Cape Town’s Waterfront on a sunny winter’s morning

xxx

The Waterfront in Cape Town is a working and truly walkable harbour.

 

DSC_9177-59

Tugs in a row.

DSC_9176-58

The ferry to the once infamous, now famous island.

DSC_9170-54

Another more powerful tug.

 

DSC_9182-64

A relatively recent addition to the entertaining elements with Table Mountain as a backdrop.

DSC_9185-67

Heroes of the struggle, crowded out.

DSC_9237-119

Nobel Square – the bronze statues of the four South African Nobel Peace Price recipients (from left to right): Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.

Albert Luthuli (1898-1967) President-General of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1952-1967. He was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Price “for his fight against racial discrimination”. Luthuli House – the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg – is named after him. – Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu (born in 1931) received the Nobel Peace Price in 1984 for his “role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa”.  – F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela  both received the Nobel Peace Price jointly in 1993 “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”.

DSC_9239-121

Tutu – a representation of His Grace Anglican Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu. A man without fear and with numerous honours bestowed on him, he too has raised his compelling voice against corruption and licentious spending of public funds by government officials.

DSC_9188-70

In the Watershed – a new home for African craft, art and design. – Spinning and knitting. The winters are cold enough in South Africa to make woollen garments highly desirable. South African wool and Mohair is of a supreme quality and now Alpacas have been introduced and are flourishing, almost as sumptuous as cashmere.

DSC_9195-77-2

These so-called “Colonials”, originally from West and Central Africa are very much in demand.

DSC_9195-77

Satirizing colonial officials or expression of new class consciousness? There is always a kind of humourous ironical smugness present in these figurines.

 

DSC_9201-83

Ardmore ceramics in KwaZulu Natal have opened a whole new world of elaborate and decorative ceramic crafts popping up everywhere.

DSC_9199-81

 

DSC_9198-80

 

DSC_9210-92

Elaborate jewellery is traditional and creates real treasures using, over and above glass beads, fibres of all kinds and wire work, creating rich embellishments.

 

DSC_9214-96

A jolly little steam train …

 

DSC_9215-97

… doing tours all all around the Waterfront.

DSC_9270-152

Music, formal and informal, ethno bongo, Jazz and vocal …

DSC_9251-134

… buskers and concerts, it’s all here.

 

DSC_9261-142

Jazz and Cape Town are synonymous – the talent overflows.

DSC_9230-112

“Tavern of the Seas”, Cape of Storms, now a place of real Good Hope, this waterfront development has elevated Cape Town from being a large town to a cosmopolitan city on a manageable scale.

With best greetings as always from
Colleen & Walter

Stellenbosch, Sunday 12 June 2016

IMG_4962

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The white washed walls of Stellenbosch

xxxx

White is not a colour. It’s more a feeling, a sensation, and needs to be re-affirmed ever so often.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the more politically inclined, the title of this blog ought to be ambiguous. Ambiguity is not intended here, but words have this political thing of revealing and/or concealing divergent aspects of truth (see Pablo Neruda’s “meta’fore!” – in the film Il Postino). Here, however, I mean Stellenbosch in the time of winter.

xxx

Lower Dorp Street.

Stellenbosch in the time of winter.
The trees are bare now, in their wintry dark all the more contrasting the white washed walls of Stellenbosch.

Market Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xxx

Market Street.

 

 

xxx

Market Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xxx

Market Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xxx

On the Braak.

xxx

On the Braak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xxx

The local thatchers take great pride in the workmanship of their age old trade.

 

xxx

VOC powder house of 1777.

 

xxx

Parsonage of the Rhenish Mission, 1815. 

 

xxx

The Neo-gothic Dutch reformed mother church Stellenbosch.

 

xxx

Book shop window.

 

 

 

 

xxx

 

 

 

xxxx

The oldest wine cellar in Stellenbosch, 1771, now the Catholic church of St. Nicholas

xxx

Stellenbosch synagoge.

xxxx

Stellenbosch mosque for the sizeable Muslim community.

xxx

Participant observation.

xxx

The readers.

 

xxx

Contemplating the menu.

xxx

House in upper Dorp Street.

xxx

Book Store window.

 

xxx

 

 

 

xxx

Side walk upper Dorp Street.

xxx

Side walk lower Dorp Street.

xxx

Many times cracked, repaired, plastered and still beautiful in its proportional simplicity.

While winter in the Cape is the time of lashing storms, it is also the time of stillness and consolidation, reflected in the white washed walls of Stellenbosch.

 

IMG_4958

 

 

 

With love as always
Colleen & Walter
Stellenbosch, 22 July 2014

Heritage Day – a walk up Lion’s Head

xxx

Sketch of Zulu warrior by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, 1913

Tuesday was “Heritage Day” – so called to remind us of our cultural diversity and with that to remind us of our unity as a nation. People with Zulu ancestry are celebrating the remembrance of Shaka Zulu (c.1787-1828), once king of the Zulu nation. Others are proposing this day to be called “Braai Day” the South African term for “Barbeque”. What does the rest of the country do? It’s a holiday, all right, and most Capetonians are taking to the hills. And so we did – a walk up Lion’s Head, a landscape feature from a certain angle intimating a recumbent lion with head held up high. Devil’s Peak on the East and Lion’s Head to the West, form the shoulders of Table Mountain.

xxxx

View of Camp’s Bay and the Twelve Apostles from Lion’s Head, the Western coast of the Cape Peninsula.

xxx

Gaby insisted on this walk and off we went.

xxx

View of Robben Island with Seapoint in the foreground.

xxx

Signal Hill on the left, Cape Town harbour and City centre in the middle.

xxx

Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain from the slopes of Lion’s Head.

xxx

Resting here …

xxx

…  seeing the trail so crowded, we resisted the final assault. 

“Shaka Zulu Day”, “Heritage Day” or “Braai Day” – they all address South Africa as a conglomerate nation. Zulus, Xhosas and Sothos the main tribal contributors to the mix, Khoihkoi and San salting the earth, the coloured people as the element of bonding, the Afrikaner people, themselves a conglomerate, as the main driving force, the British as administrators, Asians, Jews, Germans, Portuguese, Greek and many others as artisans, traders, cultivators – a vibrant net of cultures, attitudes, prides, languages and feelings of wanting to be heard, seen, to belong and be part of the whole. All these were represented on our walk up Lion’s Head on Heritage Day.

With love from
Colleen & Walter
Hout Bay, Friday 27 September 2013

Views of Betty’s Bay

xxx

Main road into Betty’s Bay. Pringle Bay approach.

There are many aspects of life in Betty’s Bay, which are worthwhile exploring. Looking across the fence, there is an artist’s studio and next to him a chef, former owner of the then only worthwhile restaurant in the immediate area, now a full time chocolatier; next to us a couple retired as we are, she a top notch quilter and her good husband a garagiste in the true sense of the word, pressing, maturing and bottling red blends in his garage, just enough for his and his friends enjoyment and down the road, friends of ours, an architect and former art teacher. Not to count a number of academics and the many gifted and highly specialized artisans and artists – all retired and leading by all accounts, varied and interesting lives.

In the 19th and 20th century until the mid-50’s it was whale hunting – the main attraction these days is the area’s rich plant life, as part of the Cape Fynbos Kogelberg Biosphere recognised by UNESCO and globally acclaimed for its diversity in flora and fauna. Leopards, lynx, buck, flamingoes, pelicans and other water fowl abound, dolphins and whales visit the shores with regularity. And so we could go one. But there is something else: there is the wind. The South-Easter in summer, the North-Westerly in winter. Betty’s Bay is the windy corner of this part of the coast and often in summer weather builds up against the mountains, leaving us with an overcast sky and a cool breeze while not 10 kms away it is blue skies and happy sunshine. That has kept Betty’s Bay out of the limelight and the mainstream of tourists. And we are not promoting it to the contrary. We love our lonely walks on the beaches and the odd surfer or fisherman. The summer holidays see an influx of people, good enough to keep the small businesses afloat for the rest of the year, but otherwise Betty’s Bay is an unassuming 10 km strip of seemingly higgledy-piggledy variedly shaped, sized and coloured dwellings thrown about between sea and mountainside and no-one driving through on casual glance is likely to perceive any kind of particular quaintness …

xxx

Yesterday we took our grandson Luke for a stroll around the block – taking pictures of some of the views Betty’s Bay may offer on a cold winter’s day in late afternoon light:

xxx

xxx

Further down seaping into the ocean – habitat of the Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis).
xxx

An architect’s abode.

xxx

xxx

Colleen with our grandson Luke at the Lakeside.

xxx

xxx

xxx

Tucked into the fynbos.

xxx

xxx

Candelabra aloes (Aloe arborescens).

xxx

xxx

Sun setting behind Blesberg.

A few views of Betty’s Bay – with love as always
from Walter & Colleen
Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Little Camargue at the Cape – Rooisand Nature Reserve

xx

A few kilometres outside Kleinmond on the road to the villages of Botrivier or Hermanus, turn right to enter a wetland area preserved as “Rooisand Nature Reserve” – little Camargue at the Cape.

Image

xxx

Part of an old herd of feral horses at Rooisand.

“Kleinmond gets its name from the ‘small mouth’ of the Bot River that seeks to enter the sea at the main beach. Part of a large estuary system, the ‘small mouth’ often silts up, forming a beautiful reed-banked lagoon stretching back some 5 kilometres to the huge Bot River lagoon that forms the eastern edge of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The lagoon is also famous for being home to the only herd of wild horses in South Africa! Ledgend has it that at the end of the Anglo Boer War (over 100 years ago), evacuating British soldiers let their cavalry horses loose in the great vlei of the Kleinmond lagoon. By the 1940’s the herd had grown to over 400!  Totally wild, the horses roamed the river area, decimating precious grazing. Farmers began to round them up or shoot them.  Only three horses escaped the attempt to eradicate the herd. Today their descendents can be seen splashing through the lagoon or cantering between the Kleinmond dunes. This unique herd of over 20 wild horses are cherished by the town and have become quiet a tourist attraction!” ((http://www.kogelbergbiospherereserve.co.za)

xxx

Cathedral of Sainte Maries de la Mer, capital of the Camargue, – a veritable fortress (against the Saracenes) and in front of it a bull ring. During a festival on 26 May bulls are driven through town and motorists and pedestrians are given adequate warning to get out of the way.

xxx

Wild horses of the Camargue near Sainte Maries de la Mere.

xxxx

Entering Rooisand via the board walk.

xx

Depending on the seasons this grassland is swamped in winter and dry in summer when you can reach the ocean shoreline dry-shod.

xxx

Entrance to the Bird Hide. Inside the hide the variety of bird life you can observe is well documented.

xxx

Small groups of flamingoes feeding on the edge of the swamp.

xxx

View towards Kleinmond. Mountain ranges of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve in the background.

xxx

Outside the reserve is a riding stable where you can keep your own horse or have outrides organized.

½

xxx

View towards the village of Botrivier. The Botriver lagoon and swamps stretch as far as Kleinmond but shrink away when the Botriver breaks through to the sea after heavy and prolonged rains.

xxx

A flock of Pelicans navigating in the lagoon. Once in the air they fly with such flair, ease and elegance – it is quite inspiring to watch them gracefully sailing on their wings.

xxx

From an outing last year late September.

With love from
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, Wednesday 3 July, 2013

Travelling or: assembling a view of the world at home

xxx

Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Provence, France.

Our Sybi, Colleen, Michael and David’s mom, never really had the urge to travel. Why? Even when leaving our home in Dorp Street to go and spend some time in Betty’s Bay – she said: why? There is the inconvenience of travelling for an hour along a winding road, anxiously minding the traffic and all of that.

xxx

Market at Tourette-sur-Loup, Provence.

Why not, then, rather stay at home and enjoy what you have? Read your local paper. Enjoy your guests, the garden and sunshine assured – why would you take the inconveniences of travel upon yourself and pay a horrendous amount of money for it to boot?

xxx

Sybi and Kris in our Dorp Street garden in 2005.

Sybi would smile at such patent absurdity as it occurred to her. While she appreciated and enjoyed her modest comfort at our home in Dorp Street and would not have wanted to visit other places, she instead received and entertained visitors who came to see her similarly to enjoy her company, the garden, her teas and the sunshine. That is how she kept the balance.
Now, good friends of ours are able to hold and cherish such opposing views in their relationship: the one loves to travel and does it quite extensively and the other would not dream of joining the crowd of gawking tourists. He too appreciates the comfort both of them have created at home while she immerses herself in exotic India and Vietnam and the more stringent allure of Russia and the Baltics. Another friend of ours regularly travels from Germany to Paris, Ethiopia and Burma in search of antiquities and again other dear friends, have travelled extensively, taking their entire extended family whenever possible, including a severely handicapped child to places the world over – to destinations like Mongolia, the Amazon and now Bhutan.

xxx

The newly built Nizhny Novgorod. From Adam Olearius’s 1647 account (Beschreibung der Newen Orientalischen Reise …)  of the travels of the Ambassadors sent by Frederic, Duke of Holstein, to the Great Duke of Muscovy and the King of Persia.

