The sights and smells of Cape Town

I do apologize for the delay, I have been so busy I have been neglecting this blog so I will try to update it all by the end of this week. Also, I have had some trouble uploading things to this blog but I will do everything in my power to make sure it can be uploaded in a timely fashion.


One day in June I decided to get a taste for all of Cape Town. I wanted to get a better sense of the dynamic of the city, so I opted to go on a day trip around the peninsula in a tour bus. Below I describe each of my stops and what I saw there.


How the tour works: the buses (called city sight seeing Cape Town) have two paths: the red bus and the blue bus. The red bus takes you around the city to historical monuments and what not, and the blue bus does a little of the same but goes around the entire peninsula in a giant circle. Today me and my friends (two other American girls working at the University of Western Cape) decided to take the blue bus. The beauty of this bus system is that you can hope on and off at any stop you want and hope back on the next bus which comes and goes every 45 minutes (so long as you keep your ticket). The blue bus also has the options of taking you to two wineries as well as a nearby township. More on these below. 



1st stop: The Two Oceans Aquarium

This is where the bus picks up tour-goers. Obviously I didn't have time to go to the well reknown aquarium, but perhaps I will do so another time.


2nd major stop: Long Street

Cape Town is known for it’s party scene. The city boasts one of the most world renown party scenes, and honestly I am not surprised. Long street is one of the main streets for party goers as it has more bars that I care to count on my fingers. It also has the Pan African Shop which has “African Couture” and other traditional items which you can negotiate with the merchants for purchase.


3rd stop: Rondebosch and UCT


On the way to the 1st main stop  to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, we pass by the University of Cape Town. UCT is known for it’s stunning campus which is at the base of the mountain. It is about a 10 minute drive from my work, and I work for UCT. It’s a wonderful campus which is considered the best university in sub-Saharan Africa. I hope to visit the campus someday and actually walk around because nearby looking nearly carved into the mountain is the Rhodes memorial.


4th stop: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens


Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is one of the most scenic and enchanting sites one can find in the Cape Town area. The gardens are home to thousands of different varieties of shrubs, trees, and flowers, and local well known artists also display their work at the gardens along the pathways. I took some pictures of the gardens and myself in them.


Also-the botanical gardens have a type of flower you won’t find anywhere else in the world. It is called “Mandela’s Gold” and it looks like a flower of the iris family. It’s quite odd looking, but I took a few pictures. It took twenty years to develop, and because of Mr. Mandela’s contributions to humanity, and to the betterment of South Africa, the country awarded him the honor of having the flower named after him, and having a miniature sculpture in his honor in the gardens right next to where the flowers are planted.