96 Hours in Cape Town & Jo'Burg (+ a beautiful wedding)
Since we got back from our very short holiday to South Africa in April, Tee has been quick to tell everyone that Cape Town is the most beautiful city he has ever visited. Every time he says it, I wonder if we were on the same holiday. Did I miss something?
No don't get me wrong. It wasn't like it wasn't beautiful. It was and I absolutely loved it! But I just keep wondering if he saw more than I did - considering we were in CapeTown for just about 2 days, and in South Africa for a little over 96 hours. I didn't even get a chance to see anything Nelson Mandela related. Well apart from the statute of him at the Nelson Mandela Square in Jo'Burg where we had dinner on the night we arrived.
Considering how long we flew to get there, I feel like we should totally have spent at least 7 days. But due to work commitment, I couldn't take any more time off.
So I obviously have to go back. So I can take it all in!
I wasn't too sure about writing this post, because I had no pictures or exciting adventures or tourist locations to share! It was literally a dash in and dash out kind of journey, with time spent mostly with family and friends. But it was a fun one, with lots of laughter. And even though I didn't have perfect Instagram worthy holiday photos, I had a good time.
Plus in real life, moments aren't meant to be perfectly captured, are they? So I decided to share the highlights nonetheless, and hopefully better photos on our next trip.
1. Long flight, Emirates Lounge & Amazing Thai Food
Our flight to Jo'Burg involved a 7 hour layover at Dubai. Seven whole hours in the middle of the night. What was I supposed to be doing?
But Tee told me not to worry that as a Silver card member he was entitled to use the business class lounge. And the good part was he could bring a guest as well i.e. me! So all was well in the world again then. But imagine my hurt, when we arrived and the concierge said he could use the lounge but couldn’t bring in a guest unless he was a Gold Member! Welp. I was already exhausted, and it was about midnight. At the end of the flight, he'd have become a gold member, but they said you needed to have completed the flight first. Of course he couldn't leave me outside and go in.
So we walked away and wandered off for a bit, with me slightly fuming and upset. Like why couldn't they just let us go in? Finally, we realised that we could pay for me to use the lounge. Basically even if you're not a frequent flyer, you could pay a $100 to use the Emirates lounge in Dubai. It made sense to me at that time, because if we both had to get food and drinks in a restaurant we may have spent roughly close to that. So we went back.
I was able to have a shower, change clothes (after my Barbados experience of delayed luggage, I often have two sets of clothes in my hand luggage), eat and sleep. It was very much worth it. So if you ever have a long layover, it might be worth considering inquiring about the lounge, especially if it's a night flight and you're cranky. If it were during the day, I may not have had any issues, and window shopping might have required much more than 7 hours!
We arrived on Friday evening and basically spent some time in Sandton, catching up with friends. I have to say though that the Thai meal we had at the Wangthai restaurant at the Nelson Mandela Square is one of the best I have ever had! It was amazing. This isn't the best photo but we were too hungry to even attempt to take any.
2. The V&A Waterfront & the Beach
We flew into Cape Town on Saturday morning and after a lot of catching up with the rest of the gang, headed for the the V&A Waterfront - which is a must see in Cape Town. Its full name is the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront (named after some English royals at that time). The waterfront was historically a shipping harbour and this combined with museums, malls, restaurants, food markets and so much more, make it such an enchanting place to visit. Sadly we got there in the late evening and didn't get much of an opportunity to explore the area, but we had a nice dinner outside.
We explored the malls as well, and bought a ton of food for a house barbecue later that night! Remember Tee's friends on the poster in this rather funny post on "should your husband go on a men-only vacation"? Yep, they were his groomsmen as well and it's great that we can still all holiday together and have such a good time. As I said in that post, I'm definitely tagging along for all their holidays! (just for fun, you should check out Ken's hilarious and long come back comment to that post!)
On this trip they definitely have a story to tell about trying to get alcohol after 8pm in the shops - apparently it's near impossible! The Barbecue was so much fun as well, by the pool with music and so much to eat. And shall I just publicly acknowledge Ken's barbecue-ing skills? You can always take this up full time Ken!
With all of this, our Saturday was gone! Next up, Sunday and the day of the wedding. But what's a holiday without the beach? Even if it's a super quick holiday. So in our super short time, we had to find a beach in Camps Bay. Oh the joy - it was so beautiful.
Unfortunately, I didn't have the leisure of lying on a beach, reading a novel and having a perfectly great instagrammable moment. But we had a had a nice lunch and a good walk on the beach, and then headed back to prepare for the wedding.
3. The Wedding
The wedding was the reason for our trip - and it turned out to be such an enjoyable one! I loved it - well save for the fact that there was no small chops (i.e. Nigerian style canapes) or Jollof rice. The menu was super posh. But I guess I wasn't surprised because it was indeed a different kind of Nigerian wedding with just about 30 guests! It was such a beautiful ambience, so cozy, so beautiful.
Perhaps more intriguing was the fact that the couple did not wear a traditional tux or wedding dress. They did it their own way. I remember sending photos to a friend - and she kept saying "But where is the bride and groom.?You're just sending photos of guests!" Well, that was the bride and groom.
Fun fact: I got my chance to finally compere a wedding as I had wanted to. But I think halfway through it all, I felt like I was missing out on all the fun and just being a guest. So I left my co-MC and returned to the table. But I still really enjoyed it. I didn't manage to get a decent photo at the wedding, but this was taken just before we stepped out I quite liked my outfit - you probably may have noticed I have a special love for off-the-shoulder clothes!
4. A candid shoot with Twenty Six
Remember Twenty Six - The Nigerian fashion line? The creative director Desola (I interviewed her here) was with us on this trip and we got a sneak peek of the items from her latest look book. I was invited to participate in the candid shoot, but shyness might have got the better of me. But it was such a beautiful shoot, and it showed off the house where we lodged - complete with the pool and lounge areas. You can always shop their affordable pieces at Twentsix.co.
All in all, I had a great time. Ken who lives in South Africa would shout from the mountain tops that Jo' Burg is a better place to be and Capetown is way too slow a city. I guess that's something he'd have to convince me about next time. Because he failed woefully this time, and just maybe I agree with Tee on Cape Town being the most beautiful place I've been. I mean look, look at the photos of the beach and scenery, taken with my very normal bridge camera and absolutely zero edit! *love struck*
Jo' Burg however provided with with the best salon where I have ever got my eyebrows threaded - and by a guy too! So that's a plus I guess.
Have you been to any part of South Africa?
How did you find it, and what did you do there (taking all the tips I can, way in advance - God willing!)
pS: On this trip, I got accused of wearing only off the shoulder clothes. To be honest, they are my all time faves! And that yellow dress from ASOS, I have definitely over-worn but it's absolutely perfect!