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Istanbul and Cape Town

(10 Posts)
Breward Sat 31-Dec-16 18:02:09

I've just booked to go to Cape Town in August (8 days) with a 2 night (3 day) stopover in Istanbul on the way out.

I will be travelling with DH and 2 DC (15, 16). I have booked a 2 bed apartment in Cape Town (Vredehoek area), but have not booked a hotel in Istanbul yet. I want to be near the Blue Mosque and DC want a pool. Any recommendations?

Questions?
Is it safe to drive in South Africa? We have never hired a car before but think this will probably be essential.
What are must see/must do activities in each destination?

We are thinking:
Istanbul: Blue Mosque, spice market, free walking tour

Cape Town: Table Mountain, Robben Island, Free walking tour, Victoria and Albert waterfront, day safari (no idea if this is feasible from Cape Town, beach (which ones?), maybe whale watching.

Any other ideas? Thank you!

collarsandcuffs Sat 31-Dec-16 21:54:05

Driving is easy and straightforward. They drive on the left have much the same rules and signs. Traffic lights are called robots! They have 4 way stops which are crossroads and the first to arrive has right of way - or in my experience...he who dares has right of way! Overtaking is weird but I prefer it. You drive in the road and then there is a 'hard shoulder' to the left. When you want to overtake, they will move over into the hard shoulder to let you pass and likewise if someone wants to pass you. I would recommend Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, Simon's Town and Kalk Bay. If you are feeling energetic then a walk up Lion;s head or to Wally's cave is well worth the views. Beaches are plentiful....camps bay beaches are lovely as are clifton. Noordhoek accessed by driving on chapman;s peak drive is beautiful as is boulders beach with the penguins.

Breward Sun 01-Jan-17 11:04:05

Thank you collars. Will swimming in the sea in August be feasible or is it too cold?

Off to google Boulders beach, Wally's cave etc...

collarsandcuffs Sun 01-Jan-17 20:14:16

I have been in the sea in August. My family tell the kids there shouldn't be any swimming until September but being kids they dive in anyway! I was in a wet suit and it wasn't too bad but I think in a cozzie it might be nippy!

MrsJW15 Tue 03-Jan-17 11:03:46

It's easy to hire a car in Cape Town and driving is fairly simple. I'd recommend a day driving to Simon's Town to see the penguins and out to Cape Point. Are you planning to spend the whole 8 days in Cape Town? I'd be tempted to split it and spend a few days somewhere else. There are a few safari locations near-ish (say 4/5 hours drive) so you could spend a night or two in one of those.

Breward Tue 03-Jan-17 13:26:02

We have now hired a car- only £88 for the 8 days!

We hope to do a day safari from Cape Town either Fairy Glen (Worcester) or Aquilla.

Apparently it is a good time for whale watching on the coast too.

Not sure the stop-over to Istanbul was a good idea. I have always wanted to visit; I just hope things settle down and become safer. We are staying in the old quarter near the Blue Mosque.

BusterTheBulldog Tue 03-Jan-17 13:33:36

Driving is easy and seemed safe to me in Cape Town (standard rules of not picking random people up / keep doors locked). Second boulders beach visit, we did cape point that day too but bit of an anti climax there as foggy! Camps bay also has gorgeous beaches and close by too.

Loved Cape Town and sa in general-was there this time last year, itching to go back!

MrsJW15 Tue 03-Jan-17 14:11:58

We went to Istanbul a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. Fascinating place. I'd highly recommend eating at Hamdi's near the spice market.

Breward Tue 03-Jan-17 20:27:30

Thanks for the restaurant recommendation, MrsJW. What else did you do in Istanbul?

MrsJW15 Tue 03-Jan-17 20:59:16

We were there four years ago, and over Easter, not the summer, so I don't know what the weather will be like. We visited the markets, the blue mosque, the cisterns (near the Blue Mosque, very impressive), the Topaki Palace. We took a cruise down the Bosphorus which was great. We had a really good time and would love to go back. I'd suggest getting a Lonely Planet or similar - loads of info in there.

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