Tag: #capetown

Victoria and Alfred Sitting in a Tree…K.I.S.S.I.N.G

One of the “must do” activities in Capetown is to visit the V&A Waterfront, a place where tourists can meander safely, buy stuff and eat food – basically like Disneyland for adults who are wearing Teva’s because they are on holiday and doing a lot of “walking.”

Around the world, when one sees V&A, one assumes it is some sort of homage to one of the greatest love stories of our time (a real royal love match between cousins that got Britain to believe in love again). 

Naturally we assumed the Waterfront with its stunning romantic views was the same, which is why we were a bit miffed when the GPS started directing us to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Had the GPS gotten it wrong? Did someone use the auto correct while entering in the data? (Clearly unclear on how GPS data collection works)

Minutes later we learned that indeed the official name was Victoria & Alfred. Who the F was Alfred? Did Albert know about him? Did the greatest love story our time suffer a slight glitch? Or had a giant game of Telephone gone seriously wrong? Had someone run to a departing ship in 1840 and yelled “Victoria and Albert!” Only to have his words taken by the wind and received by the Captain as “Victoria and Alfred!” Which he relayed once docked in Capetown?

So many questions. We decided to ask our waiter, who said he wasnt sure, but wasn’t Alfred Victoria’s husband? Oh dear, did everyone in Capetown think Victoria was married to Alfred? 

Google said that Alfred was her second son, and the Waterfront has named for him and his mother because it joined the Alfred Basin and the Victoria Basin. Of course, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, so we decided to turn into hard hitting journalists and ask people. 

A security guard had no idea, a man that worked in a wine shop thought a plaque might help (it didn’t), we finally stopped asking when woman working in an English Cheese shop said that some tourists had asked her the same thing a week ago and she hadn’t looked it up, she just assumed they were husband and wife.

So, in conclusion, poor Albert would probably not be happy to know that people around Capetown think his wife and cousin, Queen Victoria was actually hooking up with Alfred, her son (presumably at the Victoria & Alfred Hotel). 

Ahh, the royals, so hard to keep those bloodlines straight. 

Table Mountain: If At First You Don’t Succeed, Upgrade Your Offer

Table Mountain must be wooed, it demands you ask nicely and put in an effort, if you really want to see it, you have to be prepared to be rejected, a couple of times. 

Like anything that thinks highly of itself, it is also not a cheap date, if you offer it tacos, it’s going to keep saying no until you upgrade to steak.

It all started on the plane: the airline magazine said that during the month of February the Table Mountain cable car was half-off after 6pm.

Half-off? During sunset? Basically dream words to anyone travelling on a budget, if it said “free toast for breakfast” I might have suggested camping up there.

But the Mountain wasn’t the one that agreed to being offered up cheaply, so, like any offspring that feels like its parent is sacrificing them to “Joe, you know, your neighbor who doesn’t have a job, but is a very nice man, and you are getting older, so maybe give him a chance”, the Mountain rebelled. 

Monday, 5:57pm: we park, we hear a siren. We question whether it means the cable car is arriving. Turns out it actually means the winds have picked up and the clouds have started to roll in, meaning everything must shut for the day. The Mountain was obviously displeased with our spontaneous offer of “you’re here, I’m here and it’s happy hour so we may as well do this thing…”
Tuesday, 4pm: check conditions, according to website, “temp: good, visibility: decent” (we later figure out is about 30 mins behind in updating its mood). We begin to drive, we see clouds pouring down over the mountain, we are stuck in traffic, we stop driving and change plans. The Mountain is such a tease, it appreciated the extra planning but really wanted more fan fare, it’s a bit stuck in the world of 90s teen romance movies. 

The view from the backseat window

Wednesday, 5pm: “Table Mountain road is closed due to fire” comes over the radio, followed by hysterical laughter.”No, I can’t go out tonight, I’m getting my hair done”

Last attempt possible is Thursday morning, obviously not possible if the whole thing went up in flames. 

Thursday, 8am: Table Mountain Facebook page says they are currently closed due to wind. 

Thursday, 8:30am: Mountain is open! Go, go, get in car, drive as fast as possible.

Thursday, 11am: paid full price, but up mountain! Third time’s the charm! We had basically gotten down on one knee, sang it some love songs and offered up our allowance for the week.

And just like any date you spend a lot of time thinking about, it ends up being slightly better in your head. The views were lovely, but we spent more time wondering how many people die up here per year? (can’t find an average, but 16 died in 2009).

Lesson: if you can’t find somebody to be yourself with, you accepts you for your offer of tacos, you’re going to want to throw yourself off a cliff.