Visiting Cape Town soon? Here’s a sneak preview of your first glimpses of the city – what you’ll see en route from the airport to town (click on the CPT to Town tag for all the posts).
You’ve zoomed past the Rondebosch golf course, gone under an overpass, and have suddenly started climbing a fairly steep hill, which is also the site of a veering bend where five lanes of traffic meet, which drivers have started frantically switching.
Where are you? You’re on a section of highway known as “hospital bend”.
What are you seeing? Depends on the side of the vehicle you’re on:
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Quick – everyone – look right! The large, colonial-style buildings you’re rushing past are part of the Groote Schuur Hospital complex – where the world’s first heart transplant was performed by Christiaan Barnard and Hamilton Naki.
Quick – everyone – look left! In the grassy meadow on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, you might catch a glimpse of your first African wildlife! The pasture is home to a few small herds of bontebok, wildebeeste, zebra and other species of antelope.
How can you visit? The meadow, unfortinately, is not open to visitors – but you can go to Groote Schuur’s Transplant Museum every weekday from 9 a.m. to 1h45 p.m. (tel: +27 (0) 21 404 5232; entrance: R10).
All told, you have about 15-20 seconds to take these sights in (as evidenced by my blurry pictures!), whereupon your driver is faced with a major choice: take the high road (M3) into Cape Town’s city bowl, or the low road (N2/Eastern Boulevard) into the CBD.
On this particular trip, SA Logue has chosen Eastern Boulevard, which, about 10 seconds into its run, opens on to a splendid sight – the Cape Town CBD and Table Bay Harbor: