Is there a more romantic destination for a honeymoon than Africa? I seriously doubt that there is. Imagine this. The wedding ceremony is over. Those embarrassing speeches by the Best Man and the Father of the Bride are just a memory. A painful memory perhaps, but at least they are behind you now. At last you are together, alone. The feeling is a combination of euphoria and exhausted relief.
Mad Uncle Bernie has volunteered to stay sober throughout the reception so that he can drive you to the airport. This, you feel is a mixed blessing because while it saves you the cost of a taxi, Uncle Bernie's driving is so dire that he is one of the few people on earth whose driving actually improves when he is drunk. As you cram yourselves and your four large pieces of luggage into the back of his FIAT 500 you are glad that you decided to take the travel insurance you had procrastinated over for so long.
Then, before you know it and somewhat to your surprise you arrive safely at the airport. You're soon checked in, through passport control and security and are sitting in your aircraft seat thirty-nine thousand feet above the Indian Ocean with a glass of pretty reasonable chardonnay in one hand and your spouses hand in the other. Suddenly life is looking not too bad at all. A quick transit through Johannesburg's impressive new airport, but it's dark by the time you reach Cape Town and all you want to do is go to bed. After all it is your honeymoon. You check into your hotel - The Victoria & Alfred at the Waterfront and trot off to bed for a good night's sleep...........or something.
Morning. A sliver of light is squeezing through the gap in the curtains. It plays with your eyes and wakes you. Your partner is still asleep, breathing softly with a gentle smile on his/her lips. You pad over to the window and throw back the curtain. Oh..........My...........God! Is that Table Mountain? It is. It feels a little surreal to actually be here in Cape Town. Seeing Table Mountain for real for the first time is a bit like seeing a familiar TV star in the flesh, only much less disappointing. It is much, much bigger than you expect. 1086 metres tall. That's well over 3500 feet. It's great grey buttresses tower over the city, crowding it towards the ocean. There's not a single cloud and the clear blue sky is reflected in the water of the harbour where boats are already coming and going and seals are lounging on a large buoy.
You are so stunned by the majesty of this scene that you forget that you are standing naked in front of a second floor window, providing a fine morning's entertainment for the people eating their breakfast in the cafe down below. You hurriedly close the curtains and leap back into bed.
The romantic highlight of your Cape Town visit came during a tour of the winelands and the town of Franschhoek where the scenery is straight out of a Wilbur Smith novel. You eat a sumptuous lunch and drink a superb bottle of shiraz while gazing out across a green valley at a series of craggy, fairy tale mountains under a blue African sky with just a scattering of fluffy sheep clouds. You hold hands, you drink a toast to eternal love and you swear that you'd never forget that moment no matter what. You don't want the honeymoon to end, but you know it must and already you feel a little sad about having to leave Africa. Between that magical moment and the flight home though, there are many more exciting and romantic moments to be savoured.
To be continued.