Visiting the "Mother City" and more...

Visiting the "Mother City" and more...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Safari June 30-July 4

We have been on Safari, just north of Port Elizabeth, at the amazing animal parks... Please forgive us for not updating. Our location does not have internet. We will however be leaving for the beachside on Sunday afternoon... Many transmissions will follow.

We are taking a time out right now as Germany takes on Argentina in 2 hours.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vuvuzealas = Ear plugs

The game # 56 [sweet 16] was today and we enjoyed every bit of it... Spain beat Portugal 1-0 in a game that was hard fought by both teams. 'The Prices", sat up close to the pitch. Wow we had no idea just how loud that Africans celebrate this game. The buzzing of a swarm of bees comes to mind, except the bees have dolby speakers attached to their nest. [The blowing sounds can be heard 24 hours a day around the city.] This shrieking white noise did become so loud, at times, that our triple flanged ear plugs were struggling to keep up. The environment inside this new facility [Green Point Stadium] was electric though. It is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye in its design. Have a look for yourself.
Cheers for now.

Enjoy the sites and sounds from our great seats...

Driving>>> part 2

The next step of our journey landed us in what looked similar to the Bordeaux region of France. The wine routes of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek had these magical ways of bending the light from the rising sun. Rays of the brilliant break trickled through the vista's and peaks in the nearby mountains, [too which I do not know their names]. Close to a magical setting. It was a another perfect weather day again.

The mercury tipped in at 82 F/26 C mark. There was not a cloud to save our lives. " Das ist kommish", say's Tanja; knowing that June & July are considered to be the wettest months, here on the western cape.
We enjoyed the fine wines for about an hour and moved in route to the most southern tip of Africa. Oye, a big warm Thanks goes out to our wine manager, Corbus of the Kanu Winery. Your fine hospitality and most of all; letting us in on the best kept secret in Stellenbosch. You see we took his recommendation on a lunch establishment. It was exactly as he had described to the letter " T".

Please let me take a second to digress, about the hospitable African Spirit of the rainbow nation people. We have been treated like royalty! During our stay in Capetown all of the Africans were quick to immediately greet us. Even just, while walking down the street. Each of them asking questions about our stay or fairing, in this region of the southern hemisphere. Their kindness and affectionate sense of connection is from the on set. Honestly; these people are of all colors and walks of life. Poor and well to do folks are interested to tap into us. We do not know why this is happening but we are just as curious of them as well...

This brings me to a Buddha laced establishment. It is decorated in a Indonesian style, with gorgeous wood carvings and ornate little Asian trinkets.
Finding it still too early for lunch we had a Rooibus tea and the most delectable slice of apple tart. Mind you, that this "secret" is not a tourist pit stop at all.
Well any who, back to my story about the "African Spirit". Literally, about 49 seconds after sitting down at the large wooden deck table, we noticed two casual customers coming towards our table. "Their faces were inviting, as the sun that was shining." Hearing our American accents, I believe; gave them the key to say "Hello." Although, I can't believe that our new friend Cherry has ever been a shy gal in her life at all...
Nearly 45 mins later, we had to just pry ourselves apart. We had all become like long lost neighbors. Tanja now has a new facebook mate, as a result.
Cherry and Hazel; the great stories you both collectively shared was a [blessing] to us. Tanja and I appreciate your gracious hospitality for picking up the tab as well! (I know, can you believe that?) ... Just know that we will use your [shared energy power] for good and pay it forward.
Perhaps, we were all connected in some other life form in the past. It certainly seemed like more of a reunion, than a first chance meeting.

Driving around ... Part 1

Capetown by car

This was our exploration day. With no real schedule set, we left out early in the morning from our very charming B&B called the "40 Winks." Tanja assumed the driving responsibilities again, while I became the GPS manager. We drove and soaked in everything. A few times, I became verklemmt gasping at the shear site of the Shanty town of Langa.

[The video below is not ours , but it is a fine example of the true poverty. It takes 4:44.]
***found on you tube, by charles1985***

We pulled ourselves together and witnessed "barefooted mothers" carrying their babies across the 6 lane highway. Each time, almost losing their precious loads while traversing the large medians.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Mother City

Cape town is known for their true melting pot of culture, it is far deeper than the cliche that we use in America, with the visions of old referring to NYC (at Ellis Island). Immediately upon arriving 3 distinct shades of people were evident to our eyes. All with the biggest non-forced smiles of greeting. The western Cape has opened its arms and its "Table... "to us.

