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

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

 

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Tugs in a row.

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The ferry to the once infamous, now famous island.

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Another more powerful tug.

 

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

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Heroes of the struggle, crowded out.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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

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

 

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

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

 

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A jolly little steam train …

 

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… doing tours all all around the Waterfront.

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

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… buskers and concerts, it’s all here.

 

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Jazz and Cape Town are synonymous – the talent overflows.

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“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

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Heritage Day – a walk up Lion’s Head

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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.

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

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Gaby insisted on this walk and off we went.

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View of Robben Island with Seapoint in the foreground.

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

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

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Resting here …

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…  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

Where people live – shacklands along the N2 into Cape Town

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The shacklands on the outskirts of Cape Town, along the N2, are bit by bit transformed into uniform dwellings. Often commented on, photographed and published about, their transformation or the lack of it, has long been used as a political football or, as happened just the other day at Cape Town International airport, to make a stink. Shacklands are a people’s manifesto – breaking free from the limited comforts of their rural traditions and seeking to integrate themselves into the complexity of life in the city, even be it on the fringe for a while with its own restrictions, discomforts and potential dangers. Shack fires from overturned braziers, paraffin stoves and most of all, unattended candles, happen all too often devouring neighbouring shacks in minutes. All then is lost, if not lives, the bare necessities of living. Comes winter, flooding occurs in the lower lying parts. In summer, the heat inside can become quite unbearable. But there are also some pros among the cons beside a lack of modern sanitation, you pay no rent, the structures are easily erected and extended, and there is the community at large with many neighbourly hands to share any burden. As you whizz past theses shacklands on the highway, you spare a few moments to consider where people live.

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This red house has been standing here for at least half a century.

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Table Mountain and Devils Peak backdrop.

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Rurality maintained. 

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Some mod cons.

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Clean lines – transformation and uniformity achieved.

Betty’s Bay
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Colleen & Walter

Eastern Food Bazaar, Cape Town

Entertaining the mogul

A festive gathering of nobles at court. Painting decorating a wall in the Easter Food Bazaar, Cape Town.

Cape Town is just a good hour’s drive away from Betty’s Bay and it leads along one of the most attractive routes in the country. The views over False Bay are always inspiring and apart from weekends and holiday peak times the road is surprisingly open. A troop of baboons gathering in the morning sun might slow you down but otherwise it is a sweeping drive making you feel almost airborne.

Coastal Road near Gordon's Bay with the Hottentots Hollands mountains in the background.

Coastal Road near Gordon’s Bay with the Hottentots Holland mountain range in the background.

We were doing a few errands in town and had arranged to meet with friends for lunch at the Eastern Food Bazaar, which had been recommended to us by Adam and Thekla. Eastern Food, tasty and truly affordable – a feeding place for the people. If you want to know more about it and see their menu, click here.

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The Easter Food Bazaar in Cape Town, with entrances from both Longmarket and Darling Street.

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Samples of the wall display menus.

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Friendliness and efficiency combined.

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Rich antique decorative elements give the space an air of authenticity.

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The street level area. There is an upstairs section as well. – This is genuinely Cape Town – people of all walks of life eat here – workmen, students, backpackers, politicians, shop assistants, professors – the cosmopolitan multitude of true Capetonians.

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Rastafarians – part of the multi-facetted clientele.

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On our way home passing the Strand beach front promenade.

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She –  a Cape angulate tortoise (Chersina angulata) – was attempting to cross the road to the sea front side where a continuous stone wall does not allow further passage. We picked her up and re-directed her to the mountain side from where she had come. She appeared pleased, we thought.

Looking back over False Bay.

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We love our Cape Town sojourns and we enjoyed the Eastern Food Bazaar experience. It’s a place for the people, meaning rushed and noisy, queuing at the till points, not a place to have a quiet conversation, but the food is good, the price is right and every one around you appears to be happy and satisfied.

With love as always from
Walter & Colleen
Betty’s Bay, Sunday 27 Jan 2013

A Drive up Signal Hill

Sheikh Mohamed Hassen Ghaibie Shah al Qadri, a learned Muslim and follower of Sheikh Yusuf, is buried here on Signal Hill.

Kramats, as they are called in the Cape, or Karamats (in Urdu) – Muslim Shrines – are burial sites of Saints of Islam. There are a number of such holy sites in the Cape, reminders of the Dutch East India Company’s policy to bring slaves, convicts and exile defiant Muslim leaders from Indonesia and India to the Cape of Good Hope, establishing and spreading Islam at the Cape. Islam is very much alive today, for instance in the communities of the Bo-Kaap, known as the “Malay Quarters” on the slopes of Signal Hill and their Cape Malay kitchen has become part of the South African cuisine.

Houses in the Bo-Kaap or Cape Malay Quarters with Table Mountain in the background. (© South African Tourism)

Driving up Signal Hill you have the most marvellous views of Cape Town – the Mother City – , Table Mountain, the Harbour, Waterfront, Greenpoint with the World Cup Soccer Stadium and parts of Seapoint with Robben Island in the distance. The noise of the city falls away and calm surrounds you with the world’s most wonderful views.

A view into eternity with Robben Island in the foreground.

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World Cup Soccer Stadium Green Point

Seapoint/Greenpoint

The Mother City

Thanks, Nikki, for the drive!

With love

Colleen & Walter
Hout Bay, Thursday 26 May 2011

Kite surfers

We had been to see Glenda, Jason, Tyla and Cailyn’s new home at Atlantic Beach Golf Estate west of Cape Town – an upmarket new housing and golfing estate planned to fit esthetically and environmentally soundly into the sensitive West Coast dune vegetation. Living relatively near to a major city and yet breathing fresh sea air and being within earshot of the ocean with its outstretched lonely beaches.

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Cailyn

On our way home along the seaboard the sky was filled with colourful surfing kites. We stopped and photographed the scene. The result, however, was disappointing. One pic I thought had a bit of potential. During manipulation it began to look like a painting. I will show you the process. At first the insignificant looking pic which in no way represents what the eye could see and the skin could feel:

The picture size setting was at 12,2 MB which should provide some crop definition:

Further cropping and manipulations resulted in:

Now, if you enlarge the pic a couple of steps you will see the impressionist effect come into view more strikingly. What do you think?

Here are a few more conventional shots and crops.:

A lovely outing. Thanks Glenda, thanks Jason.

Walter & Colleen, 20 Dec 2010