Trip Report: South Africa
At the beginning of February, my journey to South Africa began. Me and a good friend of mine went to Cape Town and later to Johannesburg.
Our trip begann on Saturday evening at Zurich airport, where we had to check in first and drop off our luggage. This happend easily and we headed to the Upperdeck Restaurant for the second last Swiss dinner for a while. We enjoyed an amazing sandwich before we went to the security check and passport control.
We flew with HB-JMG. The second A340-300 of Edelweiss Air. Luckily, Brenno was part of our crew to Cape Town. That was certainly a reason for this great, first long haul experience! The flight with the A340 which became a new cabin was very calm, but nevertheless, I couldn't sleep. So I went to the galley and had some interesting conversations with Brenno and his coworker.
In the morning of Sunday, around 10 a.m., we arrived in sunny Cape Town where we had to do the immigration first. This took us around two hours! After that we picked up our luggage and went to the car rentals. We were proud to rent a Toyota! At least he drove us to the hotel...
In the evening I became my first impressions of the city and especially the famous V&A Waterfront.
On Monday, the second day in Cape Town, we did some sight seeing, including Signal Hill and Lion's Head. I also had my first touch with the Atlantic ocean.
On Tuesday we went to the Waterfront Heliport for a short spotting session. Afterwards we headed to Simon's Town. We stayed for a few hours to observe the penguins, which became my new favorite animal! 🐧 In the evening enjoyed the warm weather at the Waterfront and had a great dinner.
On the next day we went to Cape Town airport. Actually, we only had planned a short stay for the A340 of Lufthansa in FC Bayern-München colors. I'm not a fan of this soccer club, but you've got what you've got. In any case, we stayed the whole day at the airport. In the evening we went to Signal Hill again to "enjoy" the awesome sunset.
One day later on Thursday we did again a stop at the airport before we continued to Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is a typical University City. So there are a lot of small coffee shops full of students.
In the last days before we went to Johannesburg, we did some car trips around Cape Town and also visited the "Ratanga Junction". At the entrance of this parc a DC-3 is exhibited. We also visited the South African Air Force Museum which is located near the Ratanga Junction at the Ysterplaat Air Base. In South Africa the C-47 Dakota is still in service and is also based at this airport. Because of the weekend, we only saw two planes: A Vampire and a Lockheed Ventura.
On sunday we continued our journey to Johannesburg. It was the first time for me flying with South African Airways and also the first time flying on a A340-600! It was a great experience to fly onboard this powerful aircraft.
In Johannesburg we booked the Protea airport hotel O.R. Tambo and got a room with a great view onto the long haul terminal. Every morning we saw the Lufthansa 747-8i and the AirFrance A380, and in the evening the lovely KLM 777! Our stay in Johannesburg was planned for plane spotting only, and that's what we did. On the three days we had in Johannsburg we visited Rand airport two times. One time for a tour around the old planes with a very friendly mechanic and second time for the SAA Museum. The museum is very interesting. It show's a lot of stuff and you can even enter the 747-200 which is exhibited. The spotting at O.R. Tambo was more like a gap filler, because Rand had much more to see and to learn than O.R. Tambo. For example we saw a future Swiss DC-6 and and ex. United DC-3 which both are in repair at the moment.
After our (rounded up) three day stay at Johannesburg, we already had to leave South Africa on Tuesday evening. It was a pleasure to visit this country, and of course I'll visit it again!
Also a big thank you to all involved, who made this journey possible and gave us tips for our trip. And a special thanks to René for the great time!