Cape Town – The 3rd Best City in the World

Vibrant, diverse, colourful and captivating are just some of the adjectives that describe this beautiful city. Set at the edge of the cold Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Cape Floral Kingdom (a World Heritage Site) and adorned with a world-renowned landmark, Table Mountain, Cape Town offers visitors and locals a multifaceted experience. Its not surprising then that Cape Town has been awarded so many accolades:

· 3rd Best City In The World – US Travel And Leisure July 2008

· Best City In Africa & Middle East – US Travel And Leisure July 2008

· 4th Top City In The World – Conde Nast Readers’ Choice October 2008

· Best City In Africa & Middle East – Conde Nast Readers’ Choice October 2008

· 3rd Best City In The Top 10 World Food Cities – Lonely Planet Blue List 2008

· Best Destination, Africa – World Travel Awards May 2008

· Best City To Live In, Africa & Middle East – Mercer Quality Of Living Survey 2008

· One Of The “Places Of A Lifetime” – National Geographic Traveler, July 2008

· One Of The World’s Most Sustainable Cities – Ethisphere Institute, Sept 2008

· Boulder’s Beach: World’s Best Family Beach – UK Telegraph March 2007

· Cleanest City In SA – DEAT Annual Cleanest Metro Awards March 2007

· #1 Uk Long Haul Destination – UK Trends And Spends Survey 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007

· One Of The World’s 5 Bluest Sky Destinations – Expedia.co.uk July 2006

· Favourite Foreign City – UK Telegraph 2004, 2005

· Ideal Travel Destination – Markinor-Sunday Times Top Brands Survey 2005

· Africa’s Leading Destination – World Travel Awards 2008

· Best Tourism Investor City of the Year – AI Tourism Investor Awards 2009

Cape Town offers a diverse menu for everyone: from extreme outdoor adventure activities to the quiet indoors, from budget backpacker accommodation to ultimate 6 star luxury, from cultural to theatrical entertainment and vast gastronomic experiences accompanied by some of the best wines in the world. Cape Town is a destination that for a traveller requires an absolute minimum of 3 nights stay to be able to grasp its diversity.

Cape Town is a popular venue for many international sports events such as the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Race (109km road race), Two Oceans Marathon (56km), the start of the ABSA Cape Epic Mountain Bike Challenge (800km over 8 days with approx 16 000m of climbing!) and the start of the biannual Cape to Rio Yacht Race. Cape Town hosted the 2005 Rugby World Cup and 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. Cape Town is also host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup taking place from 11 June to 11 July 2010. South Africans in general are great sport enthusiasts and Capetonians certainly play their part in this role.

Generally Capetonians are known by the locals of other South African cities to be very laid back and easy going. Compared to the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg for instance where life is upbeat, fast and social, things happen in order and on time. Well, mostly, we need to keep in mind that this is Africa after all! All in all, South Africans are known to be very friendly and welcome travellers from all over the world.

Cape Town is an excellent gateway to the rest of southern Africa and a visit here can be combined with world-renowned wildlife safari destinations such as Sabi Sands Game Reserve west of the Kruger National Park, the Okavango Delta in Botswana or the malaria free Eastern Cape game reserves. Amongst other travel options to combine with your visit to Cape Town is a desert wilderness experience in Namibia or a luxury tropical beach experience in Mozambique.

 

Restaurant Copycat Recipes – Make Your Favorite Dish at Home

Let me ask you how many times you have been in a restaurant, had a delicious meal and wanted to know how exactly the dish was cooked? I know I have and have often looked for restaurant copycat recipes in bookstores and on line.

One of my favorite restaurants is The Olive Garden. I just enjoy everything there, the never ending bread sticks, the bottomless salad bowl, and every pasta dish. Everything is so appealing right down to the Italian atmosphere. The last time I was there I tried a new appetizer; it was called Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta. It was Oven-baked smoked mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan and Romano cheese. Served with Tuscan bread and it instantly became my new favorite.

Now I live right on the Canadian border and in a place where I have to drive three hours to get to the nearest Olive Garden, so finding the recipes for my favorites is extra important to me.

What prompted me to look for these so called ‘secret recipes’ is the fact that once I found the one for my favorite famous dish, I could enjoy it anytime I wanted right at home. Another reason I wanted to find some restaurant copycat recipes is because you can save a lot of money cooking these dishes yourself. No transportation cost, no tipping, and you can enjoy the meal without getting all dressed up. Plus getting to decide on my portion size is nice. I can honestly say that I would have eaten the whole Fonduta myself if I had a chance.

Finding the right set of recipes with easy to follow directions is a must. I am certainly no professional cook and I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Once I found these recipes, my family decided that they had their own favorite food from all different restaurants. So what started out as a small curiosity soon became sort of a hobby.

Creating restaurant favorite foods at home using restaurant copycat recipes is becoming more popular. People are trying to save their money, but still want to be able to enjoy certain luxuries. Enjoying your favorite dish at home, whenever you want is most certainly a little luxury. I plan to make my next family get together more enjoyable by creating a special meal with my new recipes. It will be the best ‘spaghetti and meatballs’ they have ever tasted!

 

Travel to Cities Only After You Know the Parking Restrictions

City traffic is habitually heavy, while the parking on-street is highly impossible to find. Likewise, the parking lots are pricey and results in frustrating delays owing to congestion, especially during the snarls of rush-hour. In fact, drivers unfamiliar with city roads and rules many become impatient. While, the network of rapid-transit rail and buses in cities are extensive, besides you can find easily taxis and limousines. In case, you wish to rent a car, there are options from luxury to big chains featuring modern amenities. However, it is not same as owning and driving your own car. The rental cars rates are high on weekends than weekdays, besides taxes and surcharge apart from the fuel for the vehicle.

City parking tickets are not really simple to receive owing to confusing signage. In general, a lack of street parking is apparent, and there are heavy seasonal parking restrictions. Anyone visiting huge cities in their car or is new, may understand the importance of these factors and to bear it in mind:

  • Permit parking areas
  • Prohibited parking zones
  • Parking signage that includes street cleaning, time limits, etc
  • Snow regulations

City parking enforcers follow and adhere meticulously to the parking rules. In case you are parking on a street and if your car appears to have parked a bit in front of a yellow zone, you are assured to be ticketed.

Owing to the ever-changing strict rules from street to street, it is mandatory to be on the lookout for any parking situations that are incriminating.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid situations leading potentially to the parking tickets. There is always a way to escape the rules and for that you need to be an informed parker who is fully aware of the parking tickets so that even if you are charged one, you should fight regarding the parking tickets if it appears unfair.

Tips to Avoid Parking Tickets

  • Make it a point to look out always for signage about the restrictions for parking, while you plan to park on the street. The restrictions are typically to do with time limits, weather and street cleaning.
  • In winters look for parking signs indicating if it is legal to park on streets based on the snow visible on the ground. In case you notice snow fallen for couple of inches, it is best to consider parking in a garage, so that your car is safe, besides the street needs clearing from snow.
  • In summers, street parking permission may not be available mainly for two reasons such as construction and street cleanings. There may be specific hours and days that parking is restricted and this is based on the schedule of street cleanings. Thus, stay alert and look for restricted signage.
  • Know exactly when not to park on the street. It is always helpful to know about off-street parking so that it save a lot of frustration and pain. However, as you travel in a dense are or during major events, the easier option is to consider the off-street parking as this is also an affordable choice.