South Africa and Semester at Sea by Mia Amoroso

South Africa: our last and final port on the semester at sea. Over the course of the recent weeks, we have had many itinerary switches and changes of pace. While these are necessary to ensure the safety of the ship, they are still difficult to grapple with. After leaving the port of Mauritius, we were informed that due to the Coronavirus, we would be ending earlier than planned and eliminating 2 more countries. We were told that South Africa would be the last port before we flew back to the States. With that in mind, I was able to book a flight two days out, so that I could enjoy a little bit of the country.

The boat was docked in Capetown. This city is based on the waterfront, and is full of such color, joy, and culture. Right where the ship was docked, I was able to walk around and enjoy specialty foods, see seals swimming in the bay, and take in a grand landscape full of impressive mountains. It was much unlike the other ports we had been to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! After leaving the ship, I was also able to make it to the iconic Table Mountain. This Mountain stands at 3558 feet tall, and overlooks the entire city. My friends and I hopped in an Uber and headed to the mountain from our airbnb. The ride there was beautiful; full of deep blue waters, tan mountains, and such a range of interesting people. Table Mountain offers a gondola service, which we were able to take to the top. It is just a matter of a couple minutes to reach the top on it, but the view up is amazing. The gondola itself has 360 degrees of windows, which makes it easy to embrace the impressive view. At the top, you feel like you’re in the clouds. The rocks and impressive view of the ocean and city below is enough to take your breath away. My friends and I were even able to spot the ship from the top of the mountain!

Following that, we made our way down to a famous street by the water to enjoy some food. Although not typical South African cuisine, my friends and I agreed that it was one of the best meals we had. My Capetown experience got even better the next day, when a kind Uber driver was able to show my friend and I around for the day. He first took us to the famous Boulder Beach so that we could hang out with some penguins. At the beach you are able to get pretty close to these funny creatures. There were hundreds of these tiny black and white creatures waddling around. We were able to observe them from close up, and feel one with nature. It was such a unique experience that was so worth the visit. It made it extra fun that our Uber driver also came with us to see the penguins too! Following that, he took us to beautiful view spots to take in the natural beauty of the country from high up. From the top of canyons and mountains we could see the wind ripping the seas below us, and giant waves crashing on the shore. If you’re looking for a beautiful natural experience, go to South Africa!! I am so sad to have to say bye to this semester abroad so early, but I had the most amazing time and was able to finish it off in a beautiful port. On to the next adventure!

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