Travels

Art and contrasts in Cape Town

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Near the center of Cape Town art, history and anti-apartheid struggle is reflected in this wall

At the end of February this year I started my first African adventure with few changes and shocks. By being part of a group of European journalists we had been invited to Cape Town and Johannesburg to attend the Design Expo Indaba 2013 -a design exhibition in all its aspects-, my first days in Africa I was surrounded by luxury and comforts that I had never experienced on another trip. Paradoxes of destiny: come to Africa for this. And, in part, I was disgusted.

But I recognize that, during the weeks of hard and fascinating journey that would follow later, on more than one occasion I was surprised remembering those rooms of 5 star hotels in which I slept. In addition, starting like this made me want to immerse myself in the other Africa, which demands more from you but also rewards you with experiences that you will not find anywhere else.

Our first stop was Cape Town, the second most populous city in South Africa and legislative capital of the country.

The travel program was full of visits to design centers of ceramics, buildings, shoes, clothing or jewelry; visits to alternative markets and assistance to the congress center where famous designers would give very interesting talks ... For someone interested in that world. Do not look at me.

Andile Dyalvane shows us her ceramics

I was licensed to attend the things that I wanted and I have to admit that, due to the good harmony I had with the people in the group, they were enough.

Cape Town is a very Europeanized city. Although the air I was breathing on my first day in Africa had an invigorating effect on me, what I saw around me while I waited in the cashier's queue of one of the downtown streets of the city was not far from the panorama I could have seen in Any other sunny European city.

I took my first rands - South African local currency - from the slot of the machine and I decided to take a walk while my companions slept after the long flight. The sun was radiant and people well drank their coffees, paninis, juices and sandwiches on the crowded terraces. The prices - I was surprised - were the same as what I could have found in Spain.

Contrasts of Cape Town… African ornaments market in the center (for tourists)…

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