Public transport is some what of a sore point in South Africa. It’s definitely a facilities that drastically needs to be upgraded throughout the country. Daily, the Cape Town train system, Metrorail cause hundreds of commuters frustrations and fury during rush hour, none the less, it is our transport system and sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got.
Luckily for me, riding a train tends to be a luxury over a necessity and there’s nothing better than hoping on a train on a beautiful, sunny day in Cape Town. This Sunday was just that kind of day. Bright, shining blue skies covered the mountain tops, inspiring a train ride out to Kalkbay.
Definitely one of Cape Town’s MUST DO’s due to the breathtaking views and childhood reminiscing features, at +- R30 for a 1st class return trip to town, it’s well worth it. As the train curls along the coastline, it truly is one of the most beautiful and unique rides in the country. Turquoise blue water, surfers bobbing in the waves, white water crashing over rocks, popping blue, red, yellow and green houses of St James, the Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town mountains containing the sea, fisher men boats all puttering out to sea, bird life, seals and children making sand castles, rock pools and excited passengers, can all be expected on the train ride from town to Kalkbay.
It’s been about 2 years since I was last at the Brass Bell and the prices have increased considerably. Although there has always been a smart restaurant upstairs and a pub below, the staff were rather formal today which was quite surprising. Luckily, we managed to get a table in the smoking pub section where we could look out upon the sea and take in the blue view.
We had a number of drinks and shots (reasonably priced – R19 for Hunters Dry, R15 for Jagermeister), but the lunch prices were a little more than I had anticipated (250g steak for R140, +- R58 for a plain burger but R20 to add cheese = nearly R80 for a cheese burger seems a little high) So I ordered the 650g bbq ribs for R89. My ribs were very tasty and I couldn’t quite finish them so I felt it was value for money. Also, I don’t think the Brass Bell uses a gas grill as the ribs didn’t have that common slightly ‘gassy’ taste that one can often experience. If they do use gas – well done Brass Bell!
Our waitress was very good; I ordered my first drink with ice and lemon and she continued to bring all my drinks like that for the rest of the day. I appreciate the attention to detail. 10% service fee was included (which I thought only applied to tables of 8+ not 6+) but she was very good so I was happy to pay hertip.
After the Brass Bell, we took a stroll down to the pier to “visit” the fisher men, see the seals and observe the boats. Families and couples crowded Kalky’s Fish n Chip shop and Polana had an afternoon of jazz entertaining the full restaurant. We then indulged in a little ice cream at the Ice Cafe opposite Kalkbay train station which was delicious! Flavours like honey comb, Belgian chocolate, flake and peanut certainly did tantalised our taste buds! At about 17:30 we caught the train back to town.
One of the things that pleased me the most about the trip was that so many other young people had taken the train to Kalkbay as well, many from the city center. The more people use public transport, the more money gets pumped into the system. The more money in the system, the sooner we can upgrade. The trains also came every 45 minutes so we did not have to wait long to depart nor arrive and we all felt safe during our trip. Thanks Cape Town for another beautiful day out![slideshow]