Thursday, April 29, 2010

Table Mountain

When we were in Taiwan we made quite a few friends from South Africa. At our monthly teacher meetings we were encouraged to share something about our country. Nathan, our friend, fellow teacher and Capetonian shared photos of Table Mountain with us. While these photos were beautiful, nothing can really capture the beauty of being at the top of this mountain (but, that didn't stop Dan and I from trying).

Last Sunday we were lucky enough to take a cable car up to the top of Table Mountain. We ate breakfast with the most spectacular view and spent a few hours walking around the top. The views were stunning, we could see the sea all around us. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky. People will tell you that Cape Town can experience three seasons in one day, high winds, clouds - not ideal weather for spending an afternoon on top of a mountain.

We plan on hiking to the top before we leave, weather permitting.

(I am still figuring out this blogging business, so our phots aren't really in order, but I think you can figure it out)

I believe this is Camps Bay

The gorge - one way you can climb to the top Dan getting a little too close to the edge of the gorgelooking out over Cape Town
Dan demonstrating that you can see the sea all around
a cable car making it's journey to the top. The floors rotated, so you got a view of everything during the ride up!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"The Biggest Roti in South Africa"

The other night Dan and I stopped at "Roti Gatsby" a sweet take-away food shop specializing in curry, roti and other dishes like "bunny chow with sugar beans". We ordered a roti for each of us without seeing the sign stating "The Biggest Roti in South Africa" I think it would be safe for them to claim the 'biggest roti in the world' title. As delicious as it was, I think we both now have our fill of roti - two dinners and a lunch worth from this one purchase that set us back about $5.
please don't judge us.

we didn't know where to start...

It's Wednesday

We have been discovering our surrounding neighbourhoods this week and I must say, they are awesome. The following photos are not from these neighbourhoods though, you will have to wait for those. These photos are from a Sunday spent at the Waterfront area of Cape Town. It's a bustling area with performers, restaurants, boats and tourists with stunning views of Table Mountain. It was a lovely way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Table Mountain in the clouds

One of Dan's many fist pumps in the last week

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 2 – trains, whales and oh wait... no whales today but close.

Today was our second day in Cape Town. Dan and I decided to take the train south to Simonstown, a small community harbour /tourist town. The train ride was awesome; it travelled through some pretty neighbourhoods on the bottom of a mountain and then hit the coast. It was stunning, to say the least. We arrived in Simonstown just after lunch so decided to sit down and have some fish and chips (which seemed to be the main course at the few restaurants we passed). This might have been the largest serving of fish ever, and quite possibly the tastiest.

I should also mention that Dan was really keen to get into a small motorized boat called “awesome” (named for its high speeds) and travel out into the ocean to see orcas, great whites, seals and penguins. I couldn’t be convinced, not today anyways. We will eventually get into this “awesome” boat and hopefully see orcas and dolphins and other sea life.

On the way home we got off the train at a place called St. James and walked about 20 minutes right along the coast to the next stop, Muizenberg. It was really beautiful – the waves were rushing into the rocks and making the most wonderful ocean sounds. We didn’t stay long in Muizenberg before jumping on the train again to come home. We found a sweet little store just outside the train station near our house and bought some eggs. We then discovered that Mowbray (our current neighbourhood) has quite a lot to offer, including “Roti Gatsby”, a sweet food stop that only serves take away. We bought a chicken curry with rice to share for about $3.00.

Tomorrow we are going to explore more of the city and find Dan’s new office. He starts on Monday! We will likely enjoy a coffee in the morning and then top off our day with a Savannah Dry in the evening. (That’s right Gill, a Savannah Dry, Mmm mmm).

Day one in Cape Town - walk to sea point

in Amsterdam

Holly and I just arrived in Amsterdam. 7 hrs of flight time finished, 11.5 to go. Already my papers and books and proposal and funding application forms feel very far away. The knot in my stomach is starting to unravel as I look forward to the next few months. This is going to be a big change of pace.

Here are the main facts about this trip:

· Dan is doing an internship at the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) for six weeks.
· The internship is also going to contribute significantly to my final paper for school.
· We are staying in a beautiful home in Cape Town.
· Holly is going to do some volunteering as well – the details will get worked out when
we arrive.
· We will be in Cape Town until until June 3rd, then we are going to Holland for 9 days.
· We are returning on June 12th.

I really cannot believe we are going to Cape Town, it is still sinking in. This is really a dream come true for both Holly and I. I will be fulfilling a 6-week internship at the legal resources centre, and in all honesty there is really no other organization (in the world) I would rather be working with. It is absolutely incredible. I am very thankful for this opportunity.

The airport in Amsterdam (Schiphol) is nice – Holly just bought a tea and we are sitting together in the ‘nautilus cafe’, its colored like the morning, and the fields stretch green close beyond the tarmac. Holly kissed me for that line. We just had our first kiss in Amsterdam. Life is good.

Holly has quickly gotten comfortable with her travel belt/fanny pack that fits under her shirt. I even had to remind her to take cash out before going to the counter so she wouldn’t have to pull her shirt up to her chin to get to her money in front of the cashier. I am not there yet, but it’s really just a matter of time.

Holly and I are both glad that this is only a two month trip, any longer and it would have been a lot harder to say good-bye. Not all of you will know this, but Holly and I were originally going to move back to Ghana in September. But the plans fell through. In retrospect we are thankful. It’s good to be close to home.

It is currently 2:29 AM my time, and I didn’t sleep at all on the plane. This is likely one reason why all my sentences are only 10 or so words long. My thoughts are short. Life is short. Live it. And don’t use clich├ęs. Because they are lame-o.

Words and phrases that we can see from where we are sitting:

Juicy details
Sleep, relax, refresh, connect
See, buy, fly
Special offer – lowest price
Cafe Amsterdam
Daily fresh kicks