FUN-photos: Buenos Aires to Cape Town, South Africa – Silversea Cruise 2013

April 19, 2013 by · Comments Off on FUN-photos: Buenos Aires to Cape Town, South Africa – Silversea Cruise 2013 

The third part of our trip had us flying from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina on March 2nd to board the Silversea Expedition for a 22 day cruise. We had three expeditions in the Falkland Islands and six in South Georgia. We were a bit disappointed when we unable to land on Tristan Da Cunha do to rough seas. It is the most remote inhabited island in the world, with Easter Island a close second.

We never planned the trip around seeing some of the most remote islands in the world, it just turned out that way. We loved Antarctica and wanted to see South Georgia without going back to the continent. The Seabourn cruise just happened to include several islands as well.

We arrived in Cape Town on March 22nd for two nights and three days. After eleven straight sea days we were all ready to get off and enjoy land!

If you click on the first picture it will allow you to create a slide show. And it turns out they are in ascending order (in other words, the first is actually the last) Enjoy!

FUN-travel: Cape Town, South Africa to Dubai to Amman, Jordan – End of Silversea Cruise

March 28, 2013 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Cape Town, South Africa to Dubai to Amman, Jordan – End of Silversea Cruise 

The ABC’s of Africa
A = Awesome
B = Bummer
C = Celebration

Trip Day 54 – Sunday, March 24 – Cape Town, South Africa to Amman, Jordan via Dubai – very windy, sunny – high low 80’s – sunrise 6:52 – sunset 6:51

Cape Town, South Africa 23

Cape Dutch Architecture @ Groot

  • 7:30 – wake up to full sun
  • need hot cappuccino to get moving
  • 8:15 – finish pack up (supposed to be out of cabin by 8:30)

    Cape Town, South Africa 27

    Winery Art

  • 9:00 – get breakfast
  • 10:00 – off ship – driver/guide pickup for 6 hours before airport drop off
  • 10:30 – arrive Groot Constantia Wine Estate – nice long walk – built 1685 features Cape Dutch architecture
  • 11:30 – drive to Hout Bay for diversion (don’t need wine tasting at this hour) cute harbor town w/local market
  • 12:30 – back to Groot Constantia Wine Estate to meet Stephen, my Cape Town travel agent – he is brother of my neighbor & booked all of our African travel 2010 – he has also booked our next leg of this trip to Jordan & Israel – you can find out about him @
  • 1:00 – lunch @ Simon’s – nice mussels & Pinotage
  • 3:00 – off to airport for 6:10 flight w/quick stop @ roadside grape  stand
  • 3:30 – arrive airport
  • B – flight delayed by 2.5 hrs
  • BB – (big bummer) we missed our connection to Amman & won’t get there until 4:30 pm instead of 10:05 (miss our half day tour we paid for)
  • A – got biz class seat on Expedia for almost half price
  • B – they don’t want to give us access to biz class lounge
  • C – after much complaining they acquiesce!
Cape Town, South Africa 2

Me & Stephen

  • B – 8:35 – boarding plane call & we lost our jetway & have to bus & schlep bags to plane
  • C –9:20 – take off!

Not so FF – (FUN-fact) – Forgot to mention that for the entire 2013 tourism season Tristan Da Cunha had 4 cruise ships scheduled to land and not one of them did. Like everyone else, tourism dollars have a huge impact.

