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Showing posts from September, 2013

Dutch Reformed Church, Stellenbosch

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In March we went to Cape Town area for a long weekend.During this visit we made an unplanned trip to Stellenbosch and decided to explore the town.
I studied at the Stellenbosch University for four years and know parts of the town.Like most students I did not have a lot of money, my bicycle was my only transport and it was before I bought my first digital camera.Back then I admired the old buildings but never took the time to take photos of them or learn about their history.This day trip was a great way to show Stellenbosch to my husband and explore learn about the town. Governor Simon van der Stel founded the town in 1679 and he named it after himself.The name can be translated as “(Van der) Stel’s Bush”.The town is also known as the Eikestad or “City of Oaks” due to the many Oak trees that were planted by the residents after on the recommendation of Commissioner Van Reede tot Drakenstein.


We started our walk at the Dutch Reformed Church or “Moederkerk”.The congregation was established i…

Great food in Swellendam

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I thought that I finished my Swellendam posts.But then realized that there was one more post left.FOOD. When it is time to eat on a trip, we mostly go to franchise restaurants we know.We know the food will be good and more importantly we know what the cost will be.But on the weekend in Swellendam we decided to try something new.And it was a great decision.
Mattsens Steakhouse On Friday night on host at the guesthouse suggested a few places to eat.We decided to try Mattsens.It was a lovely autumn night and we sat outside under the trees with a lantern giving light.Great atmosphere.It was still early and not very busy.The staff was very friendly and service was fast.H ate an ostrich burger and he loved it.I had a very good chicken burger.The portions were huge.It was good value for money.
Oppi Stoep For lunch on Saturday afternoon we stopped at Oppi Stoep.This café is located close to the museums and historical buildings and was a great place to stop.Is was a nice sunny spring day and we (…

Walking Cape Town – A Book Review

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Last week I was browsing the travel guides at the bookstore when this book caught my eye.  I loved it and decided to share it with you.
Walking Cape Town by John Muir

We love visiting Cape Town. It is a 4-hour drive from Mossel Bay and we have family there.It is perfect for a weekend.And with the information in this book I see many weekends exploring Cape Town and surrounding areas. The book has 24 easy walks and 9 drives around this beautiful city.Each walk has a detailed map, useful information, refreshment suggestions and information about the sites along the route.There are distance vary between 2 km and 6 km.But for a longer walk I would do some of them together (like the 2-km Company gardens and the 2-km Queen Victoria Street walk) The book is easy to read and follow with a good amount of pictures and interesting facts about the historical sites in the city.It is perfect for locals and visitors who want to discover the history of the city.  I am excited to do the walks in the city.My…

St Mark’s Cathedral, George

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Hello everyone,


I was very excited to visit St Mark’s Cathedral in George.  I have passed this building in my hometown hundreds of times but have never even entered the gate.  And I knew very little about this cathedral’s history.  Then in 2012 H and I started to visit churches designed by Sophy Gray.  When I learned that St Mark’s was one of them I really wanted to visit .  
We went for a walk to explore some of George’s old buildings in January this year.  (Read more here, here and here)  The church ground was open when we reached it, but visiting hours for the inside was over.  So we will have to do that on another day. George was one of the towns where the government placed a Colonial Chaplain for the English community.  He used the Dutch Reformed church for services but in 1848 collections were started to build a church.  In February 1848 Bishop Gray arrived in the Cape.  His wife Sophy laid the foundation stone on 23 October 1849 and Bishop Gray consecrated it on 7 December 1850. S…

Walking in Swellendam (2)

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Hello everyone.   It has been a while since my last post.  Mossel Bay is cold, rainy and windy today and the perfect weather to stay inside.  So time to write a post and then catch up on my blog reading as well.
I still need to write posts about some of the places we visited:
More about walking in my hometown George in January;Our visit to Stellenbosch in March; A visit to Oudtshoorn in August; andA post or two about the Company Gardens in Cape Town from my visit in 2009 But before I can start with all those places, one more post about the beautiful Swellendam. We loved walking around in the town.  We were looking for the buildings on the map we received from the tourism office but we also saw other pretty houses along the way.
We walked in Moolman Street to see the three Heritage Houses when we found this building with its beautiful garden.  A sign in front of the building said "Bibliotheca Reading room & Martin Versveld Garden".  Unfortunately I could not find any informat…

Bellevue Seminary

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Last year I borrowed my grandmother’s photo albums to scan all her photos.Yesterday I was looking through these scanned photos and found this one of the Bellevue Seminary in Somerset East.The description in Ouma Trudie’s album next to the photo was:  “Bellevue Saal – plek vir LO, 1948”  or Bellevue Hall – The place for PT, 1948.  Before her marriage to my grandfather Ouma Trudie was a gym teacher at Bellevue Seminary in Somerset East.I knew that my grandparents lived here for a while but it was interesting to find the photos.
In April 2012, while on our honeymoon, H and I visited Somerset East.Here is our photo of the same building. The Old Bellevue Seminary in 72 Paulet Street is a National Heritage Site.Rev JH Hofmeyer of the Dutch Reformed Church ask the church council of his church to build and finance a seminary for girls.The foundation stone for the school was laid on 19 July 1881 on the ground in Paulet Street.Carl Otto Hager designed the building and the first principal was Miss …