This cape is the most stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth,” wrote Sir Francis Drake in 1580. Since then, nothing much has changed in terms of natural beauty, although modes of communication certainly have: ‘I’ve heard many times before that Cape Town is stunning,’ twittered Lance Armstrong in March this year after completing the peninsula’s famous 109-kilometre Argus Cycle Tour. “That was no lie. What a place.”