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Days out with the family

April 1, 2011

I’ve been off-line for a few weeks as I’ve busy with my son, his wife and my baby grandson who have been visiting from overseas. We all had a great time doing touristy things together and I thought I’d share some of the highlights of our days out while they’ve been staying with us at my guest house, Penny Lane Lodge.

Cape Town

Located in Cape Town city centre Greenmarket Square is great place to buy arts and crafts including jewellery, bags and clothing direct from local people. My daughter-in-law got some great bargains to take back to Spain with her.  The market is open every day and is surrounded by cafe’s and restaurants in which to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

I also took lots of photos of the market and surrounding cityscape which I am using as the inspiration for some new paintings – more about these in a future post.

The V&A Waterfront is a prime tourist spot with loads to do and something for everyone. We had a very pleasant lunch here overlooking Cape Town harbour.  There are lots of different style restaurants and many great shopping opportunities. The Two Oceans Aquarium is a fascinating for young and old alike, although you need to be a little bit older than my grandson is to appreciate a visit (we’ll maybe go next time).  You can also take a tour of Cape Towns top attractions on the City Sightseeing open top bus which stops here.

Betty’s Bay

A little closer to home on the Clarence Drive Route, a scenic coastal drive between Gordon’s Bay and Hermanus, you’ll find Betty’s Bay. Along this curve of beach at Stony Point there are thousands of African Penguins (formerly known as Jackass Penguins) swimming among the rocks and relics of the old whaling site.

For a small entrance fee you can stroll along the wooden boardwalk that stretches on one side of the cove to see the penguins huddled in groups on the sand. Undisturbed by the arrival of human visitors, they’ll come close, cocking their heads in curiosity, observing you as you observe them.  Watch the penguins as they waddle out to sea, becoming sleek swimmers once in the water. After hearing the braying calls, you’ll understand why they’re called Jackass Penguins.

You’ll also see a colony of dassies: small, plump and tail-less guinea-pig-like animal is about as large as a domestic rabbit, which live amongst the rocky outcrops along the coast.  You will see them feeding morning and evening and sunbathing on the rocks through the day.

Although you can picnic near the penguin colony, it is a tiny bit smelly, so do as we did and take your picnic to the Harold Porter Gardens just up the road.

Hermanus

This is another great family day out if you’re staying in Somerset West. Either take the scenic route around the coast or to arrive more quickly take the N2 over Sir Lowry’s Pass.

Hermanus is a cosmopolitan town but has retained some of its historical fisherman’s village heritage.  The town centre is located on a stunning bay where during the season it is one of the best land-based whale watching destination in the world. Southern right whales visit from June through to December and can be viewed from aboard a boat, an airplane or on the shore. Hermanus is home to the world’s only Whale Crier who blows his kelp horn when whales are spotted along the central sea route.

There is a play area for children which overlooks the bay and is surrounded by good, reasonably priced restaurants, where fresh fish is oftern a special on the menu. Close by there are some good souvenir shops and a craft market where you can buy from local traders.

My family spent much of the time relaxing and catching up with friends…but we still enjoyed out days out and hope you will too!

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