A Bus Eyes View of Your City – Part 1
I have done the Red City Tour twice before, in 2009 when I had visitors from overseas, so when the opportunity arose for me to go alone I thought I would do something different. When you have visitors you tend to get on and off the bus at different places and only go round once, but since the ticket was valid for a full day I thought I would stay on the bus, and go round a second time.
You may wonder why anyone might want to do this. Well, for one thing if you want to view everything from the upper deck and you have a problem with Shanks’ ponies or are a bit on the plump side, both of which fingers can be pointed at me, you might not want to be lugging yourself up to the upper deck and back down again at the various stops. And for another, tell me when you last took a good look at your city with its wonderfully colourful history? If you are an older resident I can guarantee that if you do an extended day trip on the Red Route bus you will see the city and surrounds like never before AND learn a few facts that you had not previously known or if you had read them in books you will be able to see the places.
Maybe look at doing a City Sightseeing bus tour as A Grand Day Out – rather like Wallace and Gromit. If you take a packed lunch and cool drinks, and can manage the stairs you can ensconce yourself on the upper deck with camera, hat, picnic et al and spend the day happily touring the city and surrounds, it is a DAY TICKET that you have purchased, and each time you go round the route – which takes approximately two hours, you will spot new things or different scenes playing out. You can sit in the full sun or in the shaded part at the front, and if the weather changes you can move into the covered part or downstairs. The other thing about this is that you are safe on the bus – a point worth remembering if you are older or on your own. So, you can spend the day sightseeing in complete safety, and you can use the Aquarium stop if you need a loo break.
The bus has to maintain a certain speed, although it ambles along rather than speeds, and inevitably you will still miss things as you go around the route. If you stay on the bus and do the trip a few times you will see the places and things spoken about on the commentary and be able to spot them sooner on successive trips round. It also means you can be ready with your camera as you come to each place. On previous trips I found that my friends and I would be talking and miss stuff, or one of us would spot something but the other missed it, because the bus had driven past already. And since many people only do the round trip once and get off, you can miss a lot. If you are the sort that strikes up conversations with others at the drop of a hat too – the garrulous dog bit – you might also find yourself doing so with passengers and staff alike. One thing you can guarantee, the staff are friendly, informative and helpful.
Anyway, this time I got to see things properly, and with no pressure to get off. I took pictures at my leisure, because I knew I was not going to be leaping off at the end of the round trip. I spotted things happening along the route, like a whole bevy of paragliders – or should that be a chute of paragliders, always interesting if you are an observer of people. When the bus trundled along the sea front at Camps Bay it was fun to see all the people enjoying sitting in the pavement restaurants relaxing – I wondered if I might catch a glimpse of someone famous. I was able to relax and enjoy the tripping in a way that no driver or passenger would normally get to do.
I only did two round trips – 4 hours in total, but that 4 hours was so relaxing I even dozed off at one point during the afternoon, heh, heh.
Buy your tickets here:
• Online at www.citysightseeing.co.za
Adults R110 (offline price R140), Kids (5-15 years) R70, Kids under 5 free.
• On the bus
• At out Ticket Office, outside the Two Oceans Aquarium: Bus Stop 1
Hi, I’m Corinna Turner. Cape Town and environs are so beautiful and varied, and have so much to offer. By going places and writing about them I feel I can share a little bit with those who are not fortunate enough to live here. More importantly I feel that there is a lot that local people don’t know about their city and environs. Cape Town City Sightseeing tours are one of the things that many Capetonians have not thought to try out, and I would like to change that. I am also known as Cape Winds Virtual Services, you can find out more at www.capewindsvirtual.weebly.com