A double-decker bus provides top-notch Cape Town views

June 28, 2014

Since South Africans drive on the left (as opposed to the right side of the street in the States or just about anywhere we want in Boston) I decided to get acquainted with Cape Town by taking the double-decker red tour bus.  A stop is conveniently  located about 1.5 blocks from the hotel on Beach Road that runs alongside the Atlantic Ocean promenade.


Since I also wasn’t sure how much walking was in me (or Rick) during our first day or two here, I figured the bus was a good option.

And the bus does deliver on the sites. Exhibit A: this picture from the top deck of the bus heading into Sea Point on the road from Camps Bay.   Not bad for a five-year-old point-and-shoot.campsbay1

The bus route also provides running commentary in several languages on the different sites and that commentary does not hide the fact that apartheid left a devastating legacy.

1dist6You ride past District Six, now a swath of overgrown grass, where thousands were thrown out of their homes, displaced because of the abomination of apartheid laws.

The bus also takes you to the Imizamo Yethu  township where you can get off and take a tour with community guides. This is a place where hundreds of people live and work in metal cargo shipping crates they have converted into businesses and homes.  Barbershops, nail salons, coffee stands, a snack shop, and home upon home upon home.  In one sense, I felt invasive, acting as a voyeur.  This was an experience I felt but did not need to capture with a camera.  The images of this living space will stay with me more vividly than a SD card can provide.

Seeing Imizamo Yethu reinforced my intention for going to Robben Island, another experience that brought the stories of my journalistic lifetime to tangible reality.






About janetkolodzy

Janet Kolodzy is a Professor of Journalism at Emerson College, Boston, MA. After a career as a print and broadcast journalist, she has been teaching about the practice of convergence journalism, which encourages the use of a mix of media storytelling tools to help journalists inform audiences.
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