Travelling by train has been around for a couple of hundred years and still to me hasn’t lost its magic, I love sitting next to the window watching the world go by.
If you are studying at Oxford English Academy in Cape Town you really should take the time to hop on the train for the day and head out of the city. One of my favourite routes must be the Southern Line to Simon’s Town from Cape Town station. The train makes its way through the southern suburbs, giving you a wonderful tour of different areas such as the trendy neighbourhoods of Woodstock and Observatory. You will make you way through Newlands, where the smell of barley will accost your senses as you pass the Newlands brewery.
When you reach the coast Muizenberg offers a lengthy, open beach where many a beginner will learn to surf. The beach, recognisable by the colourful houses may not have the turquoise waters of Camp’s Bay, but the ocean is noticeably warmer here. Jump back on the train after a bite to eat and set off for Simon’s Town. The quaint town is known as a naval town and also has an enormous penguin colony living on Boulders Beach. This little adventure is a wonderful idea for a day out to see the ‘other side of the mountain’ as I’d like to say.
Atlantic Rail does not run its routes on a daily basis, but offers an experience on an old school steam train to specific destinations. On most Sundays you will be able to enjoy a three hour journey from Cape Town to Stellenbosch and then onto the Spier Wine Estate. While there, be sure to treat yourself to a delectable meal at Moyo, one of Cape Town’s favourite African restaurants.
Of course if you have more time on your hands you can explore larger parts of South Africa by train. There are a few luxury trains that run from Cape Town on a regular basis. The Blue Train takes you on an incredible 27 hour journey cross country from Cape Town all the way north to the city of Pretoria. The train is referred to as a 5 star hotel on wheels which caters to all your needs.
So whether you have a day or a week, a rand or a dollar, the trains in and around Cape Town caters to all alike. Studying English in Cape Town does not need to be confined to the classroom at all, go on an adventure and see how many local people you can meet along the way!