07th May, 2017
It had been 2 days and we still hadn’t got a chance to go up to the Table Mountain (thanks to the heavy winds!). With only 2 more days left in Cape Town, we slept on the 2nd night praying both to the African and Indian Gods for a nice sunny morning with minimal winds. We woke up the third morning and the first thing we did (evening before brushing our teeth!!) was to check the weather forecast for the day. Fortunately – the Gods were on our side and the aerial cable way to the top of Table Mountain was operational. Yayyy!!
On the advice of the hotel staff and our friend in Johannesburg, we had pre-booked the aerial cable ride online through http://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=681080 on our first day in Cape Town. The tickets are valid for a week so even if we couldn’t go first 2 days, we could still use the same tickets for our trip today. (February 23rd, 2017)
MIRINDA suggests! – We strongly recommend pre-booking the aerial cable way tickets online. It has huge advantages:
There are two queues up at the entrance. One for the people without tickets and one for the people with pre-booked online tickets. And if one hasn’t got the pre-booked tickets, he/she has to stand first in the queue for tickets and then in the queue for going up on the cable way.
The tickets are valid for a week which gives ample room for any changes in schedule.
One can book for either the morning or the evening slot or even both which gives enough flexibility.
Post breakfast – which the hotels boasts for, we headed to the Table Mountain aerial cable way base. Located approximately 5 kms from our hotel, it look us approximately 15 minutes to reach there. Little did we know that like us, a lot many enthusiasts had been waiting for the aerial cable way to open. I come from India, so trust me when I say there was a ‘huge crowd’. We drove back and forth up the mountain for 15-20 minutes until we finally found a favorable parking spot. We walked towards the queue and despite of having pre-booked tickets there was a long –long queue just to get to the cable way. Thank god we had the tickets, otherwise there was no way we could have managed to go up before evening.
MIRINDA fun facts! – Kudos to the organizers and volunteers at the Table Mountain, who play a huge role in ensuring there is no chaos and everything moves in a systematic manner. Be it the parking, the queues, the cable cars, the souvenir shops, the café – everything was very well managed.
We waited for approximately 1.5 hours under the scorching heat for our turn. Unfortunately we did not carry not sun-screen lotion or any cold fluids with us but thankfully, we found a utility shop just outside the entrance and bought a couple of hats, cold water and juices to keep ourselves hydrated.
Just before our turn, the volunteers asked us to pose and they took a photograph of us with some props like “I Love Cape Town”, etc. (They did this to every tourist group). The photographs were later Photoshopped with different backgrounds of the Table Mountain which could be purchased on return as souvenirs.
The “Rotair” cable way carries 65 passengers in each car and runs on a double cable, making them more stable in high winds, giving a faster journey of 4–5 minutes to the summit. The floors of the cars rotate through 360 degrees during the ascent or descent, giving passengers a panoramic view.
So after 2 days of anxiety and desperate praying, we finally made it to the top of the Table Mountain….and I must say what a view that was…!
The Table Mountain
A plateau approximately 3 kms from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs is a very famous tourist attraction. Located approximately 3500 ft. above sea level, it can be reached to the top via aerial cable ways or hiking. The plateau, surrounded by Devil’s Peak to the east and by Lion’s Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. This mountainous heights together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheater of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbor.
It is really subjective how much time one wants to spend atop the Table Mountain. It totally depends on a person’s interest in the abundant flora and fauna.
MIRINDA fun facts! – The Table Mountain hosts abundant flora and fauna… It forms a part of Table Mountain National Park. We were lucky to see plants such as Silver trees, king Protea & species such as Dassies, black striped lizards and baboons.
There are various hiking trails to reach the table mountain and also on the table mountain, if you do have time we strongly suggest doing it.
MIRINDA suggests! – We recommend wearing sports shoes, as the terrain is full of rocks and having a good grip makes it very comfortable to walk across the Table Mountain.
We walked around the Table Mountain covering different routes with each one offering a different view of the city from the top. From Robben Island to the Rugby stadium, from the Echo valley to Sea Point beach, each view left us aghast!!! I have never seen such natural beauty in life.
“Seeing those tiny boats and small houses from such high altitude made me realize how small our existence is in this world”. I am running short of words to describe what I felt up there and I think even the below photographs can do very little justice in describing the gorgeousness of this place.
After strolling around for around 3 hours, exploring different views and clicking loads of photographs to make sure we had it all covered, we sat down for a small snack and a chilled beer at the Table Mountain café.
MIRINDA fun facts! – Lot of people carry a bottle of champagne/wine along with a few snacks to enjoy it amidst the breathtaking views.
On our way down, we collected the souvenir photos and shopped some local artisan products from their shop. Post an exhausting day, we rested for a bit at our hotel before heading to the V&A Waterfront for dinner.
The Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town is situated in South Africa’s oldest working harbour, the 300 acres area has been developed for mixed-use, with both residential and commercial real estate. V&A is one of the most popular tourist spots in South Africa which houses – pubs, malls, cafes, local artisan shops, and talented African bands performing live at nights. It also has an aquarium- “Two Oceans Aquarium”. In the morning, this place is a commercial harbour with fishing boats still bringing in fresh fish, but at night it is flocked with tourists.
It was a Wednesday evening and the V&A Waterfront was well lit-up, bustling with locals and tourists. There was a party atmosphere in the air. We grabbed a table at The Ferrymans, a well-known South African Tavern. As for the drinks, it offers a wide range of locally brewed beers and huge mix of domestic and international alcoholic drinks. Highlights from the kitchen include the daily specials, South African specialties and fresh seafood, alongside a regular offering of grilled dishes and vegetarian options.
MIRINDA suggests! – For all the sea-food lovers out there, Habour House located at V&A Waterfront
Luckily for us, there was a local band performing countryside retro music that night. We ordered a few drinks along with some specials and sat down to enjoy the show. As time passed and more drinks started pouring in, the band had loads of company on the stage. People of all age groups could be seen shaking their leg. It was a nice chilling end to a lovely morning.
MIRINDA suggests! – Try the freshly brewed beers at Ferryman’s. They truly live up to the expectation.
Post a nice Gelato, we took an Uber back to our hotel in anticipation of meeting the Penguins the next day !
Day 04 date with the Penguins.. coming up next !!! Follow us on www.mirindatravels.com to know more !