Beach Day at St James and Muizenberg and “All-Aboard!” the Steam Train to Simonstown

This weekend was full of beaches and ocean views!  On Saturday, Krishna and I met up with my two co-workers and fellow interns at PASSOP, Franziska and Anne.  Both are students from in Germany, but Franziska studies economics while Anne is pursuing her degree in sociology.  We met up with them for breakfast at the Old Biscuit Mill Market, and after enjoying some delicious food, we hopped on the Metrorail train to St. James.  St. James is a small beach suburb of Cape Town on False Bay. It has some colorful changing huts and a nice beach. We spent some time enjoying the view from the rocks, and then decided to walk along the boardwalk that leads to the next suburb of Muizenburg.  We enjoyed the walk very much, until a huge wave crashed over the boardwalk, leaving Krishna, Franziska, and me quite damp, and poor Anne completely soaked. 

St. James Changing Huts


View from the Rocks



The View from St. James

view from stjames


Walk from St. James to Muizenberg


Muizenberg is a livelier suburb and is known for its surfing.  We sat in the sun to dry and enjoyed some ice cream while we watched the surfers and the families playing on the beach.  It was an incredibly relaxing day and it was nice to get to spend some time with Franziska and Anne out of the office.

Muizenberg Surfers


Enjoying Muizenberg's Finest Ice Cream


On Sunday, Krishna and I took the Atlantic Rail’s steam train to Simonstown.  The train dates from the 1930’s and has retained all its original fixtures.  In fact, when I later read the South African novel, The Power of One, which takes place during World War Two, the protagonist’s description of the train compartment in which he rode home from boarding school struck me as eerily similar to our compartment.  All the details were there: the sink, the medicine cabinet, even the green leather bench seat.  Reading the novel made me appreciate just how well the Atlantic Rail has preserved its trains.

Atlantic Rail Steam Train


Train Compartment


All Aboard!



The train left from downtown Cape Town and travels through the southern suburbs and along all of False Bay.  The tracks run parallel to the water, making it an incredibly scenic ride. It was astounding how close to the water we actually were!

View from the Train


View from the Train Window


When we arrived in Simonstown we first walked along the port area.  Simonstown is a naval town, so we had the opportunity to see some of the South African fleet. After a quick walk around the town, we did some souvenir shopping at open air market stands before catching the train back to Cape Town.



Simonstown Navy


Simonstown Ships


Open Air Market