Sunday, June 19, 2005

Republic of South Africa

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Where to start…In the early nineties, my childhood buddies Neb, Neven and I (Tuljan Group) decided to take our chances and try immigrating to South Africa. There was a major civil war in the Balkans at the time and South Africa was not as stable as well but after a pretty insane farewell party at hotel Kardial we went to Belgrade, Serbia to look for work visas. To make a long story short, Neb was the only one that made it to South Africa and he lives there since. Neven is back in our hometown of Teslic, happily married and running few small businesses.

Few years back Neb visited me in the States and we drove cross country from Washington to Los Angeles. It was an amazing experience. Now it was my turn to come to South Africa. To be honest, I was so happy to get out of India. The flight connected through Dubai, UAE where I had a 15 hour layover. The airport and its surroundings looked great and I agree with the saying that Dubai International Airport is probably on of the coolest airports in the world these days.

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Anyway, from Dubai I flew to Johannesburg and then a local flight to Cape Town. Neb was these waiting for me at the airport. I did not shower for days at this point and I have run out of luck since Neb was renovating his bathrooms so I had to stay at the Long Street Backpackers for the duration of my visit.

First impression: I could get use to this place. I guess, after India I could get use to any place on this earth. Long Street is one of the most famous streets in Cape Town and one can find numerous bars, restaurants and hostels. The street itself has this New Orleans look and feel. Victorian architecture mixed with modern glass high rises; one can instantly notice multicultural European influence. I checked in, showered and had few beers with Neb the first night. Next morning I took a nice walk, had some English breakfast with crispy bacon and took some local money out of the ATM. The weather was miserable; raining and it was quite cold.

Visit to the Table Mountain National Park, trip to the Cape of Good Hope and vine country were the highlights my travels through South Africa. Table Mountain was amazing. Short drive from Long Street to the Cable Car station was all it took to get there. The car can fit about 60 people and it spins around for a maximum viewing pleasure. The top of the mountain is simply flat with unique flora & fauna.

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What is so special about the Table Mountain is the fact that the “table cloth” cloud sits on top of the mountain creating a very magnificent view. Neb and I spent an hour on the top, took some pictures and the serene warned to boar the last car down otherwise we would have to hike down. While we were up there, there was a rescue mission. Rescue team and a helicopter were there to save few climbers stuck on the mountain cliffs.

The Cape of Good Hope is one of the south most points in Africa and the park itself was one of the most beautiful sites I’ve seen so far. The bottom of Africa is actually about 200 kilometers from Cape Town but this location does not have much of the historical significance. Neb and I climbed to the Cape lighthouse, checked out some cool beaches and on the drive back stopped at the farm.

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Then I went to Mozambique...

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bosnia & h'govina
serbia & montenegro
-> serbia
-> montenegro
republic of south africa

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