Europe/South Africa Vacation

Table Mountain and Hermanus

We were going to go up Table Mountain but the weather was not conducive so we went to the botanical gardens instead. There are more indigenous plants here than anywhere in Africa. Spent a lovely afternoon with Vincent’s wife Caren exploring the gardens.

It’s been a couple of cool days with a bit of rain and since the houses are cement it was cold! They just wear more layers and add a blanket, but it doesn’t last long. With the sun back out again we headed to Table Mountain, what we didn’t know was that it was the 85th anniversary of the cable car that takes you up the mountain. Not only that but the fare was also $85 Rand, usually $215 and was the last day of spring break. So we, along with a kajillion others waited over 2 hours in line to go up the mountain, but we were there and you can’t go to South Africa and not go up Table Mountain, and it was so worth it. The view of both the Indian and Atlantic Ocean as well as the city of Cape Town was breathtaking. There are literally thousands of hikes in and around the mountain, and the views in all directions make this one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The next day We were invited to have lunch with Graham and his family in Hermanus. Hermanus is a small seaside town that is the best place in the world to watch whales from land. As we were driving the oceanfront road we were told that this part of the Atlantic is the breeding grounds for the Great White sharks. We didn’t see any sharks but we did see a pod of dolphins and a whole lot of surfers all dressing in wet suits, looking a lot like seals (and shark food) to me. We stopped to watch them and there was a rock with a young boys name etched in it, he was only 21 when he died there. There was also a sign stating the varying degrees of risk and a green flag flying on the lifeguard tower to say there have been no shark sightings so far today. Well you wouldn’t catch me taking that chance! While we were all eating lunch together we saw several whales frolicking in the waves right in front of us. So cool!

Last day in Cape Town. Mike had meetings all day, I was able to go to the mall for the morning, bought some gifts for the ladies who took me around and were so hospitable to us. Spent a nice afternoon by the pool, the pool was too cold to swim in though, they have just finished their winter. Woke up early, finished packing and off to do 2 meetings before going to the airport. The first one was with Graham Power and some of his staff at his office. They will begin round tables with all his managers in a couple weeks. He is also going to add GPS to his website for Unashamedly Ethical which has 4000 companies signed up in South Africa alone. And we are going to put his brochure in Spanish for him and he will take this Spanish version with him when he goes to see the Pope on Nov. 6th. We are only one person away from the Pope! I am so impressed with Graham as a person, very down to earth and approachable.

Next stop was the Verde Hotel. There must be some Spanish influence here as I’ve seen Spanish words here and there as well as food on the menu. This hotel is green, they have all kinds of lettuce and herbs growing all around the patio as well as an Eco friendly pool – there are plants all along the edge of the pool, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It looks like you are in a totally natural habitat. Met here with a man who just left the pastorate to go into the political arena and had an inspiring conversation with him. Now we are on our way home – via Houston and Florida 🙂 This plane is Turkish Air, the seats are so tight that Mike could not sit straight and with a 10 hour flight ahead of us were praying for mercy! It was not a full flight and so were able to switch to the emergency seats, thank you Lord for this blessing. First stop Istanbul, we only had an hour to connect so weren’t able to stop to buy Turkish Delight, too bad, the sample piece they gave us in the flight was delicious! This airport is beautiful and modern, and everything is open 24 hours, so at 5:00 in the morning it felt like it was mid day at a mall, wish I could have explored it a little. We made our connection and now 3 hours to Munich. Again only an hour to change planes. No problems and on to the last leg, a 12 hour flight direct to Houston. Alfredo and Elvia will meet us at the airport and we will drive 7 hours to Pensacola, Florida. The things we do for our kids!

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