AAR: The Western Cape, South Africa, June 2017 (Part 5)

 

Greetings, Fellow Travelers!

 

BLUF: This six-part AAR covers the journey, the destination, and activities of our trip to South Africa (our second!) while stationed in Germany. This trip focused almost exclusively on wine and food. While far from almost everywhere, the Winelands outside Cape Town have one of the largest concentration of wine estates for both seasoned and novice wine drinkers. It’s much more affordable than France and has better mountain views than Germany.

 

Today’s AAR takes us to the Western Province of the Republic of South Africa.

 

Part 5: Trees and Tables.

 

Previously, in Part 1, I noted how after our pricy Oslo trip we wanted to return to South Africa and focus on food and wine. To make the trip even more memorable, we invited our good friend, David, a long-time traveler and lover of wine. While he’d visited much of Europe, a visit to the southern tip of Africa had only ever been aspirational. I redeemed 80,000 United Airlines MileagePlus miles for a roundtrip Economy ticket on LH from PHL to FRA to CPT. I built in an overnight stop in FRA to allow David a recovery day and night in Stuttgart on the front end.

 

 

Departing the Winelands—again, on the UK side of the road—we drove to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. With an entrance fee of $5, Kirstenbosch features flora common to South Africa, open fields, a fragrance garden, and trails leading up into Table Mountain National Park. Here, we enjoyed amazing views of the park and southeastern Cape Town.

 

 

The dinosaur sculptures were a definite highlight which were placed just off the footpaths. The treetop canopy walkway is suspended 12-15 feet above the ground offering spectacular and picturesque views. With the African winter sun warming the garden’s hills, Kirstenbosch proved to be the perfect start to our day and built up our appetite for the first wine estate stop of the day.

 

 

Founded in 1685, Groot Constantia is the oldest wine estate in South Africa. The estate houses two restaurants, a museum, an historic manor house, and relics dedicated to the estate’s first wine makers of Groot Constantia Grand Constance, South Africa’s oldest wine. We lunched at Jonkershuis Restaurant where the waiter recommended the Classic Cape Malay spread.

 

 

Unique to the Western Province, Cape Malay cuisine is a fusion of Malaysian, Indonesian, and East African food cultures. Cape Malay cooking blends cumin, coriander, star anise, turmeric, and other spices to create hearty and aromatic dishes perfect for outdoor winter dining.

 

 

We feasted on lamb, minced beef, caramelized pumpkin, and for dessert, a chocolate and espresso crumb cake accented with vanilla ice cream. With generous pours of the Grand Constance, an amber-colored blend of red and white Muscat, Groot Constantia provided the push we needed to tackle our next wondrous experience.

 

In 2007, the New 7 Wonders Foundation launched a global campaign to find the “New7Wonders of Nature.” When voting ended in 2011, Table Mountain was declared one of the “Wonders.” Situated in its own national park, the flat-topped mountain overlooks Cape Town to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and False Bay to the southeast.

 

 

The rotating Table Mountain Cable Car is the best way to visit the top. I highly encourage you to buy your tickets online before you arrive rather than on-site. The afternoon ticket (1300 to sunset) offers fewer crowds. With its rotating floor, the cable car offers 360º views as it climbs to the summit. Once you’re at the top, you can hike one of three trails offering mind-blowing views of the city and the ocean.

 

 

In sum, venturing outside the Winelands proved to be a very successful daytrip. From our prehistoric walks at Kirstenbosch to riding the cable car up to the out-of-this-world views from atop Table Mountain, greater Cape Town offers much for those looking to experience the outdoors.

 

Next, Part 6 (the finale): Formal beach wear!

 

Happy Travels!

 

Vr,

Albert

 

Albert Guerrero, USAF (ret.)

Follow my travels on Instagram: @albert_traveler

AAR: The Western Cape, South Africa, June 2017 (Part 5)

 

Greetings, Fellow Travelers!

