So, we only had one full day in the city of Durban, but it gave us enough of a feel for the city that we know we want to return one day!
We stayed at the Happy Hippo Backpacker Lodge, (and we'll tell you more about that in another post!) which is located walking distance to the beach and downtown. Here's a quick map of Durban just to give you an idea...
Happy Hippo located at (A).
Rusty old ship turned into a restaurant.
Ruth, diving right in!
Immediately behind the Happy Hippo is the popular uShaka Marine World and waterpark. You can walk about five minutes through that complex, and then you're at the south end of Durban beach and you have a beautiful view of the city!
City of Durban.
From there, you can also watch the big freighters come and go from the harbor. Durban is a huge and busy shipping port.
This car carrier holds over 6,000 vehicles!
There's a huge Toyota factory in Durban, so there are a lot of car carriers coming and going. There's also a cruise ship port and cruises head out to Mozambique and Madagascar, as well as one way cruises to Cape Town.
The city has a fantastic downtown bus service called the People Mover! There are three routes, with service every 15 minutes. The cost? Only R5.5 (58 cents) for a one time trip, or R16 ($1.68) for an all day pass!
Durban People Mover routes.
We did take the bus several times that day, but as you know, we also did a LOT of walking! I had to buy a new pair of sandals and it wasn't a very convenient time to have to do so because I ended up with a blister that kind of hampered my walking abilities. Oh, on that note, we also removed the stitches from Ruth's cut on her hand. Dr. Kevin did a great job taking them out, and everything seems to be healing just fine.
We were told to visit Victoria Market, but we found it to be a tourist place. Not our thing, and we much more enjoyed just walking the streets. There's a huge Indian influence in Durban, and we found the area to be a mixture of Las Vegas, Miami, and New Delhi! No, we've never been to New Delhi, but from what we understand it's a hive of activity, just like Durban.
Typical street in Durban.
The Jumma Mosque architecture has a strong Indian influence.
A local market had some interesting things for sale!
Free food lineup.
Always amazes us how much people can carry on their head!
From the People Mover bus window.
Durban city hall.
We never found out what this building was! Help anyone?
Durban downtown street.
Oh, another thing. In all the time we spent wandering around we were never once asked for money. In Cape Town, it was at least five times each day. In Durban, we wandered areas without seeing another white person for hours. Most of the white people seem to stay right close to the beach and the tourist zone. As soon as you go a couple of blocks into the city away from the beach, you don't see any more white people. We thought it was very strange, but never once did we feel uncomfortable.
Based on our short visit, we like Durban and want to return one day. I think a week there would be more suitable! Also, there is a lot to see on the coast north of Durban. Obviously, we'll have to come back.
(We are headed into Lesotho today and have no idea if we will have suitable internet access. It's pretty remote and in the middle of the mountains and we'll be there for ten days. Hopefully you'll hear back from us soon!!!)