48 hours in Cape Town.
Thrills and chills in Cape Town.
It was high time to wave good-bye to a harsh Berlin winter and say hello to frost-free times at the Cape of Good Hope and the nearby Cape Town. South Africa’s second-largest city is the perfect starting point for safaris in Karoo National Park, exploring the seminal Garden Route – or a two-day cosmopolitan adventure with plenty of thrills, chills and culinary or cultural surprises. In a way, Cape Town harbours many welcome extras missing from Western metropolises: It has its own national park, countless pristine beaches within easy reach, a friendly and open populace as well as great and often reasonably priced food.
Discovering Cape Town the vintage way.
One thing Cape Town lacks, however, is a decent and extensive public transport system. So, if you don’t want to miss out on a spectacular sunrise or the city’s many after-hours events, it makes sense to explore Cape Town and environs by car.
Those bored with the usual hire car roster head straight for Retro Rentals where automotive highlights, including a spot-on selection of vintage Mercedes-Benz models, turn explorations into real cruising experiences, photos of which can be found in the gallery above.
A place to be for coffee lovers.
Our trip starts in a modern classic, a 1991 Mercedes-Benz W 126 500 SE, and with a sunset atop one of the city’ famous landmarks, Table Mountain or Signal Hill. The breath-taking view of the bay gives evidence of Cape Town’s sheer size – and for more sweeping vistas, book one of the majestic paragliding excursions over the chic-meets-chichi Sea Point area. Back on terra firma, we cruise the awakening town for a java fix – and find ourselves spoilt for choice as Cape Town is a veritable Mecca of premium coffee with more than 60 roasters and a myriad of high-end brands. Cappuccino lovers find their salvation at Truth where frothy bliss and delicious bite-sized snacks are served in a playful yet stylish interior.
Workmanship and excellence.
Across the street, we catch a glimpse of a Mercedes star peeking out from the top level of a parking deck. In Cape Town, following an impromptu lead pays off more often than not, and we end up meeting Bini, a mechanic who uses the space as a workshop for restoring old Mercedes-Benz models. A paragon of Cape Town hospitality, Bini welcomes us with open arms.
Around noon, we pay a visit to Patrick Burnett who turns wood into surfboards at his beautifully situated workshop at Imhoff Farm. A fantastic blend of sustainable workmanship and aesthetic excellence, his one-of-a-kind boards are available straight from the workshop – and customisable according to your own preferences.
To test the goods, Patrick takes us to an off the beaten track beach to enjoy one our favourite activities: riding the waves.
Woodstock: The hippest place in town.
Back in the Mother City we refuel with tacos at Yard and stretch our legs with a leisurely walk. En route we stop at Mabu Vinyl, a store featured in the Academy Award winning documentary “Searching for Sugar Man“. For a closer look at contemporary South African art, we drive to the former working class neighbourhood of Woodstock, Cape Town’s current equivalent to Bushwick, Belleville or Kreuzberg. Here, two of South Africa’s pre-eminent galleries, Stevenson and Goodman Gallery, can be found in the same building complex. The exhibitions on display are not only visually enticing, but also give us a deeper insight into how current (South) African art tackles issues related to history, politics and economy.
Cape Town is the epitome of a cosmopolitan metropolis: As a melting pot of countless influences and ethnicities, the capital of the West Cape Province boasts cleverly designed living spaces and culinary diversity. Aside from the city’s many Indian restaurants and mouth-watering fish dishes, guests can expect some incredible meat specialities.
We recommend Nelson's Eye, a traditional Afrikaans restaurant, with its melt-in-the-mouth filet mignon as well as some recipes not everyone will be familiar with, including springbok and ostrich dishes. Absolutely delicious.
Nighttime at the waterfront.
At night, people head to one of the many bars and clubs located on Long Street or the Victoria & Albert waterfront. Somewhere in South Africa’s oldest working harbour, we stumble across the Jou Ma Se Comedy Club and enjoy the honest, yet fun dissection of social hot topics. Accessible to locals and travellers alike, the show immediately captures our attention – and leads to a night on the town with comedy newcomer and all round delightful chap Yassin.
Spoilt by sun, nature and its residents’ warm way of being, the city not only sweeps away the average winter blues in 48 hours, but also kindles a sense of adventure with its spicy taste of South Africa and beyond.