Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day One of Six in the Mother City - Cape Town, South Africa

Click here for the previous post in this series: Six Days in the Mother City - Cape Town, South Africa

Onwards to our detailed itinerary! As we mentioned earlier, do feel free to leave us any questions in the comments sections and we'll definitely try our best to answer. Anyways, Day One really was a Day Half due to the two-hour flight from Johannesburg in the morning. We paid R 3,698 (SGD 431.19) for return trips for two adults on Fly Mango. It was a pleasant flight with a nice modern cabin (although strangely enough none of the seats recline). Being a budget airline food and drinks aren't included but thankfully the in-flight purchases are reasonably priced.

Six Days in Cape Town Itinerary Fly Mango
View out the window of our Fly Mango flight

The landing was foggy/cloudy as heck though - the view outside the window was zero during descent, and when the fogs/clouds cleared were were literally a few dozen feet off the ground. The captain later came on the intercom and said something about a "Category 3 ILS auto land" ... or basically "we couldn't see sh*t so we let the plane land itself." I didn't know airplanes could do that.

A quick and uneventful domestic check-out later, we collected our cheerful Nissan Micra Rental from Tempest Car hire - really cheap at R 298.20 (SGD 34.76) per day. And this was with the reduced excess, too! In hindsight we should have perhaps splurged a little and upgraded to a nicer car because of how relatively cheap it is. For the best deals check out a comparison site like Kayak - practically all major rental car companies are represented in Cape Town.

Six Days in Cape Town Itinerary Canal Quays Apartments
Canal Quays Apartments, near the V&A Waterfront

Our Home from Home is a short 15-minute drive away and is just right next to the V&A Waterfront. Dubbed the Canal Quays Apartment, it's an absolute steal at just SGD 111.81 per night for a delightfully cozy studio service apartment. There's a washer, dryer, dish washer, TV, fridge and a fully equipped kitchen - oven, cookers, microwave, pots & pans, cutlery, everything! With Pick n Pay, Checkers and Woolworth's Food shops all over town, the flexibility of buying ham, cheese, bread, cereals, juice and stocking up for quick breakfasts at "home!"

Six Days in Cape Town Itinerary Greek Fisherman
Lunch at the Greek Fisherman, V&A Waterfront

By the time we checked in and got comfortable it was already early afternoon though so we headed to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront for a late lunch and some exploration. There are many good, inexpensive restaurants here - we settle on the Greek Fisherman for a seafood-themed lunch. Any subconscious desire for weight watching was quickly squashed with the arrival of the seafood soups: these were absolutely loaded with fish, squid, mussels and prawns, and we had to reluctantly cancel one of our main courses. The darling couldn't even finish the soup!

Six Days in Cape Town Itinerary Seafood Soup Greek Fisherman
Seafood Soup at the Greek Fisherman, V&A Waterfront

As we mentioned in our previous post, visiting in Winter has its' risks - and gloomy overcast skies is one of them. We couldn't even see Table Mountain in the background as it was completely covered by clouds! The clouds didn't even clear up at all until Day Five. So our photos will have to make do with scotch taped photo of the mountain from a previous trip :P

Six Days in Cape Town Itinerary V&A Waterfront
Hanging Out at the V&A Waterfront

Some might say that the Waterfront is a little touristy, but is that necessarily a bad thing? It's cool, it's hip, there's tons of stuff to do, including:

• The Two Oceans Aquarium
• Gateway to the Robben Island Museum (one of Nelson Mandela's jails)
• Handicraft and Wellness Craft Market
• Helicopter tours of the Harbour and surrounding area
• Boat tours (including a pretend Pirate ship) of the Harbour and surrounding area
• Scratch Patch and Cave (Mini) Golf
• Shopping Mall with over 400 retail outlets
• Over 30 different restaurants and eateries
• Diamond museum (and shop)

Six Days in Cape Town Itinerary V&A Waterfront
Hanging Out at the V&A Waterfront

For today though, we went to the Robben Island Museum Gateway to buy our ferry tickets for tomorrow (advisable to buy in advance, especially on weekends), play a round of Cave (Mini) Golf, and do some window shopping at the Mall. There's two supermarkets there - a Pick n Pay (sort of our equivalent of Giant) and a Woolworth's Food (sort of a combination of Cold Storage and Marks & Spencer) - where we we picked up some frozen meals to take home to our 'home from home' for early dinner and an early tuck in to bed.

After all, South Africa is 6 hours behind Singapore, so best not to push ourselves too far past midnight :)

Click here for the next post in this series: Day Two in Cape Town - the Cape Peninsula Drive!

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