Cape Town, Day 1, and the journey there

Getting to Cape Town turned out to be one of those protracted flight experiences that no one enjoys.  We arrived at the airport at 9am on Friday where we were promptly informed that, due to a mechanical issue with our original plane, our flight was delayed to midnight.  We sighed, checked in, and promptly headed back home.

I spent most of the day on my computer doing more research on South Africa, we ordered in pizza from my favorite local restaurant, and then headed back to the airport at 11pm.  There was no gate assigned yet because, to our chagrin, the flight was now scheduled to depart at 3am.  Of course, none of this information had been posted on South African Airways’ website.   Reluctantly, we spent the next four hours in the airport waiting for our flight to depart, and then boarded our flight, happy at least to see the plane was new, there was no one sitting in our row of seats, and that there were plenty of movie options in the in-flight entertainment system.  We arrived in Johannesburg around 2am local time, missing our connecting flight to Cape Town of course by that point.  The airline arranged shuttles to move us to a nearby hotel where we groggily climbed into bed for the next few hours.

We caught a 7am flight to Cape Town, a pleasantly short flight of about two hours.  We caught a taxi to our hotel, checked in, and the hotel kindly fed us breakfast in our room.  Unfortunately, the cable car to Table Mountain was closed due to high winds so we decided to take a train to Kalk Bay.

The walk from our hotel to the train station was a fairly short one, but an eye-opener.  Our hotel was located in the central business district, which was pretty empty save for some rather unsettling people.  We stuck close together and, at one point, we noticed a young guy walk past us carrying what appeared to be a knife.  The train station was also pretty empty–we bought our tickets and boarded the train, which was not unlike a NYC subway during the 1980s with tattered seats and graffiti.

I love looking out the windows of trains in other countries and was treated with gorgeous ocean side views as we got closer to our stop.  We disembarked at Kalk Bay and perused the shops in the charming seaside town.

Kalk Bay florist shop

We then made our way to Olympia Cafe for lunch.  We both ordered fish dishes though I have to admit Adam’s which was cooked in a light, coconut sauce, was the better of the two.

After lunch, we made our way back to the train station–we had some time before the next train so we checked out the small ocean front.

I drank in the oceanside sights on the train ride back and we headed back to our hotel for a siesta.  I had made reservations for a restaurant on the V&A Waterfront so we took a taxi there and walked around the waterfront and the mall before making our way to our restaurant.  The food was pretty standard touristic fare but the views were good and it was a nice way to spend our first night in Cape Town.

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