Saturday, April 7, 2012

Remembering Sunday

Sundays are a sacred day to me. The one day meant for true relaxation... no matter how stressful your week has been, or what stresses the week to come might bring. Wrapping up my vacation time, I spent last weekend in Paris (one of my favorite places as you know). Here are a few pictures from my Sunday wanderings in the city.

I spent the day wandering around my friend Adi's neighborhood. Pictures in front of the Pantheon 

 **haha had to add this- I found this ridiculous music video shot in front of the Pantheon**

After that we headed to Jardin du Luxembourg. The park was packed with people trying to enjoy one of the first days of Spring

It was lovely to sit out in the sun and people watch for a few hours  

More strolling led me to a really cool bookstore near Norte Dame. Shakespeare and Company has a host of new and antique books. Upstairs there is also a darling library where you can sit and enjoy classics or your new purchases 

To end the day I went to Le Caveau des Oubliettes "The cave of the forgotten"- a former dungeon style jail turned Sunday blues spot. I was fortunate enough to get to hear Adi's friend Mike (pictured above to the left playing the guitar) perform... he was AMAZING! I never ever thought I'd hear some real down home blues in Paris. 

Just next door to Le Caveau des Oubliettes is Aux Trois Maillets. Upstairs you can get one of the best steaks in Paris, and downstairs is a renowned old school cabaret.  Perfect late night entertainment and eatz.

I'm remembering my lovely Sunday in Paris and already missing it. Its back to work now unfortunately. 
Until next time! and Happy Easter xx

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Africa, Oh Africa! pt2

The second leg of my Cape Town adventure started with a trip to Mzoli's meats, a daytime braai spot in Gugulethu Township made internationally famos after a visit from Jamie Oliver

This was one of my absolute favorite parts of the trip.  After picking the meats you want and waiting about an hour the meat is served in big buckets. In the mean time while waiting for your food you are free to enjoy whatever drinks you bring with you and some of Cape Town's finest DJs

Caught in action

One of the more adventurous things I ventured to do was to go shark cage diving 

It was the thrill of a lifetime to have great white sharks just a few feet away from me... both above water and under. There were some true "Jaws" moments inside the cage

From the sea to the sky, I went up to the top of Table Mountain after my date with the sharks. The view was beyond verbal construction. I know I must have taken at least 200 pictures with just a two hour span.  

My favorite view of all was the sight of the clouds pouring over the mountains like a waterfall. 

Another amazing sunset

On the second to last day of my trip I took the Gateway ferry to Robben Island, the former place of imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. I purposefully put off the trip after hearing how emotional the tour can be...

 It is interesting that the only day that hosted overcast skys and produced ominous photos of Table Mountain was the day I went to Robben Island. 

I was most struck upon touring the rock quarry on the island where political prisoners were put to work long hours in order to break their sprits. This place, however, is now known as "The University" or "Parliament" because it was the one communal place prisoners could most freely caucus on the anti-Apartheid  movement. The pile of rocks in the middle is an informal monument. Each stone was placed, post-Apartheid, by a former political prisoner upon returning to the island.

The cell of prisoner 46664

I found the tour to be very effecting. It is extraordinary to think of a man being imprisoned for opposing racial inequality for 18 years, being reduced to a number, developing respiratory issues from his time in the quarry and emerging from all of this without bitterness. Maybe bitterness and resentment only stop great men and women from fulfilling their purpose? This was another wonderfully teary and reflective moment.

A nice picture of some cool 60-somethings I met on the ferry over to Robben Island. They were all from the Virginia area and in town for the Cape Town Jazz festival 

Oh the last day of my trip I took a tour of the Cape Peninsula to see Boulders Beach Pengin colony and also the Cape of Good Hope! 

Was a little too excited to see the penguins.. so cute!!

Cape Point lighthouse 

Only 9,828 km from London

It seemed most fitting to be at the edge of the world on my last day in Cape Town. The trip was certainly one that I needed to take. There was a total examination of self throughout the trip. Who am I as a person who is a woman, who is black, that has come from across the world? What are the things that I cherish, that bring me happiness, and that I cannot live without? What are the things that I need to be working towards? How ready am I to move into the next phase of my life from my quasi adulthood? Of course I did not come up with all the answers, but I feel somehow that getting all the way to the Cape of Good Hope bodes well for what is to come my way.