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  • IDreamedofAfrica
  • Spain Road Trip
  • HowIAffordTravel
  • YouShouldBeTraveling_Petra_v3
  • FrenchPoly_EyeCandy
  • AhhhItalia
  • Myanmar_Temples
  • NaturesAmphit_Bali
  • FarawayFantasy_FfryesBeachV2
  • Cambodia_HolidayIn
  • CalisCastle_hearst_v3
  • Saganaki_Greece_v2
  • Vanuatu
  • VirginiaRainV2
  • JustAnotherDay_HolyLand_v4
  • SF_YoullLeaveYourHeart_v3

Muizenburg, South Africa

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Muizenburg, South Africa Just fourty-five minutes south of Cape Town by train is a quaint, sleepy little surf town called Muizenburg (Mooz-en-burg). Wanting an easy introduction to Africa and a bit of rest after two days of flying, I chose this picturesque spot for my first week in the southern-most portion of the African continent. I wasn't sure what to expect from South Africa. I knew it had dutch roots and several languages. I knew it had a very rough time in recent history, during the Apartheid, or desegregation. I knew there were shanty-towns and Afrikaaners (white descendants of dutch immigrants) and Great White sharks. But still, I had a picture in my mind of typical African huts and prairies with Acacia trees and lions and giraffes. The Capitol area is not all of those things, yet South Africa is. The cape of South Africa, instead of being dry and dusty, is more akin in climate to the San Francisco Bay area than anyplace else, with elements of the glamour of Malibu lining it's most posh shores. Cape Town is home to culture and a melting-pot heritage that ranges from native South African to Dutch colonial to British. And these days it has become another land of promise and opportunity, drawing immigrants from all over India and the "istan" nations. There is art, architecture, shopping, beach culture, history, fashion, food, nature, a massive botanical garden, an aquarium, hiking, nature watching, outdoor sporting, cage diving and the like to be done around Cape Town. And Muizenburg is the heart of surf-culture for the cape. There is a beautiful, tiny historic district with cute surf cottages (one of which I was lucky to call home for a week) and surf shops and lovely restaurants, including a Fish and Chips joint, a bakery and Italian, lining the ocean front. Beautiful walks abound, up or down the coast and into the hills. A quick, ten-minute walk down south will lead to adorable, artsy shopping and cute beach changing huts and tidepools. Muizenburg was, for me, the perfect jumping-off point for Africa. Cultured and yet rugged, Africa, yet dutch and strangely, overall much more "western civilization"-feeling that any place I'd been in nearly nine months. TIP: Just in case, like me, you arrive with no advanced planning (other than immunizations) and forget that South Africa is in a different hemisphere from North America, be aware that June in South Africa is WINTER and it is COLD. Wet cold, like San Francisco winter - deceptively cold for being not so cold. So pack layers, or be prepared to make a run to Cape Union Mart, (the local REI-type store) to purchase some warm things.   … continue reading

Winging My Way to South Africa

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Winging My Way to South Africa I spent five gorgeous days in Barcelona soaking up the culture, the sunshine and the mellow, artsy vibe of the place. At one point I thought I'd stay another week, but when my housing plans fell through I had to make a quick change of plans - really quick. It was Sunday afternoon and I needed to leave … continue reading

Barcelona – Gaudi Photo Tour

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Barcelona - Gaudi Photo Tour Although Gaudi's architectural masterpieces are relative newcomers to Barcelona (the houses date from the 1800's and the Sagrada Familia still isn't finished. "Just thirty more years...") they are one of the main attractions in the city, aside from, you know, the incredible Spanish heritage and churros. … continue reading

Granada: Albaicin and The Alhambra

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Granada: Albaicin and The Alhambra In the south of Spain, perched high amidst a town built between mountain peaks lies a quaint Spanish town home to sprawling castle that is the jewel in the crown of Spanish-Moorish influenced architecture. The Alhambra. Granada, in and of itself, is a complete jewel of a city. It sprawls over … continue reading

Seville: Flamenco

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Seville: Flamenco There are a few things you must do during a visit to Seville: Visit the Cathedral (where Christopher Columbus is buried). See La Giralda and perhaps climb to the top. Tour the Alcazar royal residence. And finally, you must see a live Flamenco performance. There are many, many places in the city that offer … continue reading

Sleepless in Seville

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Sleepless in Seville I rolled into Seville in my silver Skoda in the early evening. It was June, the temperatures were blazing and the days so long that night might as well have not bothered showing up at all. At first glance, Seville was absolutely nothing like what I'd imagined it would be. There were no quaint, picturesque … continue reading