 

BLUF: This six-part AAR covers the journey, the destination, and activities of our trip to South Africa (our second!) while stationed in Germany. This trip focused almost exclusively on wine and food. While far from almost everywhere, the Winelands outside Cape Town have one of the largest concentration of wine estates for both seasoned and novice wine drinkers. It’s much more affordable than France and has better mountain views than Germany.

 

Today’s AAR takes us to the Western Province of the Republic of South Africa.

 

Part 5: Trees and Tables.

 

Previously, in Part 1, I noted how after our pricy Oslo trip we wanted to return to South Africa and focus on food and wine. To make the trip even more memorable, we invited our good friend, David, a long-time traveler and lover of wine. While he’d visited much of Europe, a visit to the southern tip of Africa had only ever been aspirational. I redeemed 80,000 United Airlines MileagePlus miles for a roundtrip Economy ticket on LH from PHL to FRA to CPT. I built in an overnight stop in FRA to allow David a recovery day and night in Stuttgart on the front end.

 

[picture 1]

 

Departing the Winelands—again, on the UK side of the road—we drove to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. With an entrance fee of $5, Kirstenbosch features flora common to South Africa, open fields, a fragrance garden, and trails leading up into Table Mountain National Park. Here, we enjoyed amazing views of the park and southeastern Cape Town.

 

[picture 2]

 

The dinosaur sculptures were a definite highlight which were placed just off the footpaths. The treetop canopy walkway is suspended 12-15 feet above the ground offering spectacular and picturesque views. With the African winter sun warming the garden’s hills, Kirstenbosch proved to be the perfect start to our day and built up our appetite for the first wine estate stop of the day.

 

[picture 3]

[picture 4]

 

Founded in 1685, Groot Constantia is the oldest wine estate in South Africa. The estate houses two restaurants, a museum, an historic manor house, and relics dedicated to the estate’s first wine makers of Groot Constantia Grand Constance, South Africa’s oldest wine. We lunched at Jonkershuis Restaurant where the waiter recommended the Classic Cape Malay spread.

 

[picture 5]

 

Unique to the Western Province, Cape Malay cuisine is a fusion of Malaysian, Indonesian, and East African food cultures. Cape Malay cooking blends cumin, coriander, star anise, turmeric, and other spices to create hearty and aromatic dishes perfect for outdoor winter dining.

 

[picture 6]

 

We feasted on lamb, minced beef, caramelized pumpkin, and for dessert, a chocolate and espresso crumb cake accented with vanilla ice cream. With generous pours of the Grand Constance, an amber-colored blend of red and white Muscat, Groot Constantia provided the push we needed to tackle our next wondrous experience.

 

In 2007, the New 7 Wonders Foundation launched a global campaign to find the “New7Wonders of Nature.” When voting ended in 2011, Table Mountain was declared one of the “Wonders.” Situated in its own national park, the flat-topped mountain overlooks Cape Town to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and False Bay to the southeast.

 

[picture 7]

 

The rotating Table Mountain Cable Car is the best way to visit the top. I highly encourage you to buy your tickets online before you arrive rather than on-site. The afternoon ticket (1300 to sunset) offers fewer crowds. With its rotating floor, the cable car offers 360º views as it climbs to the summit. Once you’re at the top, you can hike one of three trails offering mind-blowing views of the city and the ocean.

 

[picture 8]

[picture 9]

 

In sum, venturing outside the Winelands proved to be a very successful daytrip. From our prehistoric walks at Kirstenbosch to riding the cable car up to the out-of-this-world views from atop Table Mountain, greater Cape Town offers much for those looking to experience the outdoors.

 

Next, Part 6 (the finale): Formal beach wear!

 

Happy Travels!

 

Vr,

Albert

 

Albert Guerrero, USAF (ret.)

Follow my travels on Instagram: @albert_traveler

AAR: The Western Cape, South Africa, June 2017 (Part 5)

 

Greetings, Fellow Travelers!

