Day 22: a day of decadence in Cape Town
Cape Town Travel Blog› entry 29 of 34 › view all entries
We woke up late. It was weird to be sleeping in a bed again. With proper sheets, rather than a dirty sleeping bag, and with a bathroom at less than three metres away. We didn't have too much trouble getting used to this new experience though.
What hadn't changed were the mosquitoes - plenty of those around to entertain us at night.
We walked out into the general direction of the town centre, looking to score some breakfast.
It was by chance that we found restaurant Arnold's, which over the course of our two-day stay in Cape Town would become our favourite hangout in the city.
It was almost lunch time, so we decided to go for a big brunch. Good thing I was hungry, because Arnold's breakfast menu is huge.
And the coffee, ah, the coffee, how I had been craving for some decent espresso.
We didn't really have a plan for today. Didn't really want to plan either. It was a weird feeling, we had just arrived in this new city and it really felt more like the beginning of a trip rather than the second to last day!
With so many things to do in the surroundings of Cape Town, and with all the tours that can be booked, we figured it would be impossible to make a choice so we might as well do nothing. Does that make sense? Probably not, but we decided to go down to the Cape of Good Hope tomorrow and spend today in the city just doing some souvenir shopping and relaxing.
Note to future visitors to Cape Town: two and a half days is too short!
And so we wandered around town for most of the afternoon, enjoying every bit of it. Cape Town is a very colourful city and the influence of both Dutch and British colonialism is evident everywhere.
Via the old colonial centre and some interesting souvenir markets we arrived at the Waterfront (not to be confused with 'Waterkant' which means waterfront in Dutch and Afrikaans but is in fact a different area in the city!).
I am not too sure what to think of the Waterfront. On one hand it is a great place to hang out. The harbour is still a working harbour where you see tugs and fishing vessels sail in and out all day. On the other hand the surroundings of the harbour is completely covered in shopping malls, restaurants and souvenir shops, making it pretty much the biggest tourist trap in Cape Town.
But as I said we had a bit of shopping to do, and the V&A Waterfront Mall enabled Robbel to buy some new sunglasses (hers had perished a couple of days earlier) and I could buy a pair of socks since I had run out of clean ones (beats doing the laundry, right? Not to mention the Christmas motive which suits me very well)
Oh, and we had a couple of coffees of course.
Also, it allowed us to do that other thing I always try to do at least once during a trip: go to the cinema. True, going to the pictures in a muliplex in the most European city on the African continent isn't quite the same experience as seeing something in a local theatre in a town in Central Asia, but we made up for that by choosing a South African film: District 9. Good flick by the way, well recommended.
We spent the early evening sipping cocktails at the Alba lounge. We didn't have enough time (or money) to try the whole cocktail menu. A menu which I must add is one of the most imaginative I have ever seen.
My favourite was the chili-chocolate martini, which, believe it or not, tastes like a chili and chocolate martini!
We had a nice time reminiscing on the past weeks, while the most stunning of sunsets unfolded behind us, pretty much invisible to us. Did no one ever tell these people to always build bars facing west?
Since it was our last night, and we were in a decadent mood, we went for dinner in a very posh restaurant called Aubergine. I must say that this was, hands down, one of the best dining experiences I have ever had anywhere in the world.
The restaurant specialises in mixing local and international ingredients, all cooked to perfection. Before dinner started we were served an amuse-bouche which promised us what to expect from dinner. A kudu and blue cheese terrine on a bed of shiitake mushroom salad. I mean, you couldn't make this stuff up if you'd want to and this unusual combination was just stunning (even if it was only two bites).
I opted for Table Bay rock lobster tails with Thai green curry as starter and a main course of some of the most tender and delicious ostrich fillet you can imagine.
Desert was a selection of chef's favourites with amongst others a lemon crème brulée and strawberry soup.
All these delicious dishes were washed away with some of the finest wines, with the sommelier giving a recommendation for each course.
Obviously this food was well above our normal backpacker budget, but it wasn't overly expensive considering the quality or compared to some of the restaurants we had seen today.
Besides, food of this quality would cost at least three to four times as much in a restaurant in Europe. It was very much worth each and every penny - err rand.