Friday, March 22, 2013

SOUTH AFRICA: Day 12 Cape Town to Jo'burg

March 12th

Bye bye, Cape Town!

this sculpture in downtown Cape Town sort of summed up my view of Cape Town's personality. It's an some kind of traditional figure with Bart Simpson popping out of it all over. That is Cape Town - Africa and the West, traditional and modern, Dark and Light. 

Time to go home.  :-(  And I'm taking the long route....

I love train travel - luxury train travel a la 1920s Orient Express...white glove service, multi-course meals, turned down beds...  When I was backpacking in Kenya a few years ago, I took the night train from Nairobi to Mombasa and it was heavenly!  When I saw that SA had first class trains as well, I knew that was the only option for me to get back to Johannesburg.  I would NOT take a 20 hour bus ride cramped like a sardine and why be stuffed into an uncomfortable airplane seat even for 2 hours when I had 17 hours of plane travel ahead of me to get home anyway (Jo'burg to London, then London to NYC).  So I splurged and got myself a ticket on the Premier Classe train from Cape Town to Johannesburg. It's a 26 hour trip (departs at 9am from Cape Town, arrives in Johannesburg at 11am the next day) through the SA countryside AND the perfect place to shoot certain scenes for the film.  This is the end of this trip and I had to go out in style.  First class to Jo'burg, baby!

I mean it's totally that old fashioned glam of the Orient Express glory days.  Plush carp throughout. Rich wood paneling. Super clean and fresh smelling.

The shot's a little blurry so you can't really see that that's my name on my cabin door!  Private cabins, private service, so your personal waiters and porters addressed you by name!

Tight, but plush cabin. Complimentary everything: slippers, bathrobe, towels, shampoo, lotion, bedding...everything!  

A little welcome note...!

The welcoe note and the meal schedule.  Breakfast, 3 course lunch and 5 course dinner are served in 
the dining room car! Cocktails are served in the bar car! And high tea is served whereever you like!  Um, can I live like this everyday, please!?

Dinner, of course, comes with SA wine...  So cool to sip this while breezing through the vineyard areas of this breathtaking country.

those vineyards....!

you return from dinner and, TADAAAA! your bed cabin has been turned into a bedroom, thanks to the  gracious Premier Class staff.

just what a backpacker needs after budget trekking and camping... 
(oh, and by the way, this train trip was even MUCH nicer than that Nairobi-Mombasa one!)

After this, me and the little red backpack will be headed to the airport to fly back home.  What a trip!

p.s. I also got some great footage on this train and I'm really excited to incorporate this into the film.  "Premier Classe" is now in production! 

p.p.s. If you're interested in train travel, you HAVE to check out my go to site, Seat 61.  They cover every possible detail of every type of passenger train ALL OVER THE WORLD! They're the reason I knew which trains to take in India, Kenya and SA.  I highly recommend!!!

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