 

BLUF: This six-part AAR covers the journey, the destination, and activities of our trip to South Africa (our second!) while stationed in Germany. This trip focused almost exclusively on wine and food. While far from almost everywhere, the Winelands outside Cape Town have one of the largest concentration of wine estates for both seasoned and novice wine drinkers. It’s much more affordable than France and has better mountain views than Germany.

 

Today’s AAR takes us to the Western Province of the Republic of South Africa.

 

Part 5: Trees and Tables.

 

Previously, in Part 1, I noted how after our pricy Oslo trip we wanted to return to South Africa and focus on food and wine. To make the trip even more memorable, we invited our good friend, David, a long-time traveler and lover of wine. While he’d visited much of Europe, a visit to the southern tip of Africa had only ever been aspirational. I redeemed 80,000 United Airlines MileagePlus miles for a roundtrip Economy ticket on LH from PHL to FRA to CPT. I built in an overnight stop in FRA to allow David a recovery day and night in Stuttgart on the front end.

 

[picture 1]

 

Departing the Winelands—again, on the UK side of the road—we drove to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. With an entrance fee of $5, Kirstenbosch features flora common to South Africa, open fields, a fragrance garden, and trails leading up into Table Mountain National Park. Here, we enjoyed amazing views of the park and southeastern Cape Town.

 

[picture 2]

 

The dinosaur sculptures were a definite highlight which were placed just off the footpaths. The treetop canopy walkway is suspended 12-15 feet above the ground offering spectacular and picturesque views. With the African winter sun warming the garden’s hills, Kirstenbosch proved to be the perfect start to our day and built up our appetite for the first wine estate stop of the day.

 

[picture 3]

[picture 4]

 

Founded in 1685, Groot Constantia is the oldest wine estate in South Africa. The estate houses two restaurants, a museum, an historic manor house, and relics dedicated to the estate’s first wine makers of Groot Constantia Grand Constance, South Africa’s oldest wine. We lunched at Jonkershuis Restaurant where the waiter recommended the Classic Cape Malay spread.

 

[picture 5]

 

Unique to the Western Province, Cape Malay cuisine is a fusion of Malaysian, Indonesian, and East African food cultures. Cape Malay cooking blends cumin, coriander, star anise, turmeric, and other spices to create hearty and aromatic dishes perfect for outdoor winter dining.

 

[picture 6]

 

We feasted on lamb, minced beef, caramelized pumpkin, and for dessert, a chocolate and espresso crumb cake accented with vanilla ice cream. With generous pours of the Grand Constance, an amber-colored blend of red and white Muscat, Groot Constantia provided the push we needed to tackle our next wondrous experience.

 

In 2007, the New 7 Wonders Foundation launched a global campaign to find the “New7Wonders of Nature.” When voting ended in 2011, Table Mountain was declared one of the “Wonders.” Situated in its own national park, the flat-topped mountain overlooks Cape Town to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and False Bay to the southeast.

 

[picture 7]

 

The rotating Table Mountain Cable Car is the best way to visit the top. I highly encourage you to buy your tickets online before you arrive rather than on-site. The afternoon ticket (1300 to sunset) offers fewer crowds. With its rotating floor, the cable car offers 360º views as it climbs to the summit. Once you’re at the top, you can hike one of three trails offering mind-blowing views of the city and the ocean.

 

[picture 8]

[picture 9]

 

In sum, venturing outside the Winelands proved to be a very successful daytrip. From our prehistoric walks at Kirstenbosch to riding the cable car up to the out-of-this-world views from atop Table Mountain, greater Cape Town offers much for those looking to experience the outdoors.

 

Next, Part 6 (the finale): Formal beach wear!

 

Happy Travels!

 

Vr,

Albert

 

Albert Guerrero, USAF (ret.)

Follow my travels on Instagram: @albert_traveler

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