Cape Town, South Africa 26

FUN-travel: Ushuaia, Argentina to Cape Town, South Africa – Silversea Cruise – Day 22 – Cape Town – Day 2

March 25, 2013 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Ushuaia, Argentina to Cape Town, South Africa – Silversea Cruise – Day 22 – Cape Town – Day 2 

The ABC’s of Africa
A = Awesome
B = Bummer
C = Celebration

Trip Day 53 – Saturday, March 23 – Cape Town, South Africa – very windy, sun mixed w/clouds – high 70 – sunrise 6:51 – sunset 6:53

Cape Town, South Africa 15

  • 8:00 – wake up – cappuccinos/typical breakfast
  • 11:00 – nice walk to V & A waterfront
  • 12:00 – walk to Westin to buy Africology body butter in spa (this stuff is heaven – bought it 2 years ago and need more)
  • 1:00 – taxi to Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock – food, shops, farmers market & craft fair
  • A – Burrata restaurant for fabulous thin crust pizza & salad $20
  • 2:30 – taxi back to V & A ($6.00 each way)
  • A – find great gifts @ shop made by locals only $50
  • 4:00 – back to ship to pack up
  • 7:00 – happy hour w/shipmates Kathy & Larry
  • 8:15 – Dinner – mussels not VG so order pasta w/olive oil, garlic, parmesan & crushed red peppers (AKA chili flakes) VG
  • B – 12:00 – we are moored in harbor & ship is still rocking

Cape Town, South Africa 14

FF – (FUN-fact) – Silversea had tours on Friday & Saturday but we had been there two years ago so chose to do our own thing rather than repeat.

FUN-travel: Ushuaia, Argentina to Cape Town, South Africa – Silversea Cruise – Day 21 – Cape Town

March 25, 2013 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Ushuaia, Argentina to Cape Town, South Africa – Silversea Cruise – Day 21 – Cape Town 

The ABC’s of Africa
A = Awesome
B = Bummer
C = Celebration

Trip Day 52 – Friday, March 22 – Arrive Cape Town, South Africa – sunny, windy – high low 70’s

Cape Town, South Africa 12

Clock Tower at V & A

  • BB – (big bummer) – 6:50 – wake up over PA for sunrise
  • A – I was sleeping so good
  • 7:50 – get up cause I can’t fall back to sleep
  • A – I see land@ – we’re almost to Cape Town
  • B – need to bunker (fill up the gas tank on boat takes 3 hrs) & not the same place we moor
  • 9:15 – clear customs in theatre
  • A – 1:00 – lunch of chips, salsa, guacamole, beans, jalpenos – YEAH! (not the same as in San Diego but works)
  • 1:00 – shuttle bus takes us from bunker pier to Victoria & Alfred (V & A) Waterfront
  • C – on land!
  • A – lots of walking, shopping, music & fresh air
  • 3:00 – iced coffee break
  • 5:00 – Pinotage – happy hour at V & A w/shipmates Kathy & Larry – first time tasting Pinotage & kingclip fish for them
  • 6:30 – shuttle back to ship for more happy hour
  • 8:00 – dinner & bed!

FF – (FUN-fact) – Cape Town is Africa’s most popular tourist destination. It is famous for its harbor and Table Mountain which was named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2007.

Cape Town, South Africa 11

FUN-travel: South Africa – Cape Town

September 17, 2010 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: South Africa – Cape Town 

The ABC’s of Africa

Green Market Square

A = Awesome
B = Bummer
C = Celebration
BB = Big Bummer
RBB = Really Big Bummer
TA = Totally Awesome
VG = Very Good

Day 7 – Thursday, September 9 – drive to Cape Town – half day tour – windy, cloudy, 60’s

  • B – no hot water in room
  • A – offered another room with really hot water
  • TA – receive complimentary bottle of wine for inconvenience
  • A – 9:30 am pick up and drive to Cape Town – arrive 11 am
  • TA – Walden House, lovely old Colonial home with 7 suites – get upgraded to master suite with fireplace & just remodeled with double headed shower – full city, Table Mtn. & Signal Hill views from our wrap around balcony
  • A – take drive up to Signal Hill – full views of Cape Town – drive along coastal communities – drop off @ 1 pm for ferry to Robben Island where Nelson  Mandela was imprisoned for 20 years – return to Victoria & Alfred Waterfront – walk around – street musicians & acts abound – back to Walden House by 6:30 – wonderful dinner @ Beleza on corner $30 includes bottle of Pinotage