South Africa boasts some different 12 national languages and a host of others, which actually use their tongues to "click" them out audibly. Many of them are combinations of Dutch, German, English and others are partial tribal dialects too.

White, Colored, and Black persons all make up this "Rainbow Nation" which seems to be losing their infancy stage of financial and political development. It would be very difficult to really declare this fine city as a developing nation on the immediate surface. It very much feels like a first class European/American small town.
Tanja remarked earlier, that it reminds her of her favorite city in the US. (Seattle.) They have show-cased modern roads and fancy buildings standing tall on the dark continent. This vision is far from the mental preconceived thoughts of dirt and uncivilized region.
We drove from the airport, (GPS in hand) on the opposite side of the road was rather scary me the passenger. Thanking our lucky stars, that we purchased the full insurance coverage, my better half cautiously eased through traffic just like most Capetoneans. (minus their speed.) Apparently, they [all] seem to be trying to out do each other in very small stretches between round abouts.

The small nice hotel sits just 3 blocks from the green point stadium and at the foot Lions Head portion of Tabletop Mountain. It is the small little nub to the right. Since arriving, we have eaten really outstanding prepared meals. The fine wines and local beers are absolutely the perfect pieces to finish out any meal. Let us say, that this high quality has a rather lower price tag. Today for instance Tanja par took in a very fresh seafood called Grilled King Kilpfish, which was finished in a lemon butter chive cream. Truly Delicious! I must add, that most of my planning of trips center around food as well as the venues.

The daytime activities so far, have included us getting familiar with the local establishments and the geographical area. The thousands of international visitors are all decked out in their respective country flags in the form of soccer jerseys and color splattered costumes. I am enjoying that men have no problem wearing " make up", in the name of soccer.

Today we took a break from the fun and did a day of reflection. I got a true historical lesson of how this country was given a new birth barley 15 yrs ago. We boarded a fast boat to the world heritage museum of Robben Island (Seal Island). 200 others, along with us spent 3 hours seeing where one of the most notable persons of peace [aka. the 3 M's] in the world made an impact; due of his perseverance.

Nelson Mandela, soon to be 92 yrs of age on July 18, 2010, spent 27 years in prison as a political prisoner. This tour was emotionally moving. Our guide, Yasid Muhammad, a colored man was well versed, he skillfully weaved every country into how the world was connected in the struggle of the people of S.A. Yasid served as a political prisoner for 12 yrs. His mastered ability to include over 18 nations represented on the bus, into the 1.5 hours of the outside perimeter. We viewed the worlds 3rd largest bird habitat. It is stunning!
The other two most powerful M's>>> men of peace<<<>

Hope you all enjoy the pics of Capetown.

Travel Day to Capetown

Well friends and family, I must apologize for the delay in the last few postings. We woke up early. Feeling a bit more refreshed than the day prior. Tanja, acting as my co-pilot, developed a fine appreciation for the underground tubes. She made sure we ended up at each location with no stress what- so-ever. {If you all have noticed, I always find a chance to give her a "shout out" in this log.} The agenda comprised of just hanging out around London basically waiting, until it was time to leave for our red eye flight.

Very loosely, we sauntered around aimlessly, ending up in the most peculiar locations. The town was really coming alive on this early Saturday morning, with Wimbledon, and 2 separate concerts. One of which was at Hyde Park, just some 800 meters away from the hotel featured Stevie Wonder and the Kings of Leon. This show alone was almost worth adding or pushing the flight off for at least another 24 hours... Staying focused we forged ahead filling about eight hours. In true "check-list tourist" form, we walked past the changing of the guard, managed to buy foreign magazines from Harrods and lastly had time, for one last Indian meal; while watching Brazil and Portugal on the television.

The ensuing tube ride back to Heathrow was uneventful, but the check-in had a brief hiccup that threw us for a loop. Faced with almost a $1000 USD in over baggage fees [22kg/48lbs over the limit]/ flying on South African Airlines. We decided to jettison yoga mats and security bars in order to save our precious vacation tender. This problem became evident, when we flew business to London and coach to Cape Town. Different amounts were allowed. I angrily [mostly at myself ] repacked literally 16lbs of clothes/shoes and other useless items into my already overstocked rucksack in record time on the floor of the airport with only minutes to spare before departing. Tanja helped also as we stuffed her purse with more of my items from toiletries bag and other random items.

Fast forward ahead... Still sweating and mentally steaming, I made a command decision to have a few adult beverages. Ok, sigh, I confess- 4 glasses later of wine in this 12hr. journey. Tanja in her non stressful travel mode fell softly into her rested state in the middle of reading a Frau magazine.