Loop 91 Hostel
Cape Town is a busy city with heaps to do. We had limited time so used the trusty Sight Seeing Tour bus to ensure we covered as much ground as possible. The office for the Big Bus Tour was around the corner from our hostel. We stayed at Loop 91 Hostel (which is located on 91 Loop Street!) and were greeted by incredibly friendly and helpful staff. The hostel bar was lively and there are daily events ranging from salsa parties to movie nights. There was a great atmosphere at all times and is a good place to stay if you want an easily accessible social life!
Table Mountain and V&A Waterfront
We hopped on the bus and started to drive through the city. It’s very residential and we caught frequent glimpses of the beautiful beach with the sea in the background through the tall green trees that line the roadside. Up the hills we saw various mountain formations, the most famous of all, of course, being Table Mountain. Our bus tour ticket included a ride up the gondola, so when our bus stopped at the Table Mountain stop, we decided to do it straight away! Although it was busy, we were later glad that we had braved the queue when we did because the sky was clear and the sun was out. For the rest of our time in Cape Town, it was very cloudy with the occasional burst of utterly torrential rain.
The gondola is very impressive with its spinning bottom, ensuring that everyone gets a great view from all angles. We flew past people hiking or climbing the mountain and then, when we were at the top, we were free to admire the views for as long as we wanted. On top of the mountain there is a shop, restaurant (gooood pizza slices!) and toilets. There’s also a postbox to send the postcards which you can buy, with stamps, from the shop. It’s surprisingly un-flat considering it’s named Table, but it is not a difficult walk along the main paths. Be aware though, if you find a good spot for photo posing you will soon have a queue waiting to copy your creative brilliance!
When we were finished at the mountain, we hopped back on the bus we got and went to explore the V&A waterfront. It’s beautiful. There are lots of shops, restaurants, market stalls and food courts to peruse. We ate at a burger bar called Quay Four. It offered American style pub food in a classic sports bar. The upstairs is a different restaurant with a different menu. It looked very elegant with its gourmet dishes and expensive wine, but was the polar opposite of the downstairs sports bar, so whichever one you fancy, don’t sit in the wrong section by mistake or you, like us, might have to make the embarrassing move after looking at their menu and deciding it’s not for you!
The boat tour (also included in the bus tour) is short but sweet and we were lucky enough to spot some seals lazing around. It’s not very long, but they give you some interesting details on the history of the harbour and point out some local landmarks.
That night we hunted for cocktails. We found online a rooftop bar which was located on the Radisson hotel. There are two Radissons so get the right one!!! We walked in and nervously asked if we were in the right place. The friendly hotel receptionist sent us up in the lift to the top floor. The bar was beautiful. It was exactly what you want from a rooftop cocktail bar. Although it was dark, we were aware that we were being overlooked by Table Mountain. There was also a little pool to dip in (if it hadn’t been so cold!) and plenty of heaters and blankets to keep us warm. There were loads of cocktails to choose from and the food menu looked good (we had already eaten unfortunately!). If that wasn’t enough, it was Women’s Week so there were a few special drinks on the menu too. A great find and a great end to our first full day in Cape Town.