Monday, December 31, 2012

Best of Travelife 2012: Sunset from Table Mountain in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa


Reflecting at the start of 2013 on the wonderful TRAVELIFE that was in 2012, this is part of a series of blog entries that will look at the best aspects of our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful travels. 

This year was so full of indescribable and inspiring experiences -- and we're certainly looking forward to an even more wonderful Travelife in 2013


A blessed New Year to everyone
from all of us at Travelife Magazine.

We wish you a year of happiness
and an amazing Travelife.


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I took this from the deck of the Silver Shadow,
as we sailed out of Hiroshima last April

In 2012, I was privileged to have witnessed some truly amazing sunset moments.

Off the top of my head, my favorite sunset views or viewing points for 2012 include:

1) From the top of a temple in Bagan, Myanmar
2) The Bay of Hiroshima, from the Silversea's Silver Shadow
3) Reflected on the hills of Jordan, from the Dead Sea on the Israel side


4) From the bar of the Shangri-la Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu
5) Along the beach of the Shangri-la Rasa Ria in Kota Kinabalu
6) From the safari jeep in Greater Kruger National Park
7) From our dinner table at The Tasting Room in Franschhoek

A Franschhoek sunset


There are a couple of others that I've probably forgotten, in my never-ending Travelife. 

Scroll down to read more...and that's the sunset in Bagan, by the way...


THE ONE & ONLY


But if I had to pick only one, it would have to be sunset from the top of Table Mountain, in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa.

The sunset views from Table Mountain are very famous, and supposedly one of the most beautiful in the whole world -- especially because of the panoramic view of Cape Town's amazing coastline and the sprawling city below.



Seeing this sunset from the top of Table Mountain has long been on my bucket list and I really wanted to be on top of the mountain as the sun went down, as everyone who has been to Cape Town has told me not to miss the sunset from Table Mountain.

For this momentous occasion, we decided to take a food hamper up Table Mountain for a little picnic while watching what is supposed to be one of the most gorgeous sunsets in the world.



A GOOD IDEA

So we ordered a food hamper from our hotel, the Mount Nelson, which is Cape Town's most historic and famous hotel, and we took it up Table Mountain. Luckily, the hotel could prepare a beautiful Victorian picnic basket with no problems. They had all the paraphernalia for a fancy picnic.

They even had a proper menu from which you could order all kinds of easy-to-eat food for your picnic basket.


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READ MORE ABOUT TRAVELIFE'S PICKS
FOR THE BEST OF SOUTH AFRICA

in the December 2012 - January 2013 issue 
on sale everywhere now. 

*    *    *

FIRST TIME FOR A PICNIC BASKET

The view of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain

However, not too many people seem to think about bringing up a picnic basket to Table Mountain. The hotel driver who drove us from the Mount Nelson to the Table Mountain cable car terminal, took one look at our picnic hamper when we got into the car and complimented us on this great idea.

As we made our way through Cape Town's winding roads and up the mountain, the driver said: "I've never seen guests bring a picnic hamper up Table Mountain before."

Well, if we were the first ones to do this, I can certainly recommend this as a Travelife way of enjoying Table Mountain's sunset. It was so nice to find a spot to see the sunset and to have some food to enjoy the view with.

EVERYTHING FOR A LOVELY AFTERNOON TEA

That's our favorite Mount Nelson concierge,
handing over our picnic basket to take up Table Mountain.


We'd ordered all the sandwiches on the picnic hamper menu for a traditional English afternoon tea -- the Mount Nelson is famous for its afternoon tea -- and a delicious Greek salad besides. The sandwiches included smoked salmoncucumber and cream cheese, and chicken sandwiches.

The picnic hamper itself was beautiful -- just like the old-fashioned picnic hampers that English people once brought along for a day of sitting by the Thames River, for example.

And when we opened the hamper on a bench, we certainly attracted a lot of attention.

Scroll down to read more...



CENTER OF ATTENTION

As we were enjoying our picnic, a South African lady even came over to inspect the picnic hamper closely. She said: "I've never seen anything so beautiful." Indeed, everything was immaculate and so prettily prepared.

Then she asked us: "Where did you get this beautiful picnic basket?"

There were some people sitting around Table Mountain with bags of food as well, but no one had anything close to our beautiful picnic basket.

We answered: "From the Mount Nelson."

The very grand Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town


That seemed to answer everything, as far as the lady was concerned.

"Oh the Mount Nelson," she exclaimed. "Of course."

Then she brought over a couple more people to closely inspect our picnic basket. I was certainly amused at the commotion, although a part of me, of course, wanted to be left to eat in peace.



But we so enjoyed this picnic on Table Mountain, gazing at one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

And when we finally got down from the mountain just as the sun had set, we headed straight for the very cozy but lively Planet Bar of the Mount Nelson with plans for a nightcap of champagne and oysters.

A pretty nice way to tick off an item on our bucket list, and just another day in our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




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