Accommodation : Commodore hotel
Transport : Hop on, hop off
You gotta love the hop on hop off buses. You always know what you’re going to get and the concept is so simple. Cape Town has a number of lines and today we decided to explore the red line. The great thing about the Cape Town bus is that it’s not limited to just the city and the waterfront. These buses travel some distance and depending upon which line you select, they meander their way around Table a Mountain.
Our first stop enabled us to explore the area of Bo Kaap on foot. Every house in this part of town is painted a bright colour and not the same colour – they say that South Africa is the Rainbow nation and it’s here on show. The roads of Bo Kaap are quite hilly and merge up the side of the mountain, as far as building is allowed. The houses are small fronted town houses, a little like you would see in the inner suburbs of Melbourne but the colours are more like you’d see in Mykonos or Burano in Venice. They have very little garden and so the colour and frontage of the house is the aspect of the suburb that notice. Each of them, though is well kept with consistent colour and vibrancy. Trees and shade are non existent so it’s an area that, on a day like to day is really hot both with the walking and secondly it’s the sun radiating off the houses and streets.
We spent some time walking around the area which was also teeming with bus groups and others who had chosen the same route as us. I’m not sure how I’d feel about people constantly being around my house and taking photos but I guess that if you live in this area you must like it.
Next stop on the bus route was Table Mountain. It was great that the bus took us all the way to the base of the lift as this saved considerably on hassle and transport costs. Our City pass also meant that we got a return ride up the mountain so all in all a good deal.Now this ride was interesting. The ‘capsule’ held up to 64 people and the floor rotated so that during the ride up you got to see out the open windows at both the mountain towering above and the city of Cape Town. It’s a great idea as usually the first people in grab the prime spots and you can be stuck in the middle seeing nothing. We really liked the concept although not sure if those that did inherit those prime locations thought so!
The mountain imposes itself on the town below and being at the top was no different. You could see for miles, out into the ocean, Robben Island, Cape Town itself and the mountains and hills surrounding it. Through the mountain you could also see goat track paths where ‘crazy’ people had decided to walk the route rather than take the exotic lift option (or so we thought… hey they had to manually turn around to get all of the view!)
There were numerous trials at the top providing an all round view of each side of the mountain and coastline. It took some time to walk them and luckily given the flatness of the ‘table’, it wasn’t too onerous, apart from some areas that were a little rocky. You gotta love how some people dress for this type of activity …I guess it’s important to look good but really high heels!
Back on the bus which arrives regularly, we made our way through Camps Bay, I guess the St.Kilda of Cape Town. It was nice but really busy although I have to say that the sand looked a lot like ours and that’s uncommon when travelling. Back to the waterfront to check out the different restaurants before back to the hotel to rest up.