Cape Town Tip
That will be definitely the view of Cape Point and not me trying to look cool while battling the strong winds simultaneously. Only my gorgeous friend, Krystynn was able to strike a superstar pose while battling the strong winds. Sigh … enviously!
FATHER OF THE MOTHER CITY.
Jan Van Riebeeck is a great father figure in South African history.
He was born at Culemborg, Holland in 1619 and at 21 joined the Dutch East India Company as an assistant surgeon.
He was sent to Batavia,where he changed his occupation to assistant clerk.
He was recalled to Holland in 1648 after trouble about his involvement in private trading.
He left the company , married Maria de la Queillerie and embarked on several private trading voyages to Greenland and the West Indies.
His relationship with the Dutch East India Company had remained cordial , and in 1651 he accepted the leadership of a proposed settlement at the Cape.
With his wife and infant son he boarded the flagship 'Drommedaris' and sailed from Holland on 24 December 1651, accompanied by the 'Reyger' and the 'Goede Hoop'.
The three ships made a quick voyage for those times.
On 5 April 1652 Table Mountain loomed into view over the horizon.
Usually it took at least 120 days to reach the Cape from Europe, but the three ships had completed the voyage in 104 days with the deaths of only two people,and little serious sickness.
Just before sunset of the next day the three ships entered Table Bay.It was empty and calm.
The next day Van Riebeeck went ashore to select the sites of a fort and vegetable garden.
He worked diligently and soon passing seamen were able to replenish supplies in plenty.
Cape Town was established as "The Tavern of the Seas".
He was promoted to commander in 1654 and remained as the head of the settlement until 7 May 1662, when he was again transferred to Batavia.
His wife died there and he remarried.
He eventually became secretary of the Council of India and died in 1677.
Always hoping for higher rank,he had never realized that his place in history was assured as the founder of the settlement at the Cape, and that it was to be in South Africa where he would be most honoured.
Local craft and ethnic artistry
While admiring the scenic beauty and historic sights of Cape Town on your meanderings, look out for hand sewn clothing, beautiful ethnic beadwork, handcrafted jewellery and handcareved sculpures.
Important to remember is that the person who is selling the art and crafts may be feeding a family of 20 members with whatever he brings home that night (as unemployment is high in the region), so where on the one hand I advocate bartering and negotiating, on the other hand, do so not too harshly, only if the cost seems ridiculous to you. It is often very subjective too (the worth of an artwork) and hard to put a price on an artists time and talent. Examples of arts and crafts from all over Africa are found here, not only South African craft, and this includes soapstone carvings, woven reed works, wirework creations (a personal favourite you might well imagine if you know my personal website haha) as well as replicas of the weapons, shields and war masks. The handcrafters and artists work in media as varied as ceramics, textile treatments, leather, bead, metal and wirework, jewellery, items from recycled material and more. Their work is an inspiration. Prices differ hugely. For a 1 metre tall handcarved girraffe made of jackleberry wood expect to pay at least R200.
Some hostels offer free...
Some hostels offer free pick-ups from Cape Town airport otherwise there are pleny of taxis touting for trade.
Car rental is quite expensive but we found a good deal on the internet. However the SA Youth Hostel Association had some very competitive deals so check out their internet site or e-mail one of the official hostels.
Good food but overrated
The Galley is situated next door to the Bistro. It is owned and managed by the same people.
I have eaten here twice and have to say I do think it is overrated...
Décor is not nice, although napkins are cloth here, so it is definitely smarter than the Bistro, but it is in serious need of some décor taste!
It is expensive and service isn’t the best.
Weddings are often held here by the local community. The location is gorgeous (on Fish Hoek Beach), so photo opportunities are superb and there is plenty of free parking. I had some cod when I was here last, and it was delicious.
The fish from these parts is always fresh as it comes straight from the sea practically. None of this frozen business here!
One of the things I really LOVE about South African seafood.