There are a few things that are hard to miss in Cape Town:Table Mountain looming over the city is one, the wind is another. When solid gray clouds are blowing in from the northwest as they are today, the ‘Cape Doctor’ has come and winter is here. If gusts of wind are coming from the southeast sending a ‘tablecloth’ of clouds over Table Mountain into the City Bowl, its summer. When a mixture of the northwest and southeast winds are blowing, it’s everything in between.
What else sets Cape Town apart from other destinations? For one, it’s the diversity of options available on any given day. There are activities for everyone in Cape Town. Make sure to do your research about your particular interests and you wont be disappointed. If you’re at a loss for how to make the best of a windy or wet day, ask a local. The nuances of the mountain make for beautiful, sheltered spots on almost any day. There are beaches that are almost never windy, wine farms with indoor tasting, and hikes sheltered from the sun. On an average day in Cape Town you can wake up to breakfast with an ocean view, take in a quick walk on the mountain, explore one of the world’s floral kingdoms, swim with penguins, see zebra, baboons, and ostriches, visit the ‘fairest cape of all,’ and enjoy world class wine and food while watching the sun set over the Atlantic.
For the budget minded traveler, there is substantial free access to Table Mountain. The US dollar is relatively strong against the Rand at the moment so eating out is far more affordable that in the States. As far as accommodation, there’s an extensive backpackers network in South Africa, Cape Town included. A good guide to backpackers is ‘Coast to Coast’ (www.coastingafrica.com).
Outside of all the regular attractions, Cape Town plays host to a number of international events. At present, the Indian Premier League (cricket) is being hosted in South Africa. International conferences are held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Annual sporting events such as the Two Oceans Marathon, Cape Argus cycle race, and the Cape Epic mountain biking stage race are world class events to participate in and fantastic reasons for an active visit. One of the biggest events is, of course, the 2010 soccer World Cup. Join the rest of the world as millions gather to support their country. Whatever your reason for visiting Cape Town, remember to look into all the possibilities to explore and remember to leave room for the unplanned. Cape Town’s always full of surprises.
photos courtesy of: Table Mountain photo elle_indsay;
World Cup Mascot photo Shine 2010 - World Cup good news
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