As a city that boasts more than just a pretty coastline, we are never surprised to read that Cape Town is still one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world. Why? Just because of our Big 5 (Table Mountain, of course, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Point, Robben Island and, well, yes The V & A Waterfront)? Well, without a doubt they certainly do have something to do with the coercing of the intrepid traveller, to disregard any bad press or jealous friends, and take flight to the Cape of Good Hope. Good Hope, indeed. One of our Big 5 is infact, a natural wonder of the World. A Natural Wonder, indeed.
But I’d like to think (and share with you) that there is so much more than those beautiful beasts above, that this majestic city has to offer, every day. I was reading the paper this morning, well skimming through whilst sipping on some hot coffee and listening to our “Afro Cruising” breakfast album, snacking on Erica’s chocolate chip cookie (yes, cheating the bikini diet. Pierre Dukan would curse me in his finest French), taking in the natter between our guests about their daily excursions ahead, comparing notes on good photo opportunities, and Sunday restaurant tips (wonderful, when my job is done for me!). Anyway, where was I? So I was skimming through the paper and came across the “Good Weekend Guide” in the Weekend Argus. How do we keep up with all that is going on in this city, all of the time? There is too much. Should there, could there ever be too much going on, over just one weekend? I’m only reading one go-to-guide. How many are there out there?
What Cape Town flaunts is not just for all of our visitors to gaze on in wonder, but for those who reside here. For those who literally live, eat, breathe, not necessarily sleep, the city. Perhaps this is what is matching the magic of the notorious Big 5 – the people. Not just the ones who watch your cars nicely, or the ones who give you “water for your daughter”, or “ice-lolly for your dolly” on our local beaches, but the people who are constantly turning things over and bringing beautiful things together, to keep the sound pulsing down the streets, the art mixing up our palates, and the wind blowing round the mountain. I love it.
I’m going to compile our own Big 5, hopefully every weekend, maybe even twice a week, heck, the love I have for this city and the amount of cutural activities, music, food, art, talks, film, markets going on ALL YEAR ROUND, I just might even compile a Big 5 every day.
(All depending on our guests and if they keep up doing my job, talking to each other, taking care of the nitty-bitty, while I drink coffee, eat cookies – NO, no more – and tell you about our exhibitionist of a Mother City.)
So, for today, my Big 5 will include food, music, art, nature and wine. Not in order of preference…
Food – Ok, all I can think about today is the omelette that Barbielicious cooked for me an hour ago. How does someone perfect such a delectable cocktail of ingredients? Egg and parsley is all my diet allows for. She makes it heavenly. Today my Big 5 on food is Welgelegen’s own kitchen – for all the things that I cannot eat, that are there for the guests and not for me, anyway, like home-made banana bread and seed loaf. And for the things that I can, that taste like candyfloss.
Music – Studio 7. Grab a whiskey and a cushion or an arm of one of the sofas, lean up against the red facebrick wall, park a squat or stand at the back like the naughty kids while artists perform in this very intimate space. A wonderful concept for people to gather (no more than 50, well let’s say 70) and listen to some pretty decent jamming sessions. It’s raw and it highlights, once again, the talent of this Country.
Art – Iziko SA National Gallery Annexe is hosting the Art for Social Change exhibition. Pupils from Khayelitsha, Strand, Delft and Hanover Park are showing their work. This is an absolute must. But you have time. Running until the new year.
Nature – Good news. Crystal Pools hiking trails are open again from 1st November. The Steenbras River Gorge, Gordon’s Bay has been closed since May 2011 due to fire damage, soil erosion, vegetation degradation, uncontrolled access and visitor safety issues. There are new rules to abide by, but there are those reputable pools, waterfalls, nature trails, bird life, and spectacular views to put your takkies on for. Just dodge the Stellenbosch student trail.
Wine – Well, it’s the Robertson Wine on the River Festival this weekend. Happening right now. The spring celebration is well underway so if you are not there, drying off your wet feet with another tasting, then open up a bottle of this – Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block and partner it with a few shavings of parmigiano. This should be in the food category, I know, but red wine on this wintery October Sunday…
Let’s not moan about the weather. There are too many things to go to see and do today, that do not require sunshine. But I do know that the music I am about to go and listen to, standing at the back like the naughty kids, will most certainly brighten up my day.
I applaude you People of Cape Town. High 5.