After a nine hour kombi ride to Windhoek and two days there just eating, taking care of errands, seeing a movie (in a theater!), visiting friends, and getting far too tied up in the drama of the hostel where we stayed for one of the nights, it was time to head to South Africa. Four of us took a 22 hour bus ride from Windhoek to Capetown, and it was surprisingly nice. The seats reclined to almost laying down and were incredibly comfortable, so aside from the terrible movie they showed (seriously... someone should imdb "Birdie and Bogey") we were all amazed how smoothly the trip was.
We arrived in the afternoon on saturday tired and a bit dazed from the journey but pushed through for a nice dinner and then going out on Long Street. Long Street is what I imagine New Orleans to be like-- there are bars and restaurants lining both sides of a cramped street with balconies full of people talking, laughing, and dancing. We watched one of the car guards do a great dance performance in the street, enjoyed pina coladas at a cuban place, and met julia's friends (and their entire soccer team) for dancing. It was a great welcome to Capetown.
The next day we rode the cable car up table mountain, which is just outside the city. It gives you a spectacular view of everything-- on one side the ocean and the city sprawled out (we could even see the world cup stadium!) on another side a smaller mountain poking up and to the other side the vineyards crawling inland. It was breathtaking, and we spent far more time than anticipated wandering around on top of it.
We also visited Robben island, which was interesting, but a bit bizarre because most of the time is spent on a bus or being hurried through rooms that have been made into makeshift museums (really really hurried through). The last part of the tour, however, was guided by a former inmate of the prison and it was very interesting to get to hear from him.
Right now we are in Stellenbosch, which is a smaller town right in the middle of the wine country. We did tastings yesterday and the first one was wonderful- good wine and the guy who worked there had the attitude that "you like what you like, not what you're supposed to like" which was fabulous since none of us are exactly wine experts... Then we went to the goats do roam vineyard and had amazing cheeses with the wine.
I absolutely love capetown. Maybe it's just because it's nice to be back in a real city (we all went through some culture shock) but it is clean, full of wonderful restaurants, cafes, galleries, and funky little shops. People have been nothing but friendly and with the ocean on one side and table mountain on the other, it would be easy to miss how beautiful the buildings in the city are.
The plan is to head back to capetown later today and maybe see the cape of good hope later this week, but mostly we are all enjoying relaxing, eating, and lots of good wine!