Cape Town glistens at the southern toe of the African continent. Amazing sites, from Robben Island, Nelson Mandela’s former prison, to tourist brochure-views at Blaauwberg Beach and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, are within easy driving distance of “The Mother City”. Sun worshippers, surfers and divers flock to nearby white sand beaches and azure waters under Table Mountain. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve provides sweeping sea vistas, hiking trails and wildlife encounters.
Standing on top of the flat surface of Table Mountain on a clear day is one of those special moments that you tuck away for safekeeping in the recesses of your mind. In the company of rock rabbits, an icy fresh sea breeze and your own thoughts 1086 meters above an Atlantic Ocean that stretches into blue infinity below, you feel like you’re standing on top of the world. As well as its unusual shape, the mountain is known as a place of deep spiritual significance, the brooding quartzite and granite cliffs casting a protective aura over the city it has cradled for more than three and a half centuries.
It is the presence of this iconic landmark at its rear and the ocean in front that has led Cape Town, nestled in a natural bowl between the two, to be internationally described as the most beautiful city in the world．Founded as a trading post in 1 652, the settlement became an important stop-over for ships to repair and resupply on the Asan spice route. It was because of the relief felt by these weary ancient mariners when they discovered not only one of the most beautiful places on earth, but also one that had fresh food and water, that they called it the Cape of Good Hope．South Africa’s oldest city, Cape Town is also known by locals as the Mother City.
Table Mountain is Cape Town’s top attraction for visitors．For those who are energetic it’s a three—hour hike to the top, and as part of a nature reserve and a UNESCO Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site there is an opportunity to enjoy the unique flora on the way up. More than 1400 species of plant life flourish in the area．Most pie opt to go up by cable car, with its revolving floor, that zips you up in minutes. Without warning, and almost like magic, a tablecloth of clouds Call float down and spill over the mountains’ edge, turning your visit into a fairy tale and softening the nearby rock formations known as the Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, Devil’s Peak and the Twelve Apostles until they look near enough to touch. An ancient legend says the ethereal tablecloth is due to an old Afrikaner called Van Hunks who sits on Devil’s Peak(adjacent to Table Mountain) having a smoking contest with the devil himself. The two keep puffing away, blowing clouds of smoke and neither ever wins.
After the altitude of the mountain, get down to sea level and head for Cape Town’s legendary
Beaches which have earned Europe’s coveted blue flag status for outstanding beaches. Water sports include surfing, diving, kite—surfing. The trendy beaches of Camps Bay, Clifton and Llandudno along the Atlantic seaboard are right up there with the best in the world. Tanned, gym—sculptured bodies, ivory colored sand and sunsets crying out for film are all part of the attraction. It’s all too perfect．That is，of course，until you step into the water. The Atlantic tides that wash the Cape are teeth-chatteringly cold-dashing in and out to cool down is about all you’ll want to do.
The city has more restaurants and bars than you would need in a lifetime. Atlantic seaboard areas of Clifton and Camps Bay serve up fine dining, but if its wholesome earthy flavors you crave，point your shoes in the direction of Long Street for real African dishes and specialties like ostrich，crocodile and several varieties of game, all served with a bowl of traditional stiff corn meal porridge and washed down with the Cape’s world famous wines．For seafood，something Cape Town is known for, the waterfront provides everything from succulent pink crayfish to flesh sea-fish，while further out on the False Bay coast make a stop at Carla’s in Muizenberg for delicious prawns that are talked about worldwide.