Week-end trip to Cape Town, part 1.

The thing I love the most about our lifestyle is that we get to travel a bit – not a lot, but probably more than the average. We get the opportunity to go new places and last month, I was lucky enough that it took me to Cape Town. All by myself for 36 hours… And then the husband joined me, take that as you want; no, only joking – it was the first time for months that he had a break, albeit short break from work and it was very nice that we could spend it together.

So the kids stayed behind at the in-laws and off I went – 5hours and something flight to the Mother City, Cape Town. Flying without kiddos is, I have to admit it, quite a treat – well let’s say it is so much easier only to have myself to look after.

If you have sharp eyes you can see a small eruption on the Piton de la Fournaise, our ‘local’ active volcano on Reunion Island. Thought that was funny! Anyways, Cape Town: so as you fly in you get to see the townships that surround the city of Cape Town. The centre is a beautiful city, with so much to look at. I didn’t even scratch the surface in my 36 hours (including sleep) of speed visiting. That means that hopefully I will get to go back, with the kids next time.

The sheer diversity of Cape Town is amazing. People come from all corners of the world. From other African countries, Asia, Western Europe, Eastern Europe. Of all religious faiths – Jews and Muslims, a multitude of Christian denominations and am sure all kinds of African traditional beliefs as well. One has to wonder how it ever got to the Apartheid with people from so many different backgrounds, all being immigrants. The human race is a strange one.

Cape town and, I understood from talking to different people, the other big cities were built for segregation. The white in one place, the others in an other. It is a very troubling thought. Am not here to comment on historic facts, mostly because I don’t know enough about South African history and I always try to my best ability to say to the right things. But I learned so much from my trip, I came back, I feel, a different person. Very few trips have given me that feeling – it is special.

My first afternoon was spend walking around and getting a sense of the city, then I visited the Holocaust Centre, the South African Jewish Museum. All this is located at 88 Hatfield St., behind the Company Garden. Unfortunately the Synagogue appeared closed.

There is a nice little cafe called Cafe Riteve, located on the grounds of the museum, it serves light kosher meals, cold beers and good coffee. I had a mediterranean salad with falafels and hummus & chickpeas on the side. It was super tasty. Then I spend a couple of hours learning about Jewish history in Cape Town. It was extremely interesting. The Holocaust centre is small but very informative, not only on the Holocaust in itself, but also  on how Jews were treated in South Africa before and during the second world war as well as “Teaches about the consequences of prejudice, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia and homophobia, and the dangers of indifference, apathy and silence” (quote from the South African Holocaust website). The Jewish Museum explains in depth the South African Jewry, traditions and the 200 years history in general. I particularly liked the part about the Shtetl life. I enjoyed this very very much, I knew absolutely nothing about it – I don’t think I even knew there was such a community in South Africa.

Then I continued my walk towards the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel – they are very well know for their high tea – and when you see pictures on their website you understand why! – I didn’t really have neither the time nor the tummy space, so I decided to just enjoy a glass of local bubbles in a lovely colonial setting.

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