Monday, January 10, 2011

After the desert, it was time for ocean, beach, and wine.  The epic vineyard tour in Stellenbosch deserves its own section in the food & drink section, which is coming soon! What I will see now is that the lovely and yuppie town of Stellenbosch passed by in a wine-induced drunken blur, but the drive into the area was absolutely stunning on Route 62.  From Stellenbosch, with two very hungover travellers, we cruised into the Mother City for our Christmas away from home in Cape Town. 

If you have to pick a church to attend your first Midnight Mass, where better than St. George’s Cathedral (Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s old hood) in downtown Cape Town on a balmy night.  However, no setting is too sacred for a session of inappropriate giggling, not when I unintentionally nuzzled Sarah’s cheek in my attempt to look like I knew what I was doing in the ceremonial “peace be with you” exchange nor when the distinguished and foxy Anglican Archbishop of South Africa came by holding the baby Jesus (which looked like a stray dog had gnawed on it before the service), made eye contact with me, and said “isn’t it a beautiful baby?”.  But it was a beautiful way to spend a couple of hours, holding candles with a group of peaceful strangers and singing carols. 
After a late start on Christmas Day, we drove out to the Cape of Good Hope via Chapman’s Peak Drive, a stunning coastal drive.  The wind was incredible at the bottom of the peninsula where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet (and where the famous Two Oceans wine commercial was shot) and we barely made it through our obligatory photo op at the tip, the most south-westerly point of Africa.  I have now been to the most south west point in both Africa and Europe!  After our drive to the Cape, we avoided the herds of wild baboons patrolling for small blonde tourists and moved on to the jackass penguin colony in Simon’s Town.  A slightly different Christmas Day than usual...

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