Cape Town South Africa Through Rose Tinted Glasses

After little over three weeks, I find myself leaving on a jet plane. It has been a mixture of feelings. I reflect. On the one hand the communities are clean, crisp and orderly. There is a sense of pride and knowledge of what makes a city desirable.  Then there are the townships, which I just glimpsed. Perhaps I did not want to know more.

My driver from the airport was young and cheerful. He had been quick to point out all the breathtaking sites  as we approached this thoroughly modern city with one of the grandest natural back drops on the planet. Mountains practically dropping out of the sky into the ocean and of course the natural wonder, Table Mountain with a cap of billowing clouds are just magestic.  Cape Town feels like a city with everything yet on an extremely manageable scale, easy to navigate, inviting and fun to walk.  The crispness of the architecture, touches of Dutch colonial interspersed with modern fusions surprise you at every intersection. The colors are bright yet tasteful. The range is phenomenal. I guess it’s in the DNA.  Long Street offers hints of New Orleans with laced iron work on many of the buildings. Cafes, coffee house, art galleries, clothing boutiques, interior design shops, curio and souvenir shops, you name it.  You will wander down side streets to the open markets of masks, beads, wood and metal work and be mesmerized. Museums and parks are just around a corner.

The city feels rich because it is city where tourists come to visit and those with means, and there are many, have second, third or perhaps more homes around the world and this is one of them. New Mercedes, BMW’s, and Audi’s are common. The pace is casual.

Virtually around a hill you find Camp’s bay with a dazzling white beaches meeting natures sculpted rock outcroppings. Elegant homes, Apartment and condominiums, dot the mountain to sea landscape. It is breathtaking. But there is more…

We walk the promenade with waves splashing for a good mile and a half. Anchored  in the distance  are large tankers and container ships. Our destination- an area called the Waterfront. It is an elegant mixture of shopping complexes, yacht harbor and dry dock tastefully interspersed. Again there are stunning apartments, boutique hotels, and commercial enterprises tastefully interspersed. The Aquarium introduces you to the sea life and environs and one can even get an elevated view from the Ferris wheel. The huge elliptical brimless hat shaped soccer stadium stands like a giant sculpture in the immediate distance.

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