Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tourists in Port Elizabeth

For our 2 weeks here at Port Elizabeth (PE), we had school and work on weekdays, but during the weekends, we were officially tourists. Here is what we did in PE.

We went to see the working harbour and saw really impressive ships (like that big one in the photo).

We visited Bayworld, an Oceanarium, Museum and Snake Park in one. It was kind of run down though, and we could see it had had better days. The movie Dolphin Tale 2 gave us a glimpse of the challenges all conservancy related organizations face. The Oceanarium had very few animals (some fish, seahorses, seals and penguins), and the Snake Park took 5 minutes to walk through. The Museum was very impressive though, and even bigger and better than the East London Museum!

Sad turtle.

He smiled for us. 

Penguins. They all seemed sad though. 



They had tame dinosaurs!

Cool exhibits in the Museum.

Whale skeleton...

Depending on the weather, we had a few beach days. We visited the 3 major beaches of PE: Kings Beach, Summerstrand, and Hobie Beach. The water was freezing at all of them.

We experienced the silence before the storm... The calm before December holiday, when the beaches are packed.

At King's Beach, there were parks, swimming pools, etc. including a whole herd of "giraffes" which the boys enjoyed.

Squinty smile in the sun. 

We also experienced Red Tide at PE, a phenomenon known as an algal bloom when it is caused by a few species of dinoflagellates (microscopic organisms) and the bloom takes on a red or brown color. Red tides are events in which estuarine, marine, or fresh water algae accumulate rapidly in the water column, resulting in coloration of the surface water.  It is really bad for fish but I swam in it anyway (other people did too); when I got out and started air drying, the stuff turned into red jelly on my skin (eww).

Streaks of color.

Braving the dinoflagellates (that sounds like dinosaurs).

We visited The Boardwalk (a big shopping center/casino) twice, first to go see the Musical Fountain (which was beautiful), second to see a movie, to celebrate us finishing school for the year!

Musical fountains.

We also went on a real boardwalk next to the ocean. The wind nearly blew us away, after it blasted us with sand and fogged up my dad's glasses with seaspray.

Note our winter jackets....

Formations the sand had formed. 

We went to see the local lighthouse, which is in a nature reserve, so we took a walk to a bird watching hide as well. Where we parked the car, the wind made the telephone cables vibrate till they hummed; it was a very cool sound.

A hidden away beach we discovered.

Our fellow bird watchers in the bird watching hide. 

Addo Elephant National Park was a day outing. We saw, among others, a lot of tortoises, plenty of elephants, eland, sebras, waterbuck, kudu, ostriches and red hartebeest.

A snack before we start (a very expensive one too. Tourist shops are daylight robbery).

Some nature reserve exhibits.

Tortoise! We think the weather was ideal for these guys to emerge, as they were everywhere.

I love this sign. 

Elephants taking a bath. 

Once we drove up a hill and ended in the clouds.

We also took some time to examine the history of PE by driving through some of the first streets, including Castle Hill Street and Donkin Street. Castle Hill Nr. 7 Museum was also very interesting; built around 1830, apparently it is the oldest private house in PE, and furnished as a Victorian home.

The kitchen contained some of the coolest hand gadgets we've ever seen; a peach peeler, washing machine (which you turn by hand), "tumbledrier" (more like a clothes press),  water filter, toast maker, soap maker, sugar cubes cutter, hot water bottle, and butter shaper. We were so impressed.

Clever cupboards in the wall.

Dad with a roll-top oak desk, one of his dream possessions. 

Finally, we visited the Volkswagen (VW) factory and the Autopavilion in Uitenhage (a small town near PE). We went on a factory tour (unfortunately no cameras or cellphones were allowed, so no pictures), watched how the robots made the "skeleton car", and saw the assembly of the vehicle. Afterwards we also explored the Museum, which was fun as they had interactive games, informative hands-on experiments, etc. as well as plenty of cars. 

From the road.

A 1972 "Volksie" discovered in Potchefstroom, in a collectors garage, 42 years old but still brand new because it's only been driven 800km in total!


Free games!


  1. Goeie werk Elna...ek weet hoeveel tyd hierdie elke slag neem! Dit lyk skitterend.

  2. Bravo vir jou swem in die rooigety! Hoop nie jy het 'n langtermyn kleurverandering ondergaan nie. Die 'musical fountains ' is asemrowend mooi. Geluk aan jul drie met afhandeling van skooljaar. Lekker ontspan.

  3. `n Motorfabriek was vir my wonderlik! Mens begin met plat plate en aan die ander kant kom `n motor uit. In my tyd was robotte nog nie so oral gebruik soos vandag nie. Geniet julle koelerige vakansie.

  4. sjoe, wat 'n avontuur! oom francois sou van die motorfabriek gehou het! ek ook!!
    love ook die lion sign :) a little bit like life, really: 'alight from vehicle at own risk" ! xx


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