My small guide to South Africa
Once again, my spouse hat has taken me to enjoy a trip to a very special destination. And although it was a business trip with a jam-packed schedule, we managed to find some time by ourselves to discover some of the small treasures in the area.
J O H A N N E S B O U R G
Our first stop was Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest and most densely populated city. We stayed in the Saxon Hotel, the same place Nelson Mandela stayed temporarily after being freed in 1990, when it was still a private residence. In the photos you can see the small exhibition of Mandela’s history housed in the hotel. In the Saxon I felt like I was in an oasis of exuberant plant life and exotic birds wandering free around the grounds. It’s a pity that I can only share two places in this city which has so much more to offer, but the professional commitments meant we had little free time:
Marble Restaurant. A friend in the city took us to this restaurant the only night we stayed in Johannesburg. We ate delicious grilled meat and would have loved to have a drink in the “lounge”
Trumpet on Keyes, 19 Keyes Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
Soccer City Stadium. I was lucky enough to walk on the pitch where we won our first World Cup and I was really moved to see my partner there, reliving that moment and telling me about his incredible experience. We even recorded a small video for our two daughters, telling them what this place means for their father, which they will understand much more when they are older.
C A P E T O W N
The next day we moved on to Cape Town. I had already visited this city for work as a model a few years ago, but I was once again impressed by the breath-taking landscape made up of the imposing Table Mountain so close to the sea. This city is buzzing with life and it is clearly a top holiday destination with a fun and friendly atmosphere which made us extend our trip by a day to enjoy the place a bit more.
Waterfront, in Cape Town. Our hotel, the Cape Grace Hotel, was located in the old commercial port which has been converted into one of the city’s main leisure and tourism areas. Although I didn’t have time for shopping this time, it looked like a very appealing place to shop.
The Grand Beach Café. We snuck away for dinner by ourselves in the Waterfront area and we stumbled upon this charming seaside restaurant with a festive atmosphere. I really liked the fun decoration which in my opinion represents the style of Cape Town, a fusion between colonial, modern and carefree styles.
Haul Rd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002, South Africa
Camps Bay Beach. I loved this small bay located a 10-minute drive from Waterfront. What I most remember is its characteristic and intense smell of the sea, which I know that from now on I will associate with this place, and the view of the Twelve Apostles, mountains formed by crags which show their true splendour at dusk.
Paranga Restaurant. Our local friend recommended this restaurant in Camps Bay where we enjoyed a delicious seafood meal overlooking the Atlantic.
Victoria Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town, 8040, South Africa
Boulders Beach, in Simon’s Town. We didn’t want to miss out on those small creatures who receive so many visitors every year, the penguins. Just one hour by car from Cape Town, this beach in the small fishing port of Simon’s Town was a real surprise with its turquoise water, huge and beautiful stones decorating the sand and, of course, the colony of African penguins. A fantasy landscape that justifies my hashtag #nothingcanbeatthebeautyofnature.
The views of Table Mountain. There was so much to see, and one of the things at the top of our list was to visit one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, Table Mountain. Although it is a very touristy area, a lot of people recommend not missing out on this balcony overlooking the South Atlantic.
I hope you like this small travel guide.
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