The images in this blog were all made during our 2012 visit to the Azores, and are of places in the city and on our walk back from Pópulo to Ponta Delgada.
A few more images from Cape Town’s central area taken during our visit in 2012. Of note is the Company Gardens, established shortly after Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival at the Cape in 1652. The gardens were laid out to provide fruit and vegetables for ships of the Dutch East India Company (hence the Company Gardens), since the reason for the early Dutch settlement here was to establish a refreshment post for the Company’s ships. Today the Gardens are more of a botanical garden.
Between the Strand and Onrus, about 80km away, the Faure Marine Drive or R44 takes one through lovely seaside towns like Gordons Bay, Rooi Els, Bettys Bay, Kleinmond and Fisherhaven. The R44 runs into the R43 near Botriver, and that in turn runs past Fisherhaven on the Botriver Vlei, Hawston and Vermont to Onrus. The images in this blog come from our drive along this route to Onrus and back in 2014.
Amesbury is a delightful English village about 120km southwest of London and a mere three kilometres from the famous Stonehenge. The surrounding countryside as typically English: green and lush and interesting. This village on the River Avon is recognized as the oldest continuously occupied UK settlement. Nearby is also the lesser-known Woodhenge, another Neolithic settlement similar to the one discovered at Boscombe Down.
Amesbury is also conveniently close to Salisbury, and is the burial place of Eleanor of Provence, who was buried here in 1291. The village church is remarkable for the fact that it houses a clock, thought to have been made for the nearby Benedictine Abbey in the 16th cent., that originally had no hands, as it was used only mark the hours of worship.
It’s a beautiful village, filled with wonderfully friendly people and it has some great pubs!
The River Avon near the village.
A typical country scene.
Beautiful English houses near the river.
Another view of the Avon.
Lord’s Walk is just outside the village and offers a delightful stroll along the banks of the Avon.
The gatehouse of the Benedictine Abbey. Today the abbey houses a nursing home.
A cottage in the village.
Queensberry Bridge over the Avon.
Looking down High Street, with the George Hotel on the left, and the New Inn on the right.
The oldest indications of human settlement at this, the southwestern-most tip of the African continent, date back to around 15-20 000 years ago. Prior to the arrival of the first Europeans, the area was inhabited by groups of nomadic Khoi peoples. The first recorded visit by a European is that of the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, who arrived here in 1486 whilst endeavouring to reach the East Indies. The first major settlement by Europeans, however, dates to 1652, when on the 6th of April Jan van Riebeeck landed to start a refreshment post for Dutch ships passing the Cape en route to the Indies, as instructed by his superiors the Heere XVII, the Dutch council responsible for Dutch Colonies.
Today Cape Town is the second-largest city in South Africa after Johannesburg. Its metropolitan population of 3,8 million places it is the same category as Los Angeles and Yokohama. The Cape Peninsula (the city and it’s immediate surroundings, as well as Table Mountain and Cape Point) draws the bulk of both domestic and international tourists and is much loved for its mild Mediterranean climate, its spectacular scenery, its outstanding world-class wines, its cosmopolitan air and mouthwatering food. It’s a city for people who love to live to the full, who enjoy the very finest life can offer and who enjoy being close to Nature.
Thank you for taking the time to get a tiny look at a very small part of the wonderful place!
The well-loved, and some say iconic, Route 62 in South Africa’s Western Cape is generally described as running from Cape Town to Port Elzabeth, a distance of some 800km. Strictly speaking, though, Route 62 starts just outside the town of Ashton, about 180km inland from Cape Town.
Prior to the opening of the N2 freeway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth in 1959, the main route between the two cities was via Route 62. The N2 along the stretch of coastline is called the Garden Route, while the R62, running through the Little Karoo between the coastal mountain ranges of the Langeberg, Swartberg and Outeniqua Mountains and the Little Swartberg is also sometimes referred to as the Mountain Route.
Much less travelled by those in a hurry, this road wanders through the small towns of Ashton, Montagu, Barrydale, Ladismith and Calitzdorp to Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn was our destination in August this year. It’s a town I have very strong ties with, even though I spent a relatively short part of my life there, first at school in the 7th and 8th Grades, then later as a soldier doing a Permanent Force (regular army) course at the Infantry School on the outskirts of the town. My sister lived there for many years, so I visited her and her family there every few years as well.
What makes Route 62 so special is the landscape through which it meanders. The Little Karoo is a mostly semi-arid region of intense beauty, with towering blue mountains, vast plains between them, a deep silence and that soul-revitalising serenity one only finds in places like this. No visit to South Africa can ever be complete without a road trip along the R62, so please join me as we travel from Ashton to Oudtshoorn.
I also wish to take this opportunity to thank all my followers and visitors for their kindness, and to wish every one of you a wonderfully happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2015.
Thank you for the visits! Here’s wishing all of you out there a wonderful 2015!
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 670 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.