Informal settlements in South Africa have informal shops. This one is in an old 40-feet container in Hopland, Stanford, South Africa.
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.
One of the finest educational museums to visit in the Western Cape, South Africa is the one dedicated to the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias (sometimes written as Diaz) in Mossel Bay. The nice thing is the lack of coffee corners, restaurants and ‘Made in China’ souvenir shops but somewhere hidden within the museum is a shop with locally made crafts related to the museum and the town. Coffee and food outlets are plenty nearby.
In the centre of the museum is a big hall with in it a replica of the vessel the explorer discovered Mossel Bay in 1588. Most pictures in this photo-gallery show details of this vessel. Lots of ropes… But there is plenty more of curiosities to experience!
Not mentioned in any known travel itinerary is the shop window in Stanford, South Africa. It’s in the main Victoria Street at the Stanford Hotel. It’s there where The Angel of Stanford resides. Every now and than ‘shebeen owner’ Penny van den Berg redecorates the windows with her ‘girls’. And that is quite a process of meticulous fitting the right dresses, the right wigs and the right gadgets for the right occasion. This week Penny is in heavenly spheres and all her thoughts are with angels. Her installations are a true art. She does not only use the windows but also the space behind thus also using the old shopping counter and the cupboard behind. From her childhood onwards Penny has been collecting dolls in all sizes; from a tiny Swedish ‘Pippie Langkous’ to life-size fashion dolls. And there is something more to it as well; every time when a known villager passes away Penny adds a candle behind the window and this candle, accompanied by a picture of the deceased, will burn until after the funeral. For all on a road trip in South Africa and co-incidentally in the area it’s worthwhile to take a turn into Stanford. After about 1 kilometer the window is on the right.