in. It is here that you'll see rogue penguins just walking around the beach and on the boulders. Don't touch them (I saw some Australians getting in their faces with GoPros, smh)...let them do their thing, and enjoy the view.

Chillin' with some rogue penguins at Boulders Beach.

We ended the evening with a nice dinner at The Butcher Shop & Grill, and then went to a couple bars for First Thursday.

As I said before, i could see myself living in Cape Town, but since that will probably not happen any time soon, I'll settle for visiting frequently.  I can't wait to get back!