I’m living in a small town through which the main road between Cape Town and the Southernmost tip of the African Continent runs. ‘Runs’, indeed for most tourists are racing in high speed mode from one ‘attraction’ to the other. It’s a pity to see people not experiencing the real beauty of a wonderful countryside. Sometimes I think; why not turn left or right into a gravel road and get lost … in a wonderful landscape with ever changing skies throughout the seasons. Yes; one can pick up some of that on the main road but it’s incomparable with the real thing. Our Swiss friends are visiting South Africa virtually every year and although they drive rural pace in the countryside they never got the idea to go into the deep … So I took them out one early morning. Yes, we also did the Southernmost Tip, for that was still on their list, but after the off the beaten track tour they had seen it there within a few minutes; the shipwreck nearby was far more interesting as was the illegal dumpsite of Cape Nature Conservation in a protected nature reservation (sad story), etc. etc. Oh … and we also went to Elim and in Arniston we had lunch in a place virtually all tourists/tour operators have yet to discover….
Well this is my contribution to this weeks photo challenge. Pictures all taken 23 March 2017 between 5:30 AM and approx. 2:00 PM and they clearly show the ever changing skies and the effect it has on the photos
Somewhere in the Aghulas Plain in the Overberg region and between Elim and Gansbaai/Stanford is Landmeterskop (translated: landmeters head). Landmetersko is also the name of a truly off the beaten track guesthouse on one of the farms. City slickers can there discover where the milk and the eggs come from … (with both last pictures I played a bit 😉 )
day trip, dining, Dutch Governor, etablissement, exception, Franschhoek, Franschhoek Pass, french hugenots, growing grapes, Hugenot, Le Chef, lunch, off the beaten track, Pass, pork belly, prices, quantity, reasonable, restaurant, Reuben, Simon van der Stelt, sorry, Stanfordians, surprises, tourism, upper middle class, Villiersdorp, vinoculture, Western Cape
Today we made a day trip to Franschhoek; a mere 140 km drive (2x). Instead visiting wine cellars and all the other things most tourists do we decided to go a bit off the beaten track with the exception of a lunch at Reuben. Reuben (named after ‘Le Chef’) is best described as an upper middle class etablissement. But what surprised us was that the prices were very reasonable; well … the pork belly plus veggies, caramelized ginger and ‘pommes purée’ (=mashed potato) was not only delicious but also significant cheaper (despite more quantity) than at a restaurant in our village… Honestly; this was quite a refreshing surprise. Sorry Stanfordians, I had to mention this.
Virtually all tourists visiting Franschhoek stay in the main road but it’s really worthwhile to make a detour around the village which was, a bit more than 300 yrs ago, the place where the Dutch Governor Simon van der Stelt designated as the area where French Hugenots who were known with vinoculture could start growing grapes and produce wine.
Visitors prefer to park in the main road and today it was, as usual, full and some kept on driving up and down the road until a parking spot came available. We turned to the right and could park just around the corner. Walking along the parallell roads of the main street provides a different picture of the village (second picture) with gravel roads including potholes and all the other things of a typical village in the Western Cape. But property is still extreme expensive despite the fact that seemingly for whatever reason more houses/estates/etc. are on the market than a few years ago.
Anyway if you google for Franschhoek you’ll find plenty of information for the ordinary tourist but if you want to discover the real Franschhoek just turn right or left in the main street.
The bottom picture is made from a touristic hotspot on the magnificent Franschhoek Pass between Villiersdorp and Franschhoek.