Tag Archives: food

Four alternative things to do in Cape Town.

“This cape is the most stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.”
Sir Francis Drake, 1580

So said Sir Frances Drake, an Englishman, a captain, a politician and everything in between, when he first laid eyes on the Cape back in 1580.

Although I cannot, yet, claim to having seen the ‘whole circumference of the earth’, I do tend to agree with this esteemed fellow. Cape Town is truly a spectacular place, and I can see how Francis would have been moved to utter such sentiments.

Francis is not alone in his love of the Fairest Cape. In 2010 Cape Town made it onto the Forbes.com list of ‘World’s Most Beautiful Cities’  This year Cape Town was featured in TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Destinations. At position number 1, I might add.

So what’s the big deal about this Cape Town place? Well there’s Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront and Robben Island, beautiful beaches from Cliffton all the way around to Kalk Bay, Cape Point, Champan’s Peak and a lot more in between. These things, time and again, make it onto lists of ‘Must Do’ things in the Cape, and for good reason. See here and here for some such lists.

But how about doing something a little different? Seeing something equally as beautiful, but just slightly off the beaten track? If you’re interested read on and you’ll find out 4 alternative things you may like to experience in “the fairest cape (you shall see) in the whole circumference of the earth”.

1.  Wake up on a Saturday morning and go and grab brunch in Woodstock at the Old Biscuit Mill‘s Neighbourhood Goods Market.

The market has gained enormous popularity in the last few years, and for good reason. What you can expect to find is a community of people who are passionate about food, clothes, jewelry, art and design.  The food will make your mouth water and leave you unsure of if you should choose to eat from the steaming pots of seafood paella, the wood fired pizza, the mouth- watering steak burgers, the endless array of dips, spreads and breads. Go to the market hungry, very hungry. See here for details.

2. Of course you simply have to go up Table Mountain, but why not try something a little different and go for a hike at Silvermine?

Hiking in Silvermine, taken by the folks over at Pepper Gap Year.

Silvermine is located in the Table Mountain National Park, on the way out to Cape Point. There are many hiking trails that you can choose from, ranging from easy to more strenuous, but they are all spectacular and offer great views of the peninsular. Here is a little more insider information.

3. On your way back to the city centre from your hike you could, or should, stop off in Newlands at one of Cape Town’s oldest pubs, The Foresters Arms, fondly known to all the locals as Forries.

Forries is a great place to sample endless draughts of South Africa’s finest beers in their tree-covered courtyard. You may also like to try out the crispy wood-fired pizza or a juicy hamburger while you are surrounded by hordes of die-hard rugby or cricket supporters. You’ll be in the festive spirit of national sport loving camaraderie in no time, I can guarantee it.

4. I bet ‘Signal Hill for a sunset’ is on your list? Well it should be! But if you want to watch the sun set from an even more magnificent place I suggest that you get on over to Ocean View Drive.

Ocean View Drive is all that its name suggests- a road that winds along the contours of Signal Hill that has a, well, view of the ocean. But go to the end of that road and you may wish to change that name to ‘Ocean- Mountain-Bay-Amazing-View Drive’. Just saying. Although you might need a map, or GPS, for this one it is worth it. Park at the end of the road, amongst the houses of the rich and famous (I’m assuming they are rich and/ or famous with houses like that!) and scramble through the bushes and out onto the rocks. It’s not dangerous, I promise. It is spectacular to see the rock face of the 12 Apostles bathed in the pink light and the twinkling lights of the houses down in Camps Bay. The other tourists will be supremely jealous when they see your photos.

And that’s it. Well not really, but I can’t give away all the secrets of the fairest Cape too quickly or too easily or I might take away all the fun that you’ll no doubt have discovering it for yourself.

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What makes Korea a great place to live

Last week I was fed up with Korea. So today I decided to be more positive and share with you a few reasons why I love life here on the Korean peninsular, in no particuler order.

1. I have a job! A job that pays well. A job that is different day to day and fill of endless surprises.

Hardly ever a dull day in Korea!

2. I’m like a celebrity! People stare and giggle when I come near, I get screams of “hello Kate teacher!” all day long. And some mornings, if I am very lucky, I get students making arm hearts and shouting “I love you teacher” from the 4th floor windows.

3. The food. Korea sure does have some deliciously tasty food. Samgyupsal, dakgalbi, kalguksu, bulgogi, jjimdak…and endless other delights. But more about that coming soon. Stay tuned!

A little taster of Korean cuisine.

4. Super fast internet.

5. Transport. It’s really easy, and cheap, to get around. The buses are so luxurious- the seats are huge, and the trains have singing rooms in them!

6. The people. All of the Korean people that I have encountered have been so willing to help. Waitrons are known to hang around making sure you know how to eat the food they place in front of you. Perfect strangers will help you pay at a market when you have no idea how much to whip out of your wallet, without ripping you off. It’s simply wonderful!

7. New friends. I now have friends scattered around the globe which makes the prospect of travelling so much more exciting.

Andong friends

8. Did I mention that I live rent free? In a furnished apartment, with super low bills.

9. I get to travel. So far, since being in Korea, I have been able to visit China, Singapore and Bali. With tickets to get me to the Philippines and Hong Kong and grand plans to travel through Asia starting in March 2012.

So, really, life is sweet. And with only just over 4 months to go I really have to make the most of what time I have left.

Do you live in Korea? If so, what do you love about being here?

Jinju Lantern Festival

This past weekend was a long weekend thanks to the 3 October public holiday called National Foundation Day, or in Korean, Gaecheonjeol. It is the day when Koreans celebrate the mythological origins of Korea.

Anyway, what it really meant to me was a 3 day weekend! So I decided to head south to Jinju city to see the opening of the Lantern Festival.

Jinju is built on the banks of the Namgang River, the perfect place for floating hundreds of enormous lanterns. And with the Jinjuseong Fortress with a backdrop, you certainly can’t ask for too much more. Well, maybe fewer people would’ve been nice!

The festival seems to be enormously popular, and it only started to annoy me when everyone gathered to watch the official turning-on-of-the-lights and the accompanying firework show. The crowds on the river banks were thick, and in true Korean fashion, pushy. But all annoyances were forgotten when the river was illuminated and the sky was filled with the sound of exploding lights. The Koreans sure know their stuff when it comes to lights!

 

One of the fun things about festivals is the huge variety of foods available. My favourite is the promise of pajeon and makoli. It feels like real festival food to me! They also have a wide variety of fried goods on sticks – potato, hot dogs, processed meat slabs, corn dogs. The typical chicken nuggets and chicken skewers. Corn. Bondaegi a.k.a. boiled silkworm pupa. Candy floss. And I’m sure I saw sea snails boiling next to the bondaegi?

It was also fun bumping into this guy:

Jinju's very own Dancing Queen. A real crowd pleaser!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It really was a great festival with so much to see and do and eat and drink. And I am glad that I braved the crowds, paid the highly inflated price for a place to sleep and took the bus down to Jinju to experience this festival. If you want more information take a look at their website.

 

 

 

 

Kate x