On the Monday we took a nostalgic trip to Hermanus. My maternal grandparents are buried at Hermanus and I spent many happy childhood holidays there, so for me it was a little journey into the past. We took the scenic route from Cape Town to Hermanus, driving alone the seashore. It really was the most stunningly beautiful drive I have ever taken.
Well apart from this chap - who spoilt the view somewhat ;-)
We made a short stop at Betty’s Bay to visit the penguin colony that has made its home in that area. There is something so comically appealing about penguins, I could watch them for hours. (Note to anyone planning a Cape trip – you’ll pay half the price to see the penguins if you go to Betty’s Bay instead of Boulders Bay in Simonstown)
Hermanus has grown enormously since I was last there. I feel that it has lost a lot of its quaint village-type character, but it is definitely geared up for the tourist market and has a lot to offer in that respect. We took things nice and slow, sitting at a charming café’ near the old harbour and watching life go by and then wandering around the shops and the fleamarket. We also took a walk down to the old harbour, which is beautiful and then spent some time watching this particularly cheeky dassie.
Hermanus is acknowledged as the best land-based whale watching destination in the world. In whale season, from June to December, the town is abuzz with whale watchers as the Southern Right Whales return to our warmer coastal waters to mate, calve and rear their young. For a week in September the town is dedicated entirely to whales, when it hosts a Whale Festival .
Having spent a couple of happy hours in Hermanus, we headed to the oldest hotel in South Africa for lunch. The Houw Hoek Inn was always a favourite with my beloved Gran, she loved lunching there. So I thought it would be fitting, seeing as I was having a day for nostalgia, for us to do likewise. There is nothing at all fancy about the Inn, but I can’t think of a nicer, or more relaxing, place to have lunch.
Ever wondered what if feels like to sit atop a throne? Do yourself a favour and take a trip to the ladies loo at Houw Hoek Inn and you will wonder no more!
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