Kirstenbosch, Groot Constantia, Camps Bay
We did not have a car in Cape Town, actually we don't drive, so decided to use the big red hop on hop off bus. I'm generally not a fan of these. They are too touristy and too expensive, but I must admit I ended up being very much impressed with the service in Cape Town. It got us pretty much everywhere we wanted to go safely, comfortably and efficiently. The only safe alternative would have been the myciti buses which looked fine though we did not actually use them.
We had planned to start the day by taking the big bus red route to Table Mountain, but we awoke to find the table cloth was down, which means the mountain was absolutely hidden in a thick blanket of cloud, so we had to change plans. We hopped on a blue route bus and headed for Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Kirstenbosch is situated at the eastern foot of Table Mountain. The gardens were founded in 1913 to conserve local flora. We spent around two hours here, but could have easily spent a full day. The gardens are stunning. We began by exploring the stone sculptures garden. I loved all the statues here and we had great fun posing for photos with them.
We eventually made our way to the boomslang or tree canopy walkway from which there are spectacular views. After that we walked through the cycad garden. Cycads have been around since prehistoric times so the gardens boasted several models of dinosaurs. We then strolled through the fynbosch and erica gardens. Fynbosch are plants with thin leaves found all over Cape Town, many have lovely colourful flowers. Erica is like heather.
There are concerts at Kirstenbosch on Sundays during the summer.
After Kirstenbosch we reboarded the blue route then swapped to the purple wine route at Constantia Nek. We went to Groot Constantia the oldest vineyard in Cape Town. Groot Constantia was founded by Simon van der Stel of the Dutch East India Company. He arrived at the Cape in 1679. He had already gained knowledge of viticulture at his vineyards in Muiderbergh and made full use of this knowledge to establish vineyards in the Cape.
We began our visit here by strolling through the vineyards. They were lined with rose bushes and backed by stunning mountainous scenery - absolutely breathtaking. When we had finished with the vineyards we strolled to the manor house. We paid to wander around it, looking at the period furniture and the garden with its huge bougainvillea bush and boisterous ducks. We then headed to the wine cellar where all the magic of creating wine takes place. Groot Constantia has two restaurants and a deli and offers wine tasting sessions, too.
After Groot Constantia we took the purple route back to the blue route and continued past some wonderful scenery through Hout Bay to Camps Bay. I think Camps Bay must be one of the most spectacular places I have ever been. It has a long stretch of silver white beach washed by the ice cold waters of the Atlantic. I put my feet in the water and felt waves of pain go through my whole body due to the cold.
Beyond the beach there is a plethora of cafes and bars. Behind the town the Twelve Apostles Mountains stand guard over the coastline. In the distance it is possible to see the steep triangular shape of the Lion's Head. If I were to choose the most beautiful place in Cape Town, I think I would choose here and believe me it is up against some tough competition.