Cape Town is a breath of fresh air and a cultural mecca after driving so rapidly through sullen places like Mozambique, wide open ranges like Swaziland, and the rolling vast hills of Lesotho. After renting another Merc, we drove straight to The One & Only hotel based on a referral from a V&A Waterfront pamphlet I picked up at car rental counter. This was so tourist of me and yet contributed wildly to our spontaneous nature as The One & Only was not listed on any site we trusted for recommendations. We went on a whim and the view was instantly breath-taking. This hotel is beautiful, almost magical. We were first quoted 8000R-9000R per night for each room and by sheer luck, due to having to have our rooms “released” from a third party holder (probably something like hotels.com), we ended up receiving the room for approximately 3500R which is around $380US per night rather than the $900 previously quoted. Not only did we take the deal, but we stayed an extra day – January 5th through 9th. This was the longest we would spend anymore during our short two week span in Southern Africa. We walked the V&A Waterfront daily. We fell in love with the One & Only’s Nobu restaurant and their spectacular sushi. We enjoyed oysters at the breakfast buffet and at the Victoria & Allen Hotel. Rather than the usual “cocktail” sauce we are used to in the United States, South Africa serves their oysters either raw or with a homemade red onion topping which is sure to spice anything right up! The experience was unusual and tasteful.
We spent an afternoon at the local craft market. We bought hot dogs on the street with chutney topping. We road the Waterfront ferris wheel while I videotaped the boys singing Chicago as we circled round and round. I am partly convinced that it is due to taping this that karma caused me to have my camera stolen before I could copy the video to our computers. We enjoyed the Aquarium – watching the penguin and shark feedings in wonder. We drove to the Cape of Good Hope where we witnessed baboons and wild penguin colonies (in Simons Town). We got gellato in Simons Town and walked through beach side shops. We enjoyed an evening at the One & Only spa, post sunburns which caused most of our massages (and my very undeserving body scrub) to be more painful than relaxing. We spent an entire evening scaling the rocks a-top Tabletop Mountain and enjoying a bottle of wine at sunset from the instantly breezy land above the clouds. We even took a wine tour of Cape Town’s surrounding, famous wine country where we visited three different vineyards. This made for a very pleasant afternoon enjoying massive gardens, warm weather, and cool shade.