Kassiesbaai is a small fishermen village near Arniston in the Western Cape, South Africa. Worthwhile a holiday; away from the big tourist traps within South Africa. It’s where many Capetonians go when escaping the Mother City. See here why.
Last Friday afternoon at 3: First Capetonians arriving within the boundaries of the Cape Agulhas Municipality for their weekend getaway in places like Napier, Bredasdorp, Arniston, Struisbaai and Cape Agulhas. Every Friday about 10000 to 15000 cars with registration plates of the Mother City (including suburbs) escape Table Mountain for enjoyment in the Overberg; the majority to Hermanus/Gansbaai, followed by the mentioned places and Greyton.
Many tourists to Cape Town visit the Waterfront. Alas … next to the Waterfront is the Watershed; a new building (with a yellow top gable). It’s one of those few places in the Mother City where one can buy truly South African made souvenirs. And unique these are!!! Unfortunately the Watershed is severely under-marketed by the tourism authorities and travel organisations. Pity, pity….
Helon Melon is one of those outlets in the Watershed. The owner and name-giver deals directly with the designers and crafts people who supply this shop. The prices are very reasonable. Helon Melon also has some of her own staff engaged in creating unique pieces; from jewellery to clothing and everything in between.
Pictured at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. There is not much public art in South Africa’s ‘Mother City. Most art of significance can be found in private collections or in/around prestigious hotels. In Johannesburg one can find a plethora of public art; accessible for all and not only for the happy few…
While tourists are, en masse, directed to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town by the tourism industry; real garden lovers from abroad (who did their own home work) prefer to go to a garden one-and-a-half hour East of the ‘Mothercity’. No tourist banter like coffee shops, restaurants and Made-in-China-shops but a real more natural enjoyment with stunning views and only plants that originate (endemic) from this region (Overberg). The garden is situated in the oldest (official) nature reserve of South Africa.
Going through my archive I re-discovered this wonderful garden.
I just had to say something about an article in The Huffington Post; an American internet publication. I browse it every now and than and wish South African publishers would be able to put something like this with the relatively high quality on the net. That set aside; the author of the article was for 24 hours in Cape Town and she has been rushing about talking with one after the other PR-person. But she did a fine job given the short period she was there. And of course there were some comments; one of these a very nice one if I may say so myself.
Well … read for yourself:
“For the 24 hrs you experience Cape Town and surrounds it’s a remarkable well written article. You emphasize however all the positive sides of the Mother City and have visited the obvious tourist destinations. Hope you will have more time available during your next visit to South Africa. The real South Africa journey begins >100 km beyond Cape Town. It’s there where you find true personal hospitality and discover where Capetonians got their ideas from (Cape Town is known as one of the top 3 copycat cities in the world). And also from a budget point of view the ‘Hinterland’ is really cheap to stay and to travel in; surely in comparison with Cape Town. Having said that I must admit that once or twice per year we like to go to Cape Town just to experience a bit of city-hassle and than to come to realize that we are very privileged to live in a small village somewhere in nowhere between Hermanus and Gansbaai that was recently awarded with ‘Best Village Destination in South Africa”.
Stanford, 14 January 2013
Herman (& Yvonne)”
For tourists having road trips in South Africa we always say that the ‘real South Africa begins >100 kilometers beyond Cape Town’. Not that the Mother City does not offer something but it has become too much of a tourist trap. And so is Hermanus in a way but at the outskirts of Hermanus in the direction of our village Stanford there is Grotto Beach. Not many tourists (from abroad) over there but merely locals. Not an over crowded beach but a beach with space and ideal for a long beach walk (or a short one of you prefer). Yesterday I made a long walk with Yvonne and our friend Beatrice Pooke (she is an incredible good ‘holistic masseuse’). We started along the lagoon (somewhere between Stanford and Hermanus) and hiked all the way to the beach restaurant ‘Dutchies’ for a Dutch ‘kroket’ and back again. Some of the pictures are ‘imaginaries’ (I shuffled a bit with photoshop) and others are ‘as is’. See for yourself.