It used to be an old adage that travelling formed the character and that it was important to leave your comfort zone if you wanted to become truly educated. This 17th, 18th and 19th century European notion of maturing along the road of travel, in search of knowledge in honing your techniques as a craftsman for instance, is no longer valid. It has been replaced by using globalized forms of social media in becoming educated. You do not need to go to people and places, places and people come to you. What you see, is however pre-mediated and pre-meditated. You are no longer tasked as a traveller to adjust to your environment,  you are now tasked to wade through a multitude of images and messages, one of which may touch you and almost imperceptably alter your perception in an instant.

xxxx

The rubble of a Palestinian village called Lubya. Mark J Kaplan and Heidi Grunebaum, The South African Forest in Israel. Seeing the wood and the trees. Cape Times Friday, June 7, 2013, p. 9

Such as the above. We have been following the airing of the documentary “Al-Nakba” – “The catastrophe” of the establishment of a Jewish state in 1948 – on the News network Aljazeera, which we stream occasionally at breakfast time. We like Aljazeera because of its way of presenting counter-balancing views. This morning three academics from British universities were interviewed about “Al-Nakba” and it was all around the need of re-writing the history of the state of Israel in view of documents that are now coming to light. When later this morning I procured a newspaper to use in the process of salt-drying a bushel of black olives, casually paging through – the above article about the very same subject came to hand. That is what I mean: no need to travel to find out about the world – we can assemble a view of the world at home.

xxx

Hiking the Wild Coast, South Africa.

One other aspect of travelling is photography. Framing events and carrying that frame home with you and being able to revisit and reconnect to  places and people.

xxx

The very serious Pesto Competition judges at Porto Antico in Genoa, Italy.

xxx

Dirki coming second, we, as a late visiting entry, gained 9th place out of 27 entries in the Pesto Competition at Porto Antico.

What then about travelling? All views have their points. Sybi’s in her way as much as the ones of all our other travelling friends. We too love travelling.

xxx

Lord Milner hotel in Matjiesfontein, Western Cape, South Africa.

And love to see our visitors surprised with the views they encounter or sharing experience with friends visiting another country.

xxx

At Marc Chagall’s graveside in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

Graveyards are among our favourite places to visit – islands of tranquillity, restfulness, shady and cool in the summer heat.

xxx

Shade and coolness in the summer heat of the Provence.

Graveyards and Art Galleries …

xxx

Exploring a Brueghel the Elder painting at the Gemäldegalerie Berlin.

xxx

John Cage: Writing through the Essay, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. Sound and Light Environment with 36 CDs, 36 Loudspeakers, 24 Lamps, 6 Chairs. 1985/91. Kunsthalle Bremen.

Graveyards, Galleries, Cathedrals …

xxx

French Cathedral, Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin. Teleshot from the top of a city tour bus. Colleen maintains that the odd proportions of the cathedral are the result of poor design and not so much a result of my telelens.

Travelling is not always a matter of choice. During the 12th and 13th century you might have been called up to go on a crusade. Every adult, healthy Muslim with means is required to go on a Hajj to visit Mecca, the holiest city of Islam. Staying at home is also not always a matter of choice. Anyway, the argument here is that you can be very happy in your own right in not wanting to travel. And on the other hand, you are not necessarily assembling a view of the world either when visiting foreign places. You might just be caught in an imbroglio of cultural codes and conventions of language, religion or politics, held up for minor or major trespasses or even abducted and incarcerated. Or: you might just enjoy the pleasures of landscape and cuisine a country has to offer.

xxx

An inventive Bratwurst-seller in the middle of Berlin. Do you think he has a licence? No? He’s got a bike for a quick get-away – striking the iron while the sausage is hot!

xxx

Farmer’s Day in a village near the Abbey of Metten, Lower Bavaria, Germany.

xxx

Abbey church Metten, Lower Bavaria, Germany.

With love from
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay Sunday, 9 June 2013

Harbour Road, Kleinmond, revisited

xxx

Kleinmond harbour during a snoek run in August last year.

xxx

A still autumn day at the harbour 1st of May 2013.

xxx

The old Harbour Road has been resurfaced for pedestrians to walk about. The Lego-boxes at the back where designed to be apartments and are now offered as time-share units. The old quaintness of the place has taken a knock. Shop owners however along Harbour Road are putting their best fronts forward to make this place lively and spirited as before.

xxx

Pottery, Restaurant, Nursery and Info Centre.

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

xxx

Despite the obvious criticism one must have in respect of sensitive town planning or the lack thereof, Harbour Road, Keinmond, is worth a visit, more than ever before. As with all new challenges in life, they raise the spirit to do well against all odds.

With love as always
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, 1st May 2013