A Trip to Cape Town, South Africa

I visited Cape Town this past Thanksgiving for the first time to visit my two uncles and their families. I couldn’t wait to hear their stories about my grandfather, and their personal stories of being engineers in South Africa. They faced many obstacles during Apartheid to get their engineering degrees, and in starting their own company. At one point during post-Apartheid, even though they could afford a home, they were refused the opportunity to close on a home purchase all because of their race.

Never having been to South Africa before, I didn’t know what to expect. Cape Town is an absolutely amazing place to visit! Even before landing, you could feel a difference in the air. With close attention, you could see some differences as well. Being an engineer, most of the differences I focused on were related to transportation and infrastructure!

One noticeable difference is driving on the left side of the road.  Other than left-hand driving, traveling throughout Cape Town feels just like any other major metropolitan city in the U.S.

I learned that crosswalks are signaled during all red times at signalized intersections downtown. Traffic signals there are called “robots”. There are a few bicycle lanes along the roadways, and roundabouts are regular occurrences. Most warning signs are in a triangular styled sign, and one thing I had never seen before was mid-street parking!

The entire city is beautiful, but the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Table Mountain and the Promenade were my favorite places for their natural beauty.

The highlight of the trip was visiting my Civil/Structural Engineering uncles and spending time with fellow Christians in their church. My uncles actually helped design the church! A special thanks to my uncles for hosting me, and to my cousins for taking time to volunteer as tour guides!