“Babylonstoren” is the name of one of the oldest farms in the Cape. The name tower of Babylon or Babel refers to the ziggurat of Etemenanki and the photograph below of Bruegel’s conceptualization gives you the ziggurat type mountain side on the farm Babylonstoren.
However, there is more to it than just the about shape of a hillock. After the Cape had out-run its purpose for the Dutch East India company to simply serve as a revictualing station for their East Indian trade and was eventually “colonized”, farms were established on the land and to run these enterprises Khoikhoi and slave labourers from the East were employed bringing with them a symphony of languages.
Alongside the river you walk through a shaded shrubbery housing some nine thousand clivia plants with an amazing range of flower shapes and colours from pale yellow, yellow, to orange and deep red.
This was our first visit to Babylonstoren. Thanks, Retha and Rood for your invitation to lunch and Mia for charming companionship. We will come again and spend more time in the gardens and report in more detail.
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, October 30, 2012