“I stand at the cliff edge and my breath catches in my chest. At last, I have fulfilled two of my dreams; to come to Cape Town and climb Table Mountain. All around is sea, as if I am on some massive island in the clouds. Ahead is False Bay, where Great Whites breach the waves to capture their prey. On my left is the Waterfront, and directly below me is my home in Claremont. If I look very carefully, I can imagine that I can see my house.”
I lived in Cape Town for three years, at the beginning of the 2000s, and it was an unforgettable experience. I have memories of soft white sands, blue skies and a vast choice of fragrant fruit. Picnics on Signal Hill at 8pm with a glorious sunset panorama ahead. Strolls around Kirstenbosch Botannical Gardens with an incredible selection of our South African flora to marvel at. Quaint Simons Town, where I’m setting a novel about chefs. The lovely jewel of Kommetjie and the cultured splendor of the Waterfront.
I perched in the wind on Chapman’s Peak Drive for a photo, and froze my toes in the water by Camps Bay. I travelled down winding streets looking for Waterblommetjiebredie, and feasted on fresh fish and chips at Kalk Bay Harbour.
And of course Table Mountain. I climbed it twice, and lived with it as the view from my bedroom window. I’ve seen it ablaze, with helicopters valiantly sousing runaway fires, and completely shrouded in a thick blanket of cloud.
It is truly deserving of being one of the New Wonders of the Natural World. It is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world, which is the reason for my model.
Yes, it doesn’t look very impressive, but that’s because this Table Mountain is the size of a bread bin, and made of paper mache. My writers’ circle group had a weekend conference on travel writing, and I was responsible for the decor at the final dinner. I chose landmarks from around the world, and of course, one of them was Table Mountain. It looks a little lopsided, because I didn’t include Lions Head, which is normally the pointy bit on the right.
There is an ice-cream tub in the middle of the mountain. I used egg boxes to get the texture of rock, and tissue to smooth the joins. I scattered colourful pamphlets of the many sights of Cape Town on the table around the mountain, and it made a very striking centrepiece.
It is impossible to impress you with my thirteen year old photos from a tiny camera that my friend’s dad made for me out of spare parts. You really need to see it for yourself…
Catch these Affordable flights to Cape Town through Travelstart South Africa. And to Travelstart, thank you for this possible opportunity to revisit one of the most beautiful cities in the world.