The year of the tourist


I was driving home from mass at Mater Dei church this evening when it hit me quite suddenly. I don’t have much longer in this town, and I really should start acting a little more like a tourist! 😛 So instead of heading straight back to the flat I did a little detour…


It would have been too easy to drive out of town to Maitland’s or Seaview, find a spot on the beach and have a pensive little sit-down by myself and reminisce on how good I’ve had it, and how I lucked out on landing this little city,  Port Elizabeth (PE) for my one year of community service, a government requirement in my chosen profession. There are countless much less desirable places where I could have ended up. No I’ve gone out there plenty of times, I thought.  So I went out to the waterfront instead, and parked my car somewhere just off the road in Summerstrand. Took a few pics, as tourists will do…


The Pier

The Pier

The obligatory selfie :)

The obligatory selfie 🙂

I moved on from there. Beach pics are obvious and unoriginal, I retorted to myself. I drove back towards town, past St George’s cricket ground not far from where I stay, and decided to explore a couple of streets that I hadn’t been down in my eight-odd months here. My thinking was that I could carve out a new running route while I was at it. Going down Bird street in a direction away from town, at the bottom of the road to the far right is a bench facing away from the street. Why would there just randomly be a bench there, I wondered and went over for a closer look. I found an old war fort which I promised myself I must go and visit properly sometime during the week. Between 8am and 3.30pm as the sign said.

Right there at the corner of Fort street and Belmont Terrace is the 'entrance' to the old fort.

Right there at the corner of Fort street (aptly named) and Belmont Terrace is an ‘entrance’ to the old fort.

Belmont Terrace

Belmont Terrace

I peeped through the gap in between the closed gates and saw… nothing! A wide empty, grassy expanse and a few old cannons… I suppose that kind of minimalism would have been apt in whatever war time this little out-post ever saw. A spot at a high point, with some high walls built around it, a fort is perhaps not really supposed to be an exciting place to visit, after it has fulfilled it’s initial purpose that is. But I digress… If one was to take a seat on the afore-mentioned bench not far from said fort one gets a really good view of PE Harbour.


And if you tur

n and look in the opposite direction you have Lower Valley!

Awesome sunset glow in the corner!

Awesome sunset glow in the corner!

Still exploring, a little further down the road is The Little Theatre, around the corner from the Aetheneum Theatre where Meryl and I saw a show on our one year anniversary. The next street is an alleyway called Prospect Hill, at the end of which one can still see PE Harbour.




I’m not really one for new year’s resolutions but perhaps I’m going to be a little more touristy in the next little while, as I finish out my time here.


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