18 September 2012

Grahamstown : Albany History Museum

After spending most of the morning in the Cathedral in Grahamstown ( I will write more about the cathedral later) we walked around and visited a bookshop looking for a book about the town.  We discovered a small second hand bookshop with an amazing variety of books.  My Husband and I both love reading and it was difficult to leave.  Next we visited the tourism office.  The staff was not helpful and did not know a lot about the town.   They gave us a few pamphlets and could not answer our questions.
Albany History Museum
Next we decided to visit the History Museum in Somerset Street.  This museum is part of the Albany Museum Complex.  The museum is very empty and it only took us about 10 minutes to walk through.  There are some old paintings showing history Grahamstown and some exhibits about the 1820 British Settlers.  We were a bit disappointed.
Grahamstown 1850
Opening of parliament in Grahamstown in 1864
The following stop for the day was the National English Language Museum in Beaufort Street.  We rang the bell and the door was opened but nobody talked to us.  We did not really know where to go and walked into a few rooms.  The rooms had posters with some poems printed on them.  After about 2 minutes we left the museum.  This time we were very disappointed. This museum was a real waste of time.  Luckily there was no entrance fee.
We then walk down Beaufort Street and saw some beautiful old houses and the Victoria Primary School with some beautiful buildings.

2 comments:

  1. You know, now that you mention it, I can't really think of a tourist office that has ever bowled me over with their helpfulness. Then again, some of my most rewarding travel experiences have stemmed from walking into the Tourist Info office and then having to figure it out myself. In Lille, the wi-fi in the Tourist Info office wasn't working, so I couldn't figure out how to ask for a walking map, but eventually managed to point to one and we had a wonderful day exploring on our own steam. But it is not right. They need to strike a balance between allowing travellers space to choose their own experiences, but helping those who ask for help. The same goes for museums and houses too. No wonder we thought history was so boring in school - that kind of disinterested approach can be found all over South Africa from Pilgrim's Rest to Grahamstown to KZN. I think that is why blogs about SA are so important! We need to stimulate interest!

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    Replies
    1. How sad that you have had such bad experiences- I spent 12 years as director of tourism(SA) it was the most, frustrating,engaging,interesting- and joyful of my life. Stand on my side of the desk and see what it is to have to deal with tourists :)

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