A Funfilled day exploring Cape Town’s Mini Peninsula
Yet another great trip on a City Sightseeing Cape Town bus, this time on the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour. I simply cannot compare the two bus tours, as the variety of sights and information is so different on each. My friend, Simone, joined me for the day, and being as photo crazy as I am, it turned out to be a day of laughs and silliness as we enjoyed the view. It was nice to find the same, very helpful tour usher on the bus again.
Cape Town weather did not disappoint, and the sky was blue with speckled clouds – a sight most tourists on the bus couldn’t resist taking photos of.
These tours offer a great benefit – a view of Cape Town you cannot get as a driver or even passenger in a car, particularly if you choose to sit up top on the bus. I have been around Constantia Nek and Hout Bay many times, but the view this time took my breath away. You see it from a higher and slower perspective, missing very little, especially with the historical commentary you’re listening to as to move along. I would have, however, preferred less information on the personal life and wealth of Cecil John Rhodes, who seemed to own half of Cape Town as a British Settler, and more on the history of our land before the foreign settlers came and our history since.
We chose to stay on the bus all the way to Hout Bay; however, on route the M3, I appreciated the beautiful architecture of the University of Cape Town, my alma mater, which, again, one does not even notice as we tend to hastily drive passed to get to our destinations. I remember the amazing view from Jammie Steps early on a summer’s morning as a student there, especially when the Athlone Towers were still around to be seen.
I can say that having been to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens many times, and the World of Birds once before (which does not only have birds), they’re both well worth the visit – I recommend planning a whole, separate day for each, and take a picnic basket along!
Entering Hout Bay, we passed Original T-Bag Designs, and then there is the option to take the Imizamo Yethu Township tour, which due to time we did not do, but it sounds a rather cultural experience, and both will be on my list of things to do come summer.
I reminisced on my childhood as we entered Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay, in particular, the queues to get tasty fish ‘n chips either at the Wharfside Bistro or Snoekies. And, of course, a delicious soft serve ice-cream, which, I’m sure, every child nags for the way I used to. We found a little kiosk, Munchies, to buy chocolate and vanilla soft serve ice-creams, which by the time I was done posing for photos with, had dripped all down my hand! We explored a bit, me singing and dancing as Brenda Fassie’s Weekend Special, which played throughout the bus drive, was still stuck in my head!
We booked a boat trip to Seal Island with Circe Launches, which would have been perfect if it was not so windy, which made the sea a bit rough. In summer I imagine the trip out would be ideal. It was an amazing view of Chapman’s Peak from the other side you don’t get to see when you’re driving around it. As the boat sailed around, for a moment I thought I was in a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean! Awesome!
The stop-over to look at the seals was great for photo taking, and the seals played along splashing about in the water, and some just ‘catching a tan’
We got back to the harbour rather wet, since we chose to sit at the front of the boat where the waves splash up most (despite being warned), but it was fun nonetheless, and made the experience more exciting. Getting back to harbour, we were greeted by another of Cape Town’s colourful cultural history, The Coons, who sang us in to harbour as only they can.
Lunchtime, it was good to discover that after not visiting the area for a good few years, sitting down at the Wharfside Bistro the fish was still as hot, fresh and tasty as I remember.
While waiting for the next bus to arrive, we popped into The Shipwreck Shop which sells all sorts of frozen and fresh seafood, fresh baked goods, curios and shells – I spent more than I should have. The Liquor Locker adjacent to the shop was a little haven of the best wines and other liquor I’d seen in a while, great quality, and I left with a delicious bottle of chocolate port. Yes, I said chocolate – yummy! Only thing we forgot to purchase, was our Republic of Hout Bay passports – that’s the only time buying a passport isn’t considered illegal.
Leaving Hout Bay, the drive back was just as beautiful as we drove around the mountain, not that I was admiring all of the drive though – note to the wise, if you have a fear of heights and suffer from motion sickness, do not be as ‘clever’ as I was to sit right up front, upstairs on the bus. The view may be great, but seeing your bus go round the mountain on the left side of the road where all you can see is the ocean below, not ayoba!
Not being able to resist the hustle and bustle of Camps Bay with great music blasting in the background, we hopped off for dessert –who can resist Sinnfull ice-cream? Hmmm, yummy, too much temptation in Cape Town! We enjoyed our delicious ice-creams while sitting on a bench overlooking the beach, waiting for the next bus back to the Waterfront to arrive. At this point we could hop on either a red or blue bus.
Back at the V&A Waterfront, I finally made use of my Wheel of Excellence tickets. Wow, what an amazing view of the CBD and Table Mountain in the backdrop with it’s famous ‘table cloth’ creeping over. Picturesque at it’s best!
Although this was known as the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour, the variety and view it offered definitely was not ‘mini’ at all. So, I recommend an early start to the day to fully appreciate all of it. I thought Cape Town was magnificent after the Red tour, but I now have many more attractions I’d like to diarise for summer visiting, thanks to City Sightseeing Cape Town. No more excuses of not doing anything at the weekend! Bring on summer!
My name is Alicia Valentine, and, having an adventurous spirit, I love experiencing new and exciting things all the time. My passion is people, hence I’ve landed in the field of Human Resources Management. I love to learn about people and cultures around the world, so travelling has been another passion of mine, when funds allow it;-) I’m a bit of a dreamer too, so I’m hoping to win the lottery so that I may spend the rest of my days travelling the world, and along the way stop to write a book about it, while munching on pastries at a little café in Paris!
Experience Cape Town and the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour. City Sightseeing Cape Town’s blog tells you the stories behind the best attractions and events in Cape Town, South Africa.
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