Cape Town 2019

Waterfront Cape Town – The South African

It’s fantastic being back in Cape Town! A location that stole my heart during the first visit in 1987. The beautiful coastal city is surrounded by incomparable Table Mountain.

View of Table Mountain from My Gardens Apartment

I arrived on May 2nd after a series of flights beginning in Catania Sicily and passing through Rome and Addis Ababa Ethiopia – including two plane and terminal changes more tiring than the thirteen-hour flight.

Cape Town at Night –

During the flight from Addis Ababa to Cape Town naughty Indian children commandeered the aircraft running wild through the aisles disrupting everything. A passenger complained in a loud way and the children were forced to sit down and behave themselves. Upon arrival in Cape Town, they continued wreaking havoc in the immigration hall, running races through cordoned off lines, clearly undaunted by their reprimand on the airplane. Their parents seemed amused.

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Cape Town – Rhino Africa

After Berlin, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Sarajevo, Belgrade, and Sicily, passengers on Ethiopian Airlines were more diverse than any of the places visited, except maybe Berlin. I’m still processing the time spent in Europe and the Balkans – a valuable learning experience with priceless memories!

Table Mountain from Melkbos – Discover Africa Safaris

When returning to Cape Town I always notice changes – some subtle, others not. I’ll be here through mid-June and then on to Hermanus, Onrus Beach, and Walker Bay.

Cape Town –

My apartment in Gardens neighborhood is in a high-rise building with retail and parking garages on the lower levels and residential above. I’m on the 17th floor and look out at Table Mountain. It’s thrilling to watch the mountain constantly changing depending on weather, wind, and sky. It almost seems close enough to touch!

Pink in Cape Town’s Sky that Artists Try to Capture

The building is secure and comfortable. Everything is within walking distance including a great choice of restaurants.

Walker Bay Sunset – Unsplash

I have a rental car for day trips and places further away. After seven months without driving, it’s nice to be mobile again – even though South Africans drive on the wrong side of the road :)…

Table Cloth of Fog Over Table Mountain

Today the wind is howling – yesterday it was calm. Earlier the Table Mountain Table Cloth was visible as fog gently spewed over the flat-topped mountain. It’s mesmerizing watching sunrises and sunsets and spectacular scenery changes from foggy to clear and back again. Hiking on the mountain is part of my agenda.

Walker Bay Grootbos Nature Reserve – Robert Harding

The drought crisis is over but water and energy conservation are everyday concerns in Cape Town. Hopefully winter will bring significant rainfall. May temperatures are mild in the 60s and 70s but forecast to reach the 80s next week.

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway –

South Africa’s General Election is May 8 with another ANC (African National Congress) victory predicted. Elections are always exciting. South Africa’s economy and social inequalities create an emotional, volatile atmosphere with protests for change.

The Company’s Gardens Cape Town – The Heritage Portal

There’s considerable voter apathy in South Africa, especially among young voters. The ANC disappointed and is under pressure to improve the failing economy, address unemployment, provide better services (especially power), improve infrastructure, and curb crime, violence, and government corruption. All are complicated issues with unemployment, the economy, and a looming energy crisis heading the list.

Views Onrus Beach and Hermanus Bay – Pinterest

One thing I’d forgotten about (almost) is the Hadeda Ibis – known as the “loudest bird in Africa“. With Hadedas nearby, you don’t need an alarm clock!

More later…

Cape Town Magic Club

Magic Club Theatre

Magic Club Theatre

It was a magnetic performance last night at Cape Town Magic Club! When the evening began I had no idea what to expect. As the show progressed I was riveted by the sensational trickery of three seasoned magicians. The tiny dark theatre with a mysterious layer of theatrical smoke and a few well-placed mirrors made it tough to catch a clever magician’s sleight of hand.

Magic Club Lounge

Magic Club Lounge

The informal club operates in City Centre in the cellar of The Cape Town Club. It seats less than 50 people. I won’t elaborate on specifics of the magic performed last night but highly recommend the Magic Club – a fun and entertaining evening.

Magic Club Bar

Magic Club Black Bar

The spring evening was cool and mysteriously misty. I parked on Keerom Street, a dimly lighted cobblestone alley behind the theatre.

Keerom Street

Keerom Street

Cape Town Club was created in 1976 by merging two of the city’s oldest clubs from the 1800s – the City Club and Civil Service Club. The stylish Club is near beautiful Company’s Garden and the Cape Town High Court. The restaurant, QVS18, has views of Table Mountain and a balcony overlooking Queen Victoria Street.

Foyer Cape Town Club

Last night the three performing magicians were Marcel Oudejans, Greg Gelb, and Ryan Jones. Each magician was phenomenal. They kept the audience totally engaged and on the edge of our seats!

Marcel Oudejans – Magician, Producer and Host

“Marcel is highly regarded for his comedy-infused magic and has performed professionally as a corporate event entertainer for well over a decade.

