South Africa Day 1

It only took a week or two to get this post up, but here you go!

Day 1 (February 24th)

After 6 days of tossing and turning through the Atlantic Ocean and battening down the hatches (literally the hatches were closed on most of the outside rooms because of how hard the water was smashing against the boat), we finally made it to Cape Town, South Africa. After going through customs individually in the top deck faculty lounge, and waiting for immigration to clear the whole ship, Malia, Caroline, JP and I finally made our way towards the waterfront and spent the day shopping and seeing the sights of the city. Our goal was to make it to Table Mountain but Malia had an FDP that night and Caroline and JP needed to get back for dinner plans so we ended up not making it. Guess I’ll just have to come back! We shopped around the mall, which was giant and just like one you would find in the states. Then for lunch, we tried “Steers” burgers, which is apparently like the In’N’Out of California. Not too bad but not as good as In’N’Out or Dick’s (for you Seattle readers). After finding some cute clothes, especially a few things suitable for India, then we turned to the grocery stores for some food. We found Woolworths, which was a department store with a grocery store attached. It was funny to go buy food and then head up the escalator to go buy clothes. We had been told to try Biltong, which our friend told us was a South African beef jerky but it tasted like undercooked meat made into beef jerky. It was a little strange for my taste. I also searched through several bookstores for an Afrikaans version of the Wizard of Oz (sorry Grandpa, no luck! Not even in English!). We also went to the Red Shed craft market, which had all kinds of fun handmade items like beaded animal sculptures, carvings, and so much more. We found a store with handmade stuffable pillow covers all painted in different designs, and one was a crescent moon so of course we took a picture with it! (I am in the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and so are Malia and Caroline and our symbol is the crescent moon) We also went down the street to the larger crafts market, the Blue Shed, where the cheaper crafts were sold. My favorite product in there was the broken ostrich egg shell items like bowls silverware sets. Because we ran out of time to go up to Table Mountain, we found a cute little wine shop that had a small wine tasting so we sat down with our appetizers from the grocery and tried a few South African wines. We had a monstrous feast of hummus, fruits, cheeses, crackers, and guava juice. Finally it was time to head back to the ship. We were all completely exhausted after a full day of shopping so it was nice to rest before the rest of the night. Later that night Katy when Katy got back from her FDP, she and I went to check into the hotel and freshened up and grabbed dinner at this cute Italian restaurant in the lobby. We shared a delicious margherita pizza and some focaccia bread that turned out to pretty much be pizza crust. We met a couple from England who had spent a week in Cape Town and had a crazy run in with a baboon at one of the beaches. They had gone to one of the less frequented beaches and had been warned about the baboons but didn’t really realize the warnings were true. They were sitting on the hillside when out of nowhere a baboon came charging at them and the lady starting running away with her purse and the animal grabbed at her as she was running. The baboons have learned from past experience that most people with a bag also have food in that bag. However as she so preciously put it, their lives were in her purse, with the passports and credit cards and such. We had a nice chat with them about what to do in Cape Town and we told them about SAS before it was time to head out. After paying for dinner we went to find our friends at the bar just a few blocks from our hotel and hung out for a few hours before heading back to the nice big comfy bed at the hotel.

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