Last week I was fortunate to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, for 3 days of travel including the USA/South Africa friendly soccer match. It was so exciting to travel to another part of South Africa that I’ve never seen before. As my flight from Bloemfontein was approaching the mountain ranges of the Western Cape, the view from my window seat was amazing. Despite being thousands of feet from the peaks, it seemed as if we were flying just above the mountains. The rigid mountain summits were juxtaposed by long winding walking paths, to and from rural huts and villages amongst the mountains. It was beautiful.
I met Josh, a fellow YAGM volunteer serving in Escourt, at the Cape Town airport and we headed into town. We arrived at the apartment we were staying which was conveniently located downtown on St. George’s Mall. Our accommodation was arranged through the Couch Surfing travel’s network, which offered us a free place to stay. Our host was very gracious and welcoming, which made our stay quite comfortable and stress free. After settling in, we met with a friend of mine that I knew in Lesotho during my trip there in 2009. It was yet another example of how this is truly a small world after all!
Wednesday was the big exciting day. We got up early and hiked Lion’s Head mountain, the peak mountain next to the famed Table Mountain. It took us about an hour to hike the 3km trail to the summit, and the view from the top was amazing. You could see the entire city, Robben Island, as well as the other mountain ranges. After our hot day of hiking, we headed down to the beach. We hopped in the frigid water and relished in the moment of riding in the waves in Cape Town. After resting up after a long day, we walked to Green Point Stadium for the USA/South Africa soccer match. The stadium is was outstanding, and the entire city was buzzing with excitement. The game was fully sold out, and the loud constant hum of vuvuzelas went on the entire game. Despite rooting for both teams, the USA won the game 1-0. It was an amazing international experience!
The next morning Josh had to leave early for an earlier flight, so I had the day to myself. So I decided to follow the recommended walking tour mentioned in my ‘Lonely Planet: A Guide to South Africa,’ book. I have always been interested in history, and the walking tour took me across parts of the city that I may not have normally have seen. I got to see the Castle of Good Hope, (the oldest known building in South Africa,) old public squares and churches, as well as important historic sites. The end of my walking tour brought me to the first Lutheran church built in South Africa, which was located in town. It was a beautifully built church, which was originally disguised as a barn because they were barred from worshiping at first. There was a striking pulpit built by the master German sculptor Anton Anreith, and everything was still original.
My trip to Cape Town was short, but very sweet. The weather was great, the people were kind, and the experiences were some I’ll never forget. I can’t wait to see more of this wonderful country and experience all it has to offer.