Despite the image that the name might conjure, the district of Observatory is not perched on the summit of Table Mountain but at its eastern foot, tucked around the corner from the city centre but within easy reach of just about every destination in the cape peninsular.
'Obs' is Cape Town's bohemian suburb, and it has both the blessings and the drawbacks of that title. The main strip, Lower Main Road, has a distinct 'villagey' vibe, and is a hive of happening bars, restaurants, theatres and health food stores. But street corners are not places to dally; crime is a problem, and the swings and slides of the area's various miniature parks are more likely to be occupied by winos than by wee children.
In fact, kids are few and far between; the non-hipster inhabitants are mainly students at the nearby University of Cape Town and young medics working at Groote Schuur hospital. The area's architecture dates back to Victorian times and the houses, although all majestic and spacious, have by and large seen better days.
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Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa