Cape Town, South Africa offers a mix of natural beauty, historical interest, and a hip new culture where excellent music, food and wine can be found in abundance. GoNOMAD senior travel editor Kent S. John wrote about his journey to this city in his article Cape Heaven: The Tip is Tops!
“Cape Town started as just a stop for traders from the Dutch East India Company heading to Asia. By 1652 the Dutch figured they ought to run their own fill up station. Apartheid in South Africa was born under Table Mountain. It today best provided me with a glimpse into the great possibilities for South Africa’s future.
The area is filled with off beat restaurants, bars, shops and music venues. Sounds of kwela, township jive and kwaito pour out of doorways mingled with aromas of curry and spices. Visually perfect with a glorious taste. Scenic mountains trellised with hectares of grapes. Blue skies and whitewashed Dutch farm houses. After traveling through some of the world’s best wine regions, I have to state that I would pick returning to the Cape wine area above all.
Everybody’s darling destination in Cape Town is Robben Island. It is the pinnacle of apartheid agony and was Nelson Mandela’s home for 27 years. In the 18th century princes and sheiks from Malaysia and India were sent by the Dutch East India Company to pay for their resistance to European overlords. The South African Prisons Service continued the practice of abomination in 1960. In 1991 the last prisoners were released, except for those that serve as guides today. It is now an UNESCO site and a must see to believe. The visit is more astounding when you realize that the guides are all former prisoners.”