08.06: A first great Capetownian Day

Or: the beginning of a Supah South African Adventure*

Over: a Simon Whistle Tour, a Graffiti Tour, a Hostel and Food

Setting: I am in the bar of the Backpack Hostel in Capetown, some great backgroundmusic and a rugbymatch at a big screen (the National Team is playing, rugby is one of the national sports of S.A.). I am relaxing and thinking about my first day (or first 9 hours in South Africa). And, what I already can tell: they were pretty cool.

Rugby in the Backpackbar

“Make sure you get some sleep as you will hit the ground running with lots planned”.

That’s what Simon – my fantastic contact at HI South Africa 🙂 – sent me earlier this week. So I tried to do my best. Not that easy. Even if I’d checked everything twice, my bags were packed and I was quite at ease that Thursday night just before leaving, I think I’ve seen every hour that night. I didn’t feel nervous though. Maybe it was the adrenaline that started flowing through my body. Nevertheless, sooner than expected, my alarm woke me up and I started my first BBE day with a radio-interview about the competition and my blog. I headed off to the airport, and prepared myself mentally for a 26 hours of waiting travelling and waiting and travelling and waiting.

So, I got my sleep – if you count sleeping on a plane, as sleeping – and today (Saturday), Simon gave me a warm welcome at the airport.

He immediately suggested a “Simon whistle tour through Capetown”. I felt honored to get a personal citytour/exploration of the city with the highlights, and this with a cool guide. We drove along the Groote Schuur Hospital where the first heart transplantation ever took place, the Capetown Castle, the Atlantic Ocean and the South African Riviera with a lot of paradisiacal beaches (like Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay) and of course: the omnipresent Table Mountain (wherever you are in the city, the Mountain is there). It is winter in Capetown, which means: probability of rain, clouds, mist, … (short: Belgian weather in fact :)). I hope this only is the case for my first day in Capetown. Some pictures taken from the car:

The exploration of the city didn’t stop after this short trip. I met Lee, one of the owners of the hostel I am staying in now (the Backpack). She had arranged a great Graffiti Tour to discover Woodstock, one of the districts of Capetown. In order to upgrade this district, the organisation “A word of Art” invites international artists to express their thoughts and creativity on the walls of houses in the neighbourhood. The man behind this super-project was our guide during this Graffiti Tour (you’ll see him at some pics). It was hard to pick out just one photo to show the cool graffiti on the walls, that’s why I made a little montage of it (I’d some probs with the uploading, so you have to imagine the music).

It was quite a shock for me to see that people are still living in shacks, in the middle of a neighbourhood, but this project (and lots of others) is doing great things, trying to upgrade the areas, involving the locals …

After my first tour through the city, I checked in in the Backpack, my hostel for the next two nights. This is one of the most amazing hostels I’ve ever been to. Everything has been worked out into detail, everyone who works there is so kind, they work with community projects, the bar is cool, there is a swimming pool (little bit cold for this time of the year) and my room – the Nelson Mandela room – was recently renovated and has his own character. I will upload asap a full and more detailed post with some great photos. This hostel is worth a whole post on its own :).

It was a great first day in Capetown. After a day, a night and a morning in a plane, my first steps in Capetown, I was starving. Simon introduced me to a friend of his and we left for dinner at Toni‘s: traditional, Mozambican Portuguese Cuisine. South African food has a lot of international influences: European, Maleisian, Portuguese, African … And so, I ate some delicious Mozambican curry with South African Red wine, for my first evening in Capetown. And this with two locals: tnx for the evening!

How could I start my first Capetownian day better then: Table Mountain & Lion’s head – Atlantic Ocean – Graffiti Tour – African Food – Supercool Hostel – a view on Robben Island. I cannot wait to continue my BBE adventure!

We want more pictures! We want more pictures!

 Ok, just go to my Google+ Account or my Facebookpage and you can discover my first day through hundreds of pictures.

LLL (Liesbet Lifestyle Lounge)

– Food: Toni’s: we ate for about 18 € for 2 main courses and a bottle of wine, and it was gooooood!

– Culture: Graffiti Tour: a nice, original way to discover one of the neighbourhoods of Capetown.

The Backpack: my hostel for Saturday and Sunday night (wish I could stay here forever, pics and a post follow asap :))

*All the credits for this great adventure go to organiser Simon from HI South Africa, all the companies I will be travelling with (Bazbus, Hotspot2c), the Hostels I will be staying during my “Garden Route Tour” and The Backpack & Ashanti @ Capetown. And of course to Hostelling International who organised this competition.

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