We took the ultimate road trip leaving the border of Lesotho to drive all the way there in one epic 12 hour drive. The scenery was dry and didn’t change much until we began to approach Cape Town where the landscape began turning green and the air temperature start to lower as we descended into valleys full of vineyards.
After a delicious lunch by the waterfront in Camps Bay, we put on our hiking boots and went to climb up Table Mountain. Originally we had thought about trying the cable car, but the 3 hour queue immediately put us off that idea!
Climbing Table Mountain is a must for anyone visiting Cape Town. I discovered that it’s one of the new 7 natural wonders of the world. The hike up the mountain is steep and definitely gives your heart a good workout, but the fantastic views are so worth it.
It took us an hour to climb the mountain because we took a pretty quick pace (altitude training for my next triathlon apparently) which was just as well as about half an hour after we made the top the clouds rolled in and the view completely vanished!
I couldn’t believe how quickly everything changed. One minute it was clear sunny and beautifully warm and the next it was misty with no view and very easy to get lost and wander around aimlessly. We walked down the mountain shortly after and felt sorry for those still walking up to no view.
Before the clouds rolled in, we walked around the top of the mountain soaking in the fantastic views both sides had to offer.
A trip to Cape Town would also be incomplete without going on a wine tasting tour. We took a tour with Wine Flies. I’d never been on an organised tour before and was very impressed with the level of knowledge our guide and driver had about every step of the process.
I learnt lots about the production of champagne, white wine and red wine that I hadn’t known previously. The morning started off in style with a few glasses of champagne – or champagne style since we aren’t in France! Cuvée means the best grapes from the first press which doesn’t squeeze the pips or skins so is less bitter or sour. Champagne grapes must always be picked by hand to ensure the best grapes are chosen because if any are spoiled or the skins pierced it can damage the quality of the end product.
The ornate foil neck on a champagne bottle was originally designed to hide the inconsistent levels that resulted when the yeast was removed from the neck. These days however the champagne gets topped up and the neck is mostly for decorative purposes. A Brut champagne that you’d most commonly find in the shops contains <5g sugar and is fairly dry. It should also take between 4 and 5 twists to unlock the metal cap over the champagne cork.
A vintage wine contains one specific year and what that year naturally brings. A reserve wine combines grapes from specific batches to create a unique character, while a non-vintage wine will use multiple years of grapes for flavour.
It takes three sips to understand a glass of wine and fully appreciate it when wine tasting. Don’t judge on the first sip because it can and will change in aroma and flavour. It also can be influenced by what you eat with the wine which we tested out with cheese and chocolate. Oh so much cheese and chocolate!!
Oh, and if anyone ever visits Cape Town and is looking for a hostel to stay in, I’d definitely recommend Once in Cape Town (inspiration for this post title). Their breakfast is absolutely incredible, best one I’ve ever had as part of a hostel bed ever!