We spent The Public Holiday getting to know our city.

My sisters and I decided to explore Cape Town City Centre.

We decided to travel by train - 3rd class - to Cape Town. Our first bonus was that the total cost for our return tickets from Plumstead to Cape Town, was a mere R45,00.

Our first stop was the Apache Spur because Hilary was hungry. Once the tummies were sorted, we went to the Slave Lodge.

The plague explain the history of the Slave Lodge building

Levona and Hilary having fun in the foyer area.

 We met Ms Williams with a few of her Littlewood Primary School learners  at the Slave Lodge. Ms Williams explained that she brought these learners on this outing because they earned it. Imagine giving up your public holiday to take children out! 

Ms Williams and her children

I acted as a tour guide for my sisters, remembering some of the details we were given when our education district visited the Slave Lodge.  As expected, my siblings loved the exhibitions. They listened to all the audio recordings and spent a lot of time admiring the silverware, artworks and the fashion displays.

Hilary and Levona resting in the courtyard.

After the Slave Lodge tour, we walked through the Company gardens, munching on nuts and raisins. The gardens were filled with families, lovers and friends. There is a restaurant with a lovely play area for children in the gardens. We spent time admiring the rose garden, the vegetable garden and just the pure beauty of the environment.

Play area at the restaurant in the Company gardens

We relaxed on the steps to the Iziko museum, choosing not to go and explore because our time was running out fast. We wanted to visit the Holocaust Centre because none of us had been there before.

The inevitable selfie in front of the Iziko museum

After this, we took a slow walk to the Holocaust Centre.  The area where the Holocaust centre is located, has a restaurant and a Jewish museum as well. You get free entry at the Holocaust Centre, but you need to pay to visit the Jewish museum. There was a wedding at the restaurant. At times you couldn't tell the difference between the guests and the visitors to the Holocaust centre. The wedding was rather informal and the party did not seem to mind us crisscrossing through the same space.

Levona is standing on the steps leading to the Holocaust Centre. Notice the cocktail tables of the Jewish wedding that was taking place at the restaurant next to the Holocaust centre.

It was time for lunch. We needed a fish and chip parcel to round off our day. Hilary said Texies near the parade was the perfect place.

So, off we walked towards the parade. When we reached Parliament, we saw tourists tumbling out of a regular taxi. They were excited and took a few pictures of the parliament buildings. I think they would have had more fun if they could watch the drama happening inside that stately building!

Eventually we reached Texies, a small, but busy takeaways, opposite  the Grand Central building. This building used to be the Post Office.

We bought our fish and chips/calamari and chips parcels and devoured these outside seating of Texies. We stubbornly refused to share our lekka Cape Town treat that seemed to attract a bergie's attention.

Our tour was complete.  When we arrived at Cape Town station, we saw a parked train at Platform 2.  Some announcement was made and the next minute, people started running to the train carriages. Without hesitation, Hilary and Levona also started running.

I followed suit, shouting" Why are we running" but they simply ignored me. I could see the conductor blowing his whistle and me and my calamari chip- lined body stuck on platform 2 with the train trailing to Simonstown! Why are the third-class carriages so far?

Eventually I reached the third-class carriage and plonked myself next to an amused commuter.

"Why are you all running? The train leaves at 14:30. It is only 14:10 now."

I smiled weakly, blaming my sisters. 

The next minute a buxom vendor armed with large plastic bags filled with chips and a loaded basket, boarded the train.

"Chips, lollipops, Cell C, MTN, Vodacom data... ", said our vendor as she walked down the aisle. 

"This is so cool," I said. "If you run out of data, you can buy it on the train. No rushing to the nearest shop"

"And they sell electricity, " said my neighbour. 

Hilary bought each of us one of those huge lollipops that have wrappers that are impossible to remove.  After battling discreetly to free the lollipop from the wrapper, I finally yanked a piece off with my teeth and sat there sucking this enormous sweet on a stick. 

After a while I could munch through the syrupy sweet and find the prized lump of bubblegum in the centre.

Time flies when you are distracted. As the train slowed down when it reached Plumstead, I got up with the rest of the passengers and swayed towards the door.

"Why are we getting up before the time? Didn't you say this morning, it's a silly thing to do when we saw people doing it?" said Levona, a bit agitated with us.

"We're blending in... It's the thing to do around here, " I said. 

So we swayed and dug our heels into the floor of the carriage to balance and stood in the passage at the door. 

When the train stopped at our station, we tumbled out, like the rest. That felt good!

For a fabulous day out, we spent about R105,00 per person. This amount included our Spur breakfast, entry fee to the Slave Lodge and our chip parcels at Texies. The Company gardens and Holocaust are free.

Now, isn't this a good reason to visit our own city?

Have you visited any interesting place in our city? Do share with us so that we can deepen our pride and appreciate our own beautiful city.


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