Thursday, November 15, 2018

Touring the Cape! First stop Table Mountain - Africa, Day 3, October 30, 2018

Today our plan was a Cape Peninsula Tour! We woke to a beautiful, sunny, although quite windy day. Our first stop was to be a cable car ride up to the summit of Table Mountain and when Michael picked us up he said the mountain was closed due to the winds. It had stormed during the night and the cable cars weren't running. We had a plan B and off we went. But during our ride, Michael caught a glimpse of what he thought might be cable cars going up to the summit of Table Mountain, so he quickly made his way over there and yes, we would get to head up to the top! And even before the crowds! 

The view of Cape Town from the entrance to the cable car station at Table Mountain's base. 

On our way up to the top!

Our ride up to the top of the mountain! The cable car rotates during the ride, so you have 360 degree views! Pretty cool!

Once we got up there the views were just beautiful!  It was quite breezy though, and kind of chilly! We spent about 20 minutes walking along the paths taking pictures.  

This is Robben Island, in Table Bay, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars.

One of the animals frequently seen on Table Mountain - a Dassie. Apparently they say it's closest relative is an elephant???  

It was quite chilly up there on that mountain top!  But so worth the views! 

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Winelands of South Africa! Franschhoek - Day 2, October 29, 2018

We woke up today to a beautiful, sunny day in the Winelands of South Africa! We had a busy, yet somewhat leisurely day planned for us today. After a fantastic breakfast at our hotel, we met in the lobby with our luggage as we were checking out.  At the end of our day today we would be moving on to our next destination. The goal of this educational trip is to learn as much as we can about the areas we are visiting so our travel style isn't quite the pace that I would plan a trip for you, my client. This one is a bit more "packed in", a bit more non-stop!  But we certainly were enjoying every minute!  

On our way to our first winery, we stopped at one more of the Leeu properties.  This one is the Leeu House, right in town.  This hotel is great for those who would like to be right in the center of the village with shopping and restaurants, but also have the beautiful, quite retreat of this charming hotel to go to each day!

The partner to the sad woman at the Leeu Estates!

After our visit at the Leeu House, we had a short drive to one of the many, many vineyards in Franschhoek. When visiting the Cape area, an overnight or even a day trip to the Winelands is a must!

Our first stop was La Bourgonge Farm, one of the oldest farms, dating back to 1694. Not only do they produce wine, but also olives, plums and pears!  It was a beautiful morning here and we had a tasting of 3 wines along with olives and olive oils. 

We enjoyed all of the dogs hanging out during our visit!

After our first wine tasting, we moved along to our next vineyard, the Haute Cabriere Cellar. This is another vineyard that dates back to 1694, but it was in the early 1980's that they planted their first Chardonnay vines in order to produce the local version of French Champagne, Method Cap Classique, which of course we learned all about and were able to taste.

The wine cellar where tastings can be held, and where we learned about the process of making the MCC, or Methode Cap Classique.

We learned a bit about the history of champagne, Dom Perignon and how he was "Drinking his Stars in a bottle" 

We toured the production areas as well.

And then it was time for Kelly to learn to Saber the cork off of a bottle!

This winery was in a stunning location! 

Next we made a stop at a local inn for lunch, with more wine!

After all of that food and wine, we had about an hour or so to wander the village of Franschhoek.  There were some great little shops as well as a street market if you liked to bargain! 

It was at about this time that I realized that I was going to need to buy another piece of luggage for souvenirs! 

After our shopping time, we met up with our guide, Michael and piled into our van for the drive back to Cape Town. We all agreed that we had loved our time in Franschhoek!

We arrived at our next hotel, the beautiful Cape Grace, right on the V & A Waterfront of Cape Town. We had a bit of time to settle into our rooms, which were amazing! And as our routine had become - we had a site inspection and then a lovely dinner, hosted by the Cape Grace.

 Our room, and the view of the waterfront from our room!

Some pictures of the Cape Grace Hotel - an ideal location in Cape Town!

The Library

One of the bars

 One of the Guest Suites

The pool from above

A beautiful table set up for a special event

As one of my clients, the Cape Grace has special bottles of wine set aside for you because of our affiliation with Virtuoso!

It was certainly a long day, but such a great one! Tomorrow we will be seeing all that the Cape has to offer! Hopefully the weather will cooperate!