03 March 2017

Dias Museum Complex

I live in Mossel Bay. The town is next to the ocean and it is a very popular vacation destination during summer.  From mid December to early January it is very busy and we try to stay away from the shops and tourist places during the day.

So when things started to calm down after New Year I decided to take my 2.5 year old son (JW) to visit the Dias Museum Complex.  My last visit to the museum was in 2012 when I went during my lunch hour.  This time we arrived at about 10:00 and spend about 90 minutes at the museum.  (There was still more to see but after 90 minutes my son was getting tired and we went home)

The entrance fee is R 20 for an adult to visit the museum or R 40 to visit the museum and go onto the replica of the carvel.  Children are divided in 2 categories.  There was no fee for JW.  (I think children start to pay from 6 years and older)
Dias Museum

Dias Museum

Entrance fees are paid in the Granary and we then walked through the building to the rest of the museum complex.  JW immediately stated walking on the paths of the Ethno- Botanical Gardens.  But the paths were more interesting than the plants.
Dias Museum


We then walked to the Post Office Tree.  The Milkwood tree is considered to be over 500 years old.  The Portuguese navigator Da Nova found a message in, or under a tree near the watering place in 1501 and this may well be the same tree.
Dias Museum

Next  was the Shell Museum.  This building was erected in 1902 next to the Post Office Tree as an extension to the old mill and was mainly used as a store. In later years Mr. Joe Shirley used the building for his plumbing business, after which it became known as the “Shirley Building”. 

The lower level of the building has tanks with fish and other sea creatures.  JW rushed from tank to tank to see all the fish.  The upper level houses a collection of shells.  The big shells got a “wow” from JW but then he went back to the fish. 

And then it was time for the main attraction.  We walked to the Maritime Museum to see the replica of the Dias Caravel.  The building was originally erected in 1901 to serve as a grain and sawmill. It has now been adapted to serve as a unique Maritime Museum. JW was very excited.  He was on the boat while I was still taking out the ticket.  We spent the next 20 minutes walking/running from one side to the other of the caravel.  Pulling on the ropes, looking into every hole, ringing the bell and climbing every ladder.  I had to keep up to make sure he did not damage something or hurt himself.



Eventually we got of the caravel and bought a drink at the curios shop.  Our last stop for the day was the water spring.  Dias named the fresh-water spring "Aguada de São Bras" (watering place of St Blaize).  The spring still flows today and there were some ducks with ducklings in the dam. 


I could see JW was getting tired and decided to leave the Munro cottages and Malay graves for another visit.


USEFUL INFORMATION:
Dias Museum Complex
Address:                       1 Market Street, Mossel Bay, South Africa
Website:                       www.diasmuseum.co.za
Phone no:                     +27 44 691 1067
Fax no:                         +27 44 691 1915
Visiting Hours:          Monday – Friday:          09:00 – 16:45
                                        Weekends:                        09:00 – 15:45

(Not a sponsored post)


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