SOUTH AFRICA TRIP: Part 1 Getting to Cape Town
View of Table Mountain from Room 4 Derwent House Cape Town, originally uploaded by garybembridge.
Victoria and Albert waterfront cape town with Table Mountain in the background, originally uploaded by garybembridge.
So we are now here is the very sunny and glorious weather in Cape Town, South Africa. This is the start of 3 weeks of total indulgence in South Africa and Zambia. 3 weeks of relaxing, unwinding and enjoying just lying back and being lazy.
We flew in yesterday (Christmas Day) from London Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic. For anyone that thinks that flying on Christmas day will find a quiet airport and even quieter plane needs to scrap that thought!
Terminal 3 at Heathrow was jam packed. The Virgin lounge was heaving. Luckily as we were flying Upper Class we could fly through security as Virgin has this cleaver dedicated security lane that I wrote about in an earlier posting.
The flight left a bit late, and was very full. The Upper Class was totally full with an eclectic bunch of travellers.
There were the rich Americans with brat kids, pre the credit crunch I would have said merchant banker types but doubt they could be that these days. The giggling couple that we called “Same Difference” (from the UK X-factor 2007) as they looked a bit like them and acted with their same wide eyed amazement, they had not been on Upper before and they were a bit drunk on getting on board and got steadily more excitable and drank more. They looked as rough as buggery in the morning and barely spoke. Then there was the strange muscle guy with skinny legs, who wore sunglasses, noise restricting headphones and a puffer jacket. All of which he slept in. We called him “The Stripper” as he looked like he was in his come on stage stripper look. There were the 2 steroid gay men in their 50s who were caught in a 1980s clubbing look. And so on…
We landed on time in Cape Town, and they put the Upper Class passengers onto a bus first and we were through immigration in about 30 seconds. They were so efficient. And not forms to fill out for immigration or customs which is a boon. The airport is being rebuilt but was very efficient, asking you to fill out forms or SMS with any suggestions and ideas.
The bags came out on a completely different conveyor than the signs said, but we eventually figured that out. But a novel approach.
We collected the car from Avis, which seemed to take ages and be very chaotic generally. The car hire booths are right as you come out of customs and so people clog up the passageway out. We hired a GPS but that stopped working the 1st day and I have given up trying to get help and will battle that one when we take the car back. We forgot that Cape Town was so small and we actually knew our way around anyway.
I got tired of speaking to people trying to get it sorted.
We found Derwent House in Tamboerskloop below Table Mountain very easily. This place is rated as #1 on tripadvisor (the best and gospel for me when choosing where to stay). It is owned by 2 ladies from the UK (Jo and Carol) and very nicely located in the suburbs. I will do a full review with videos later. The funny thing about it is that it is very clearly a product of the “tripadvisor generation” as everyone we spoke to seems to have found it via there, but also everyone is very “of a type” which is young 30 something professional couples pre kids. I suspect all have similar jobs and are almost all the same age.
We have lolled at the pool mostly. We went to the V&A Waterfront for lunch yesterday, and will write a review about that. Last night we went to Nandos, as we did not want a full on meal – that was an ordeal as service is so slow. Something we have found everywhere so far. Service is slow and ok, but not stunning. The places are also not as spotless as they could be, and no-one seems that bothered. But maybe just the places we have chosen so far.
The weather is glorious, around 24 degrees Celsius and we have stunning