Marcel Oudejans

Marcel Oudejans Magician

Marcel performs internationally and throughout Southern Africa, recently in Ukraine and Namibia. He represented South Africa at India’s Vismayam Magic Convention.

Marcel’s clients include hundreds of blue-chip corporate audiences, high-profile executives, international conferences, casinos, and luxury hotels. He also produced and performed three one-man shows (Sleight of Mouth 1, Sleight of Mouth 2, and Curious Things) at the annual National Arts Festival Fringe and Cape Town Fringe Festivals.

Audience participation forms an important part of his magic shows. Volunteers become instant partners in his astonishing act. During the show Marcel produces objects, reads minds, and helps volunteers perform magic of their own. Long after the event is over and audiences leave the performance they are still laughing from sheer surprise and enjoyment of the show.”

Greg Gelb Magician

“Greg has wooed people with his magic and humor since he was 9 years old. Born and bred in the heart of Cape Town, he grew up with no formal magical training. Self-taught, he learned the craft and began reading books about magic from cover to cover, practicing on anyone who would stop and give their attention to his magic.

Greg Gelb Magician

Greg Gelb Magician

Greg has the chops, personality, and warmth that make for a great stage presence. He takes you on a mystical and mysterious journey. Remember the amazement felt when you watched the magician at the Spur pull a coin from your ear? Remember the feeling of astonishment when you saw your first magic trick? Those feelings are what you feel when you sit down with Greg. Nothing matters except you and the tools he uses to blow your mind.

QVS18 Restaurant Cape Town Club

Greg has worked for many corporations. Most recently he is the resident magician at The Thirsty Scarecrow in Stellenbosch. Greg performed at the Cape Town Magic Club in April 2016 as a guest performer, and he has returned to the scene for season 2. Be prepared to be amazed, amused, astonished, and astounded as you join Greg on his journey of magic and mystery.”

Ryan Jones Magician

“An award-winning graduate of the College of Magic Ryan Jones is a mysterious and unique performer involved in the world of magic for more than a decade. At a young age, he jetted off to Las Vegas, the world capital of magic, to perform for celebrities.

Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones Magician

Ryan is a full-time Industrial Designer and his creativity shines through in all his magic. Ryan seeks to amaze, puzzle, and shock his audiences. He will leave you at the edge of your seat wanting more! But be careful, the closer you look, the less you will see…”


Iziko Planetarium

Iziko Planetarium

I’m moving on October 1st. Although Tamboerskloof is a wonderful neighborhood I found a more comfortable place to spend the last month in Cape Town – a large flat in St. Martini Gardens on Queen Victoria Street. It’s a security block in the Gardens neighborhood and heart of Cape Town. Since it’s off-season the rate is the same as the tiny studio I’m occupying now!

St. Martini Gardens is next door to the French School and French and Italian Consulates, opposite the Company’s Gardens, and close to Long Street, Mandela Rhodes Place, and Greenmarket Square. The Company’s Garden (named for the Dutch East India Trading Company) was originally established in 1652 by Cape Town’s founding father, Jan van Riebeeck. Van Riebeeck had orders to secure fresh vegetables in the provisioning of the colonists. Today The Company’s Gardens is much more than a large vegetable patch, it’s a lush public park and refreshing botanical garden.

The South African National Museum, Iziko Planetarium, National Art Gallery, Jewish Museum, De Tuynhuys (the President’s Cape Town residence), and Houses of Parliament where South Africa’s politicians meet during the summer are all housed on Company Gardens grounds.

Centre For The Book

Centre For The Book

The South Africa Art Gallery began with a bequest of 45 paintings in 1871. Its collections of South African, African, British, Dutch, French, and Flemish art are impressive. Temporary exhibitions are constantly changed to keep things interesting and the Gallery Shop sells the best of traditional and contemporary South African crafts. Billed as ‘the ultimate armchair travel’ the Iziko Planetarium is ‘a trip through the vast wonders of outer space projected on a domed auditorium to recreate the night sky’.

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

The Company’s Garden has a café / tea room shaded by large exotic trees. During summer and on weekends visitors enjoy open-air concerts there including live jazz and African music. The tea room serves homemade pastries. I can vouch for the yummy scones served with cream!

Dutch Evangelical Luthern Church from St. Martini Gardens

Dutch Evangelical Lutheran Church from St. Martini Gardens

St. Georges Cathedral and the South African National Library are near the bottom end of the gardens close to Mandela Rhodes Place. The gorgeous Centre for the Book is also on Queen Victoria Street. It’s a unit of the National Library of South Africa and promotes easy access to books and a culture of reading, writing, and publishing in all local languages.

French Consulate

French Consulate

The Garden lawns include fountains, well-stocked fish ponds, a Japanese rose garden, an aviary, a sun-dial, and the country’s oldest cultivated pear tree. There are many friendly, curious resident squirrels, like the ones in my yard back in Oregon. Large bronze statues scattered along the walking paths pay homage to South Africa’s history. I’m sure it will be a very comfortable and interesting place to spend my last month in beautiful Cape Town.