One of the most beautiful things about travelling is being surprised by the places you visit, when you go to a place knowing what to expect and having those expectations completely blown out of the water. And that’s exactly what happened when a friend and I visited Table Mountain in Cape Town in South Africa.
My trip to Cape Town with a friend was almost on a whim and was decided on about three days before. We only had a day and a half to spend there. The full day (the second) was to be spent on a private guided tour and on the first (half) day, we would visit Table Mountain and try to catch the sunset. Because that’s what WikiTravel said to do. I knew it was beautiful from the pictures I’ve seen, and it certainly looked promising from the balcony of our bed and breakfast.
We took the cable car up to the top of the mountain (you can also choose to hike up there if you’re crazy like that). The cool thing about the cable car is that it rotates, so you get a 360-degree view of the ascent. But even the spectacular views from the cable car did not prepare me for this:
The words “breathtaking”, “stunning” and “gorgeous” all don’t seem to do justice to the beauty that is Table Mountain. The views of Cape Town’s coast and the Twelve Apostles one side, the surrounding mountains (Devil’s Peak and the Lion’s Head) on opposite sides and downtown Cape Town on yet another are unparalleled
And it’s not just about the views either. The mountain top itself, with its rock formations, cliffs and gorges is beautiful, too. Although, it must be said, it is as dangerous as it is beautiful, with NO and I mean ZERO safety railings to prevent you plunging to your death in case you slip. I am not afraid of heights, but I was scared that I would sneeze funny and lose my balance in the blustering wind (ALWAYS bring something to keep you warm to Table Mountain, even if it’s hot as hell at the bottom. You’ll thank me for it.) , so I kept a safe distance from the edge while exploring the massive flat top of the mountain.
My friend and I did this for about two hours (probably more) while waiting for the one thing we came up for the in the first place: the sunset. The sunset from Table Mountain has been described as “magical”, “indescribable” and “so beautiful the world could end right now.” While I won’t go THAT far, I would tend to agree. Because, well, look:
I came up the Table Mountain cableway expecting to see something beautiful. I came down it knowing that I just saw one of the most amazing, breathtaking, magnificent places on the planet. Don’t you love it when things, especially travel, turn out like that?