The discovery of a new world – this is what every single day spent in this hemisphere has been so far. Here, in the Mother City, it’s so different from any other place I’ve seen before. The first week of my language stay in Cape Town has already passed, and it goes without saying that I have the feeling I’ve been here for months, because every adventure, laugh, look and place has been so intense!
What makes such a difference here is what Cape Town makes you feel, starting with its oldest side, which has been around since before the city was built: its nature. Since the first day of my language stay in Cape Town, I’ve had the chance to see the most beautiful places South Africa has to offer: from the strong waves crashing on the Cape of Good Hope, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, to the African penguin colonies in Simon’s Town, to baboons in the middle of the street and antelopes on the hills. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
Then there’s the personal challenge I decided to accept on the way to Lions Head, one of the peaks overlooking the city. I say it was a “challenge” because I’ve always had strong vertigo: walking on sharp rocks and climbing vertical walls with chains and grips to reach the top really took down my wall of fear. I’ll never forget the view from there! Actually, I don’t think I’ll ever forget a single thing about my language stay in Cape Town, not even the smallest detail, especially because I have the chance to share everything I do and see with wonderful people!
On my second day in South Africa, I started my language course at EC Cape Town, and I found a melting pot of cultures, from the Far East to the Far West. I’ve met young people who wanted to learn a new language to be able travel the world, communicate with more people, make new friends and discover their stories. All this is incredible! And, of course, being surrounded by new eyes every day makes you see things in a different way, in more colours and shades, I would say.
I visited the city with people from all over the world, discovering the most curious parts and trying traditional dishes, like that night I spent with a Peruvian girl, a French guy and a Brazilian in Waterfront, one of the most famous nightlife districts. Without even realising it, we were sitting down and tasting antelope meat – one of the tastiest things I’ve ever tried! And that’s not all: many of the local dishes contain all kinds of meat (and I mean all kinds!) so I had the opportunity to try two other mind-blowing dishes: ostrich meat skewers and… crocodile fillet! Yes, I tried these two types of meat – so different from what I was used to in Europe!
What made the last two dishes so special, though, were the surroundings: I was on safari! For two days, I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I left at dawn with ten other people that I didn’t know, but with whom I got along with very well, and we started a very special trip that allowed us to see rhinos, wildebeests, giraffes, antelopes, buffalos, lions and elephants – and they were all free in this amazing natural reserve. It was pure joy, especially with the elephants: being able to walk with them, watch and even touch them! Suddenly, one of my lifelong dreams had come true, in this place so far away. As if this weren’t enough to make me feel like the luckiest person in the world, we spent the night around the fire at “BackPackers Paradise”, sharing stories and Amarula (a South African liqueur) with other travellers.
The next morning, after paying a visit to the Ostrich Farm and to a natural park, we took the Route 62 (similar to the famous Route 66) to finish our road trip, between mountains, breathtaking landscapes, songs, chats and laughs. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to end the first week of my language stay in Cape Town! I went back to my host family on such a high. This trip has already changed me a lot, and I’m sure it will change me even more!