Dec 27, 2009

South Africa - Part 3.

On to Part Three of the Awesome African Adventure.
One could spend a full two weeks in Cape town and surrounding areas and still not get a glimpse of all of its wonderful nooks and crannies. There are plenty.

Loved meeting a few of the locals. Like this gorgeous little girl named Anita...

and this gentlemen, Katsu, who is originally from the Congo and is fluent in eight dialects!

We continued our exploration of this beautiful country with a drive down the Capetonian coastline. I found it reminiscent of the famed Route One from the Californian Coast, but slightly more rugged and less transited. My kind of beauty.

We ate incredibly fresh and inexpensive (when compared to US prices) seafood the well- known Mariner's Wharf in Hout's Bay , and went Salsa Dancing to work it off. Salsa music is Global, the Capetonians loved it:)

After a memorable week in Capetown it was time to explore the picturesque and mangificent Wine Country region of South Africa. Quite frankly, the idea of an area in Africa dedicated to harvesting the Beverage of the Gods, had me in a complete state of giddiness. We headed to an extremely quaint town called Franschhoek.
A little history on this village and the surrounding area of Wine Country:

"The valley was originally settled in 1688 by French Huguenot refugees, many of whom were given land by the Dutch government in a valley called Olifantshoek ("Elephants' corner"), so named because of the vast herds of elephants that roamed the area.

The name of the area soon changed to Franschhoek, with many of the settlers naming their new farms after the areas in France from which they came. La Motte, La Cotte, Cabrière, Provence, Chamonix, Dieu Donné and La Dauphine were among some of the first established farms — most of which still retain their original farm houses today. These farms have grown into renowned wineries.

The Huguenot Monument. This heritage is preserved today with the Huguenot Monument standing at the top of the village. The museum nearby chronicles the history of the first settlers, with each of the original Huguenot farms having its own fascinating story to tell.

The Cape Dutch architecture in much of the village is unspoilt, with restrictions having been placed on the extent of renovations and new construction in order to preserve the spirit of the original settlers to the area".
(stolen by Wikipedia, respectively.)
I have been to the Provençal area of France and I can guarantee you that Wine Country in Africa is hard to distinguish from it's European counterpart. The similarities are mind-boggling: from the spoken language, to the cusiine, to the rolling green hills dotted with quaint vineyards and pastoral animals, this area is Tre Magnifique at its best. We stayed at the most incredibly quaint Cottage built upon the Clermont Vineyards. The Auberge Clermont Guest House - Perfectly Provencal and so perfectly romantic.

We Wined and Dined at one of the top 50 restaurants in the world, and lived happily ever after...

More pictures from our wonderful adventure...

(please click on the picture for a full-view, as blogger is cutting off some of the dimensions.)

Except the fairytale is not over yet, no, there is one more significant part to the story - the part where we get to travel deep into the African Bush and have up close and personal encounters with magnificent predators and beasts you never knew existed. After seeing this we can and indeed did live happily ever after... ;)

The fourth and final part - Safari at Kruger's National park - is coming soon!

Stay Tuned.

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