I have been in Cape Town for almost 3 weeks now, and to put it simply, I could live here. We have been quite spoiled living and going to classes in the same hotel, but I’m not complaining about it! I love everything about our hotel here. We have a small kitchenette, it’s a short walk upstairs to class, my roommate and I have become great friends, and we’re within walking distance to a lot of great restaurants and shopping. The biggest challenge with living in the same place as where we study is separating school time from “home” or relaxation time. It’s not the same as UPJ where I have class buildings that I do most of my work in, then I could go home to my apartment to unwind. Although, the very short walk to class makes up for it. On occasion, we will go to a coffee shop down the street to work on homework or study, but most of the time school work is done in our rooms.
Our hotel room is conveniently located on the same road as a wide variety of restaurants, and it’s a short walk away from a huge waterfront area. The waterfront has a mall, outdoor shopping, food markets, restaurants, a Ferris wheel, live music, and anything else you could imagine. We have been to the waterfront more times than I can count, but we have yet to eat at the same place twice. It’s actually the largest tourist attraction in the country with 22 million visitors a year. It is a beautiful place to spend the day (and lots of money).
Our hotel room also has amazing views of Cape Town’s mountains. Looking out of the window we can see Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak. The scenery here has certainly not been disappointing. There are also several beaches a short distance away. It hasn’t been the best beach weather since it’s almost winter here, but we do take advantage of them on nice days. In addition to mountains and beaches, our group had the opportunity to go to Kirstenbosch Garden last week. Kirstenbosch is a national botanical garden in Cape Town very close to Table Mountain. We learned about the many different species of succulents, trees, and all other plants. It made me realize that biodiversity is not only about animals. It was especially amazing seeing South Africa’s national flower, the Protea, in all different colors and forms.
We have been busy making the most of our time here. I’ll be upset when everything is over. I have learned more than I ever have in a classroom, and I also believe I have grown as an individual. I can’t wait to share these new memories and experiences with everyone at home!