The most colourful stop on my train journey down the coast was at Muizenberg, a beach-side suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. I have seen the colourful Victorian bathing houses of Muizenberg on countless of photos and couldn’t wait to see them for myself.
As we arrived the train station platform was quite deserted seeing as it was a chilly day. I can just imagine how crowded it must be in summer as Muizenberg is a surfer haven. It has a fine, long beach that in effect stretches all the way round the top of False Bay to the Strand, a distance of over 20 km. Not a distance that I am going to walk any time soon.
Although Muizenberg beach lacks the dazzling turquoise ocean and dramatic boulders of beaches like Clifton and Llandudno, the rocks and colourful bathing houses create a stunning contrast. The beach is flat, wide, and the water is generally calm making it the perfect beach for a lovely stroll. I was quite disappointed as we got onto the beach and saw the beach houses. But dont worry, this small row of beach houses you get as you enter the beach is not all there is to it. After having a look on the map we brought with we saw that the Victorian beach houses were actually further down the beach.
Its not that far to walk and as the beach is quite flat its an easy walk toward the colourful Victorian bathing houses. They are definitely a visual echo of a time when this was Cape Town’s premier swimming beach, and provide a good photo opportunity. I think I ended up capturing them from every angle and if you go up onto the boardwalk behind them you get great shots with the ocean in the background.
There’s something ‘retro’ about Cape Town’s Muizenberg Beach, an echo of an era when seaside talent shows and parading along the promenade were all the vogue. No doubt it’s the old-style beach pavilion and those iconic, boldly-coloured Victorian bathing ‘boxes’ or huts which evoke the feeling of a step back in time.
They are all locked up now and I wonder if they actually still get used as the locks look quite rusted, although this could just be because of being situated right on the beach.