This is my submission for the ‘3 Things in the City’ I Love contest by Velvet Escape, Traveldudes and Wimdu.co.uk
It’s easy to see that I love Cape Town. Merely looking at this blog’s title proves it. I love it not only for the mountain, the beaches and the fact that you have nature on your doorstep, but also for the very unique, creative feel that the streets themselves generate.
I love discovering niche spots that can’t be found anywhere else in the world – that tiny store showcasing local design while offering you a sandwich, that coffee shop of which the one corner is dedicated to selling vintage clothing and that all-day eatery that doubles as an exhibition space for furniture designers. I love the new shelves and fancy coffee machines that are accompanied by rickety staircases and arched doorways, and I love the places where the second hand leather couches and non-stop wifi tells you that you won’t be chased away any time soon.
Cape Town is a special city in that it has magnificent natural beauty that’s coupled with an incredibly innovative city centre. The ocean and the legendary Table Mountain locks it all in, so you never have to walk far to find something new to admire. Historical buildings and modern structures stand shoulder-to-shoulder and century old cafe’s and modern studios often share a side street.
So, after much thought, I have put together three things to do to truly experience Cape Town.
1. Walk the streets of the CBD
Firstly, the actual city centre is so small, that it’s easy to make your way around. Secondly, avoiding traffic, one-way streets and delivery vehicles that park in the middle of the road is considered a bonus in most cultures. But don’t just visit the museums and the Company’s Gardens, get yourself lost in the street buzz. You’ll not only stumble upon some delicious coffee and a world of meal options, but you’ll also get to admire the buildings and a few hidden, tree-lined side streets.
Just click around this blog to get an idea of the type of places you’ll discover once you loose yourself in the CBD. And don’t worry, the whole place is designed in a grid, so getting completely lost is out of the question.
2. Join Kloof Street’s early morning breakfast club
To get a feel of a city, I recommend living like the locals do, if only for a few hours. Cape Tonians love their breakfast routine, especially on a sunny morning, and especially in Kloof Street. This, a more trendy and hip street, is a little removed from the CBD and consists of a strip of restaurants and higher range stores. Many of these restaurants have breakfast specials before 8am, and although this might sound a tad early, there is something about sipping your coffee, looking out over the street and watching as the city wakes up and starts a new day. You’ll see that the people joining you are dressed in anything from suits to bicycle shorts and you’ll instantly feel right at home.
Here’s a few further tips on how to be part of Kloof Street’s hip breakfast club and a breakdown of where you’ll find the best bacon and cheapest croissants.
3. Hop on and off along the Southern Line Route
Vibrant and entertaining city centre aside, Cape Town also has some beautiful direct surroundings. And what better way to explore these than by train. The Southern Line Route travels from the city centre, through the industrially charming Woodstock, and on to the coast where it then winds its way along the rugged coastline and stops at the picture-perfect towns of Kalk Bay and Simonstown. Both of these deserve dedicated blogs considering their beauty, charm, history and cuisine, so you simply cannot merely pass through. That’s why this particular hop-on-hop-off train ticket is perfect. Buy either a one-day or two-day pass and use it as many times as you like, making your way from the beach, to the bakery and on to enjoy fish and chips at the harbour. You’ll be amazed at how close you are to the city centre as you gaze at the mountains and the ocean around you.
Off course, there are so many other things to do in Cape Town, but I feel that if you’ve done these three, you’ll acquire the same kind of city-love that I feel for this, the Mother City.