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June 05, 2013

Why Alexander McCall Smith loves Cape Town

Cape Town is one of award-winning author Alexander McCall Smith's most beloved cities. Photo courtesy of Lärarnas Nyheter



 Alexander McCall Smith is no stranger to Cape Town, in fact, he says in an interview with the influential UK Telegraph that he comes to Cape Town every second year, when he can, and he often mixes business with pleasure.

He's written international bestsellers, including the very popular No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has sold more than 20-million copies worldwide. The Zimbabwean-born McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific writers. He lives in Scotland, and is an emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh's School of Law.

His latest book is The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection.

In the interview, carried in The Telegraph's Travel section this week, McCall Smith talks about the city's  "extradrodinary blue-ish light" and says it is "like no other I've seen".

"The winds and the sea atmosphere make it a very romantic place in many ways," McCall Smith says.

He makes a point of looking up at Table Mountain on his arrival. The mountain is one of the New7Wonders of Nature and he has often climbed up and walked across the summit. 

Table Mountain is not only spectacular to look at – there are magnificent views of Cape Town from the top. Photo courtesy of  smee.bruce


Cape Town is without doubt a romantic city: its natural splendour is renowned, the Bo-Kaap's cobbled streets hark back to another era, and with stunning sunsets, luxurious boutique hotels, candlelight dinners and picnic spots, the city caters for every kind of romantic wish.

The author enjoys meeting friends at the sumptious Mount Nelson Hotel's Planet Bar

He encourages first-time visitors to take a scenic drive along the coast to enjoy the natural beauty.

"I would suggest anyone drives down the coast, over the mountain to Hout Bay and then drive down to Cape Point, to marvel at the view. Then onto Kirstenbosch Gardens, which are spectacularly beautiful. Next, visit the University of Cape Town campus and also the monument to Cecil Rhodes at Devil’s Peak," he is quoted as saying in the article.

Cape Point, the bane of mariners rounding the southern tip of Africa, is a must-see. Photo courtesy of clarism_4



And McCall Smith makes a good point when he encourages people packing for Cape Town, to add binoculars to their luggage, as the city is a twitcher's delight. Some of the best viewing spots include the Strandfontein sewage works, the Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve and the Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary.

Experience Cape Town through the eyes of one of the greatest literary and legal minds on the planet, and book your trip to the Mother City.


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