FF (FUN Facts) –  Cape Town is called the Mother City – blending of Eastern, African and Western ways of life constantly evident in architecture, dress and local customs

Robben Island

Day 8 – Friday, September 10 – Cape Town – half day tour – windy, sunny, a bit warmer, high 60’

  • A – incredible spread of food, both hot & cold at guest house

    Table Mountain Tram

  • A – 9:30 depart for walking tour of Cape Town – go to Castle of Good Hope, built by Dutch between 1666 and 1679, houses the Military museum – walk through downtown Company Gardens
  • A – shop at Green Market Square – vendors selling African masks, stone & wood carvings, fabrics, drums, jewelry, etc.
  • B – lunch, wait too long & just so so
  • A – nice walk back to Walden House
  • A – dinner at Miller’s Thumb $40 – eat kingklip fish

FF – food & wine is extremely reasonable

Day 9 – Saturday, September 11 – Cape Town – Free day – sunny, windy, warmer, high 70’

  • BB – sharks not breaching due to beached whale they ate (tummies are full now)
  • A – hop on double decker city sightseeing bus
  • A – table mountain aerial tram is open
  • B – 35 minute wait to buy tickets
  • A – only takes 4 minutes to top (3200 ft) and floor rotates 360 degrees
  • B – still have vertigo and a bit afraid of heights (can’t look down)
  • A – seat in middle of tram stationary
  • TA – perfectly clear day, can see for miles
  • A – continue bus tour, get different perspective on top (drove the same route on Thursday in car)
  • A – end up back at Victoria & Alfred waterfront shops, have lunch, shop
  • A – back on bus with drop off at Green Market Square, more shopping
  • B – bus no longer running, must walk back to guest house (1 mile) been walking lots already
  • A –Maharajah Indian restaurant on corner, VG lamb curry, vegetables, rice & of course bottle of SA wine

Cape Baboons

FF – why you want a driver/guide here? They drive on the wrong side of the road and you can drink more wine!

Day 10 – Sunday, September 12 – Cape Town – Full day tour to Cape of Good Hope – sunny, warm, high 70’s

Cape of Good Hope

  • A – 9:00 am start @ Bo-Kaap neighborhood, lively, bright colored painted houses – drive south on east side to keep sun on our side
  • 1st stop Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens – 22,000 southern African flowering plants in a setting of mountain streams, pools and rolling lawns
  • 2nd stop Simonstown – Boulders beach has resident colony of jackass penguins
  • 3rd stop – Cape Point in Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, said to be the romantic meeting point of two mighty oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian – Sir Francis Drake called it “the fairest Cape that we saw in the whole circumference of the Globe.”
  • A – see roaming bontebok, ostrich and baboons
  • TA – west side drive to Chapman’s Peak very steep, winding & a lot like Big Sur
  • A – back to Beleza for another great dinner & even eat dessert this time, in celebration of my dad’s birthday coming up next week

Westerncape Recap: This is the first time we have ever stayed at guest houses instead of hotels. All of them were rated 4 stars and we were quite impressed with the service, food, and rooms. Our neighbor Jeff is from South Africa and when I complained about how expensive the quotes were for this trip he suggested B&B’s.  Hotels are quite expensive here. Now that Chris is retired, we no longer have a need to continue our loyalty to both Marriott and Hilton hotels. We are going to use our points up for free rooms when we are in cities where rooms are expensive (like Paris at the end of the trip.)  Jeff also suggested using his brother Stephan who has a travel agency in SA. And we are glad we did! We have felt very safe and comfortable everywhere we went. The cities have ranged from beautiful and quaint to very cosmopolitan.  We specifically chose to come at this time because we wanted to see the sharks’ breach. The best time for that is in their winter months of June, July & August. We were at the tail end so didn’t get to see them in Shark Alley. One of the surprises we hadn’t thought of was all the spring flowers that were in bloom. Overall we give the Westerncape 2 thumbs up and highly recommend seeing it.

Jackass Penguins