Where We Stayed: We were fortunate to stay at the Kingslyn Boutique Guesthouse. The location is amazing-- just blocks from the water. The Guesthouse is charming with only a handful of spacious and unique rooms, a lovely staff, and hot breakfast. Kingslyn's sister property, Atlantic Point Backpackers, was close by and their Cape Town knowledge was gold.
Day 1: Explored the V&A Waterfront in the morning, then climbed Lion's Head in the afternoon. For the climb, we wanted to get up by sunset (and down by dark!). During the more challenging sections of the ascent, we'd say "go fast when you can, slow when you need to." I think this will be a good saying throughout the trip!
Day 2: Wine tasting! We went to three incredible vineyards (Spier Vineyard, Stellenbosch Vineyard, Fairview Vineyard) and a brandy distillery (Van Ryn's). We not only met some amazing folks, but tasted some delicious wine. For dinner we went to Atlantic Point Backpackers for a traditional South African Braii (AKA a BBQ. AKA Our Fave). This day is what we call a Ryan Delight.
Day 3: We explored Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and then we treated ourselves to tea time! In the afternoon we hit the beach sidewalk to exercise, admire the sunset, and we even spotted a whale!
Day 4: We toured the peninsula, which included the penguins at Boulders Beach, the Cape of Good Hope, and also quick stops at some neighboring surf towns. Cape Town is bordered on the coast with tons of smaller beach villages (similar to LA). It was rainy, but we pushed on!
Day 5: We toured Robben Island, which is where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years as a political prisoner. We got a tour of the island and then were were shown around the prison cells by a former Robben Island political prisoner. He gave us vivid details of his term in the prison and made the walls come alive.
Another highlight was a limestone quarry where prisoners worked all day. It had a cave that was nicknamed "Robben Island University." Most of the inmates were political prisoners and highly educated professionals. During their break laboring in the quarry, they would teach the illiterate prisoners to read and write using the sand floor of the cave. They held debates, circulated political materials, and even sang to cheer their spirits.
The island was a prison for over 300 years, but now is a museum dedicated to healing and love in an effort to drive home a case where good conquers evil. Pretty awesome stuff.
Needless to say we loved Cape Town and hopefully one day we can make it back. Now, we're off to a Road Trip along the Garden Route!
Click Here for our Cape Town Photo Gallery!