Saturday, March 16, 2013

SOUTH AFRICA: Day 4 Cape Town

March 4th


so happy to add this Cape Town to my own list of exciting cities (only 3 more to go, at least by this list)...

Oh. My. God.  Directly on arrival, this city is so different from the others.  Even the train station is a clean, shiny and friendly!  I'm in love immediately.  It's beautiful, warm, modern.  And the people are chic and friendly!  It's got the best of Africa and Europe.  I even see clean cut White people walking the streets barefoot.  I'm home.  THIS is my kinda town. I've picked a hostel, last minute of course, right in the downtown area on Long Street.  Such a good call!  The place was perfect.  Penthouse on Long might be the best hostel I've ever stayed at IN THE WORLD.  Awesome rooftop (with bar, bbq - or braai, as they call it here, - huge lounge, game area....), I could go on and on about this place alone.... (here are pics of that rooftop Shangri-La)

rooftop view of the Lion's Head, one of the mountain peaks next to Table Mountain, a famous plateau that overlooks the city

I'm still wearing that ridiculous outfit when I arrive in Cape Town, so the first thing I do, right at the train/bus station, is change out of the shorts and boots and put on a skirt and my sandals - only to find out that my sandals are broken.  So once I'd checked in at the hostel, I went immediately out to get new shoes.  Already burning up in the boots, I wear the uncomfortable, broken sandals, figuring that I can walk barefoot to the shop, if need be, BECAUSE THAT'S COOL HERE!  I didn't quit do that, but soon as I got to Mr Price which was like an H&M store, I took off my cranky heels and shopped barefoot - that's a great feeling. Stores in the US should allow that.  Hmm.  As I put on my new shoes on the way out, another shopper was doing the exact same thing. We chuckled at that, then went our own ways.  I strolled around Greenmarket Square, and decided to pop into a Kurdish cafe for a bite.  And who do I see in the bathroom of that cafe, but that same woman who'd just replaced her own shoes at Mr Price.  We laugh again and this coincidence turns into an evening of laughing and talking together. She introduces herself as Renee, then corrects herself and says "Radiyah! I've just become Muslim so the name is still new for me".  How's that for a conversation starter?!  She turns out to be a social butterfly who basically holds court at this cafe.  Hours and a hookah later... she and her friend walk me home and invite me out for Salsa dancing later this week.  WELCOME TO CAPE TOWN!

"That Kurdish Thing" special cocktail at Baran's - deeeeeelicious.

view from balcony at Baran's overlooking Greenmarket Square

Back at the hostel, I chill on the sexy rooftop with fellow travelers til the wee hours.

Cape Town is my town.

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