Our decision to go up Table Mountain has been in the balance for a few days because of fluctuating weather conditions.
The sky needs to be totally blue without a cloud in it for a visit to the mountain top to be perfect.
The weather was excellent on our second day, but on Sept.10 it was perfect and we moved quickly to get to the mountain before 9 o clock.
None of us knew how sensational the views would be from the top of the mountain.
We are all familiar with the gondola ride at Grouse Mountain and the views at the top of Vancouver and beyond. The ride up Table Mountain looks similar but the experience is very different.
Windows on the gondola are open, so people can feel the air and the wind as they ascend. And the views from the moment the gondola leaves the station at the bottom are immediately extraordinary. And they get better and better as you ascend.
At the top, the panorama is simply breathtaking. This is said to be one of the seven wonders of nature and that is exactly how it seemed to all of us who were awestruck by the 360-degree views at the top.
The virtually flat plateau at the top is dotted with large boulders and rocks of interesting shapes and colour and textures. These rocks have a sculptured look to them, making you think they were the work of an artist.
Their placement among the mountain fynbos of heather and flowers and other shrubby fine-leaf plants give the mountain top a garden-like feel.
We walked along endless trails on top of the mountain, pausing frequently to enjoy the superb views.
The mountain top is also quite narrow, which makes it possible to easily walk across to the other side for a completely different perspective and set of equally magnificent views.
We spent a few hours at the top of the mountain. We had lunch there and then came down but at no point were we tired of the experiences – you just cannot get enough of what is surely one of the most spectacular views in the world.
From Table Mountain, we went back into downtown Cape Town for a more detailed city tour, stopping at a beach front and the Bo Kaap or Cape Malay Quarter with its brightly coloured houses and friendly residents.
In the evening, we went for a special dinner to a restaurant where we were treated to a lively and impressive show of African singing and dancing as well as traditional South African cuisine including ostrich steaks.