5 Reasons To Visit Kalk Bay
Would you believe it… After the 1970’s not-so-hipster green Ford escort broke down on our previous wine tasting excursion in Stellenbosch, and the ensuing treacherous doorless train experience, I went on yet ANOTHER rendezvous with my friend, Jenna, and her car, named, Bertha… and a train, again! Seemingly, some of us are slow learners! This time, Bertha was sternly charged to ‘stay in one piece’ while getting us to the Cape Town Station, from where we caught the mid morning train to Kalk Bay.
I was attracted to Kalk Bay because of its eclecticism and the ‘Mediterranean feel’ to it.
Although this train drive was more doable then the previous one, it was not without its treacherous moments, either… This time, the ‘moment’ involved a man in his seventies ‘sweet-talking’ Jenna. I tried to ‘remove’ myself from the situation, but couldn’t exactly get off a moving train, so, I put my sunglasses on, as if to say, “I’m no longer here”?! Anyway, it worked as he left me alone and continued to ‘chat up’ Jenna. When the conversation started with “How old do I look?” followed by a gummy smile…. I sensed that it wasn’t likely to end well. Well, it didn’t. He proceeded to show us (well, Jenna, and the amoeba with the sunglasses on – me) his heart. (Now, as much as I am looking forward to a man sharing his heart with me, one day – this is not what I have in mind!!!) “Something about this ticker just ticks on”, he announced proudly. Pointing to his heart wasn’t enough, he just had to unbutton his shirt, revealing a scarily hairy chest, and prove that he had a heart that ticked! I was becoming increasingly ticked off!!! Good golly, we weren’t disputing the fact! Thankfully his stop was next. We were much relieved. The rest of the train drive was spent in fits of raucous laughter.
I decided to list my top 5 reason why you should visit Kalk Bay.
1. The great coffee shops.
I needed a strong coffee when we arrived in Kalk Bay, and was keen to try out Olympia café, as I hadn’t been there in years. Regrettably, there was no place for us as it was packed. So, we chose to meet up with some friends at a cafe called Lekker. (Lekker, means lovely or nice, in Afrikaans, and it lived up to its name). A breakfast croissant and large orange mocha later, I was ready to see the sights. Kalk Bay is truly beautiful. The glistening and cerulean sea makes one feel as if you are in Mykonos…well, my idea of a ‘mini Mykonos’, but with a special South African sea-side charm of its own. My love affair with Olympia Cafe started a good few years ago when my parents visited the café and brought back tales of its loveliness and unpretentiousness with them. Olympia Café has another world, Grecian charm about it. Upon visiting the cafe for myself, a few years later, I was not disappointed. I’ve been back, often! However this time, perhaps because I was a little older, it seemed to have lost a little of its mystical, Mediterranean magic. Somehow, the decor seemed less eclectic and the glass vases didn’t have the customary green algae rings half-way up the bottle that used to keep me so pre-occupied as a child! No students from the nearby Christian College were there either, sipping coffee while reading their bibles. And, what happened to the music that used to give my goosebumps goosebumps? However, the coffee was still able to turn me into a Greek, in a matter of seconds!
2. The eclectic harbour.
Kalk bay is a fishing village after all. We spent the afternoon walking around, walking to the harbour wall and stopping to chat with the fisher women preparing the freshly caught fish for customers, and we walked up as many interesting side streets that we could find. Apparently come spring time, Southern right wales can be spotted near the harbour.
3. The array of antique shops.
We stumbled upon a tiny vintage clothing stall and tried on and bought a few pieces.
Right above the vintage stall, we spotted a tea museum of sorts with a vast collection of teas and beautiful crockery, all for sale! I felt like a proverbial bull in a China shop, as I was lugging around a big and bulky leather bag, filled with my newly acquired vintage clothing pieces. I nervously looked around to see if there was any sign that said: ‘Lovely to look at, lovely to hold, but if it breaks, consider it sold!’*Note to self to take a small bag next time. The owners of the shop were delightful people – vastly knowledgeable and brimming with interesting stories. I had to restrain myself from buying them out of shop. Thankfully, I didn’t have space in my air luggage – or else I may have gone totally over board. Who doesn’t appreciate a good delft tea-set?! There is also a quirky second hand book store, art gallery and theatre.
4. The ice cream shop.
A visit to Kalk Bay is not complete without having an ice cream at The Ice Cafe. Jamie Oliver has even visited this cafe come ice cream parlour in Main Road. Here you can try delectable flavours, including blueberry and cream, rum and raisin or ginger and cinnamon. I enjoyed two sumptuous scoops of cinnamon and chocolate. We rounded the ice cream off with a cappuccino at Olympia Cafe.
5. The gorgeous views.
As the day waned and the sugar rush subsided, Jenna and I found ourselves back on the train to Cape Town, this time, sans men hitting on us. The view out of the train’s window arriving and when leaving Kalk Bay were exceptionally beautiful. A day trip to Kalk Bay is an absolute must.
Next time, I will also stop for fish and chips. Or, as the locals call it, “vis en tjips.”
So, when was your last visit to Kalk Bay? And tell me, was it good?