I was very fortunate enough to get my hands on some tickets for the Cape Town City Sightseeing Bus, recently. Perfect for my trip to the Mother City!
For those that don’t know, City Sightseeing offers tourists across the globe a chance to see a specific city in a hop-on, hop-off manner enabling tourists to see the essential sightseeing spots while still being able to skip any of the sights that don’t appeal to their sense of adventure. For more info, check out their website www.citysightseeing.co.za
[blockquote client_name=”JL”]City Sightseeing offers tourists across the globe a chance to see a specific city in a hop-on, hop-off manner[/blockquote]
My adventure was initially meant to be undertaken by a group of guys only, but somehow evolved into a trip with 3 women and myself. Definitely no complaints from my end!
Meeting up at the City Sightseeing starting point, which is conveniently located in front of the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V & A Waterfront, the girls and I started out adventure. Making our way out into the City Bowl on the Blue Route, with our ears plugged in with the provided red earphones, to match the bus of course, and tuned to the very informative narrative, provided in 12 different languages with a fun option for restless kids. When I skipped through the list, the kids’ station was talking about the manufacturing of chutney or ‘blatjang’ as was mentioned in the narrative.
Skipping the City Bowl stops, we found ourselves at the Mount Nelson for High Tea. A definite must do! Just remember to act really posh for the high society folk who regularly frequent the place, and who might throw some disapproving glances your way if you get too rowdy, as we had been…
[fancybox_image image_url=”https://justinlee.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/IMG_8454.jpg” fancybox_url=”” width=”500″ height=”318.4″]
[blockquote_right client_name=”JL”] Just remember to act really posh [/blockquote_right]
Blissfully enjoying the beautiful garden and the absolutely divine snacks served with our tea, we’d almost forgotten our schedule and after a quick tour of the grounds we made our way back to the designated hop-on point across the road from the Mount Nelson.
We’d timed our departure from the grounds, so that we wouldn’t have to dash after the bus. So much for that plan! As we were walking out, the Big Red Bus came creeping into view and I’m sure there was a collective sinking of hearts as we realised we were about to miss the bus… the bus we had so diligently prepared to be on time for… the bus which was going to take us to our next point in our adventure! So, with reckless abandon, we sprinted after the bus. The girls all screaming on the top of their lungs, “WAIT! WAIT!” Only to be delayed by traffic on BOTH sides of the road.
A pair of tourists waiting for their own bus, had a good laugh at us as we ran for what felt like our lives. Fortunately some passengers were hopping off at that stop, so the bus had to wait, which meant that we had made it in time. PHEW! Then, like a slap to the face, it hit us: this wasn’t the bus we needed to catch. It was the ‘Red Tour’ bus. Fail. Then to make it worse the other tourists we’d passed, who had a giggle as we ran past, told us that they were also waiting for the ‘Blue Route’ bus. EPIC fail, but at least we’d been in time for the right bus!
The next leg of our journey took us around the mountain and past the Rhodes Memorial, all the way to the extremely luscious area of Constantia, which is home to the magnificent Kirstenbosh Botanical Gardens, which was our next stop.
[blockquote_left client_name=”JL”]something Heavenly had a hand in it[/blockquote_left]
Reaching the Gardens, we entered this fantasy of a floral kingdom that is the Kirstenbosh Botanical Gardens. It really is such a special place… it’s almost as if something Heavenly had a hand in it.
[fancybox_image image_url=”https://justinlee.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IMG_8501.jpg” fancybox_url=”” width=”500″ height=”250″]
Traversing down into the heart of this floral paradise, we stopped at the Fragrance Garden, which has as many different fragrant herbs as Willy Wonka had sweets in his factory. A quick rub of the leaves and you get a the smell of a good Sunday roast or a crisp, fresh minty aroma. Working our way through the different smells, one of the girls regaled the rest of the group with stories from her childhood about how she used to play in the stream, catching frogs and tadpoles, and also how she recalled an otter statue being nestled somewhere in the garden.
[fancybox_image image_url=”https://justinlee.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IMG_8510.jpg” fancybox_url=”” width=”500″ height=”318.4″]
The Statue of the Cape Clawed Otter
Time always goes by so quickly when you’re having fun, and before we knew it, we had to make our way back to get to the next stop, Groot Constantia, which was on the old wine route.
Arriving at the wine estate, we were quite excited about our next experience, which was wine tasting! High Tea seemed like forever ago, so we did the wise act of grabbing a quick bite to eat to line our stomachs first. Good thing we did because that wine came out of nowhere and we were definitely quite tipsy! Luckily we were on a bus and didn’t have to drive!
[fancybox_image image_url=”https://justinlee.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IMG_8556.jpg” fancybox_url=”” width=”500″ height=”318.4″]
[blockquote client_name=”JL”]Luckily we were on a bus and didn’t have to drive![/blockquote]
The day had gone by so quickly and sadly our trip had to come to an end, but not before the bus took us on a very scenic tour through Hout Bay along the coast line into Camps Bay and getting to my stop in Seapoint. That’s where my journey ended on that fine Friday afternoon, but there’s one thing I’ll always cherish about that day: it’s how much fun we had while taking in such a beautiful city. We were definitely local tourists that day. Learning a lot about a place we all thought we’d known quite well.
[fancybox_image image_url=”https://justinlee.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/IMG_8688.jpg” fancybox_url=”” width=”500″ height=”318.4″]