Tonight's GeekDinner was held at Greens - a restaurant in Plattekloof - about 20 minutes' drive from the city. This really was an awesome venue - the service was great, the food brilliant and the ambience just perfect for this GeekDinner, Garrulous Grape.
Aside from the restaurant and interesting technology talks, the evening was made even more enjoyable by Perdeberg wines, who sponsored a couple of cases of red and white. Perdeberg is currently running an innovative competition, called Clink to Win. They're giving away a whole lot of wine each month - apparently one lucky guy recently won 156 bottles of Perdeberg wine in one go! I bet he suddenly has a whole lot of new friends... ;-) Visit www.clink-to-win.co.za to find out how to enter.
This house, and many others like it, can be found just a few kilometres from the Bo-Kaap area, in the quiet neighbourhood of Tamboerskloof. Situated between the city proper and Lion's Head, Tamboerskloof is filled with quaint Victorian houses, most of which were built between 1895 and 1905.
At that time the city centre simply couldn't house the large numbers of people arriving from Europe and the northern parts of South Africa, and so the farms on the slopes of Lion’s Head had to be sub-divided to make space for the exploding population.
Ironically known by many as the "Black Taxi", these minibus taxis aren't black at all. The reference to "black" is because for the most part they're black-owned and mostly transport our black population to and from their respective places of work.
Generally one finds taxi ranks near large shopping malls, train stations and in certain suburbs. These taxis drive predefined routes and pick passengers up and drop them off along this route. Never having used such a taxi, I'm not completely sure of how the cost of the trip is determined - I don't believe there's a flag (since passengers are getting on and off all along the route) so I imagine it's up to the discretion of the driver or his assistant.
Minibus taxi drivers are notorious for not obeying traffic laws. They're almost a law unto themselves, passing on the yellow line, pushing their way between cars to the front of the queue, and driving faster than perhaps they should be. Normal cars play the chicken game with taxis, to see who will back down first and generally unless the car clearly has the upper-hand, the taxi wins.
The first Puma prototype flew for the first time in 1965. This helicopter was developed in France by Aérospatiale to be a mid-sized highly versatile aircraft for use by the French Army. The South African defence force has used the Puma for about as long as I can recall, and today we still regularly see them flying the skies of Cape Town.
The Bo-Kaap (pronounced something like "Boor Carp", and meaning "Upper Cape") is a quaint and very colourful area, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill. The streets - a number of them still cobbled - are narrow and extremely steep (not the kind of place you want to go for your driver's licence test, in other words). Most of the houses here are painted in bright, bold colours, giving the suburb real character.
In our previous post we asked if whether or not you were able identify the object in the photo, and the place where the shot was taken. If you noticed that Devil's Peak formed part of the photo's background then you may have guessed that the area is Bo Kaap, and that the object of the photo is (what I believe to be) a bollard made many many years ago in Glasgow, Scotland (see the inscription on the enlarged photo).
At the time I never gave this bollard a second thought, but considering it now, I wonder who placed it up top of this flight of stairs, and where exactly they got the it from. Perhaps it's from the era when the current Cape Town city was still under water, forming part of Table Bay? ;)
We'll do a more informative post about this area in a day or two, but for the meantime do you have an idea of (a) where this photo was taken and (b) what the subject in this photo is? If you're familiar with Cape Town then I believe there should be enough in the background to help you discover the location.
Kerry-Anne is away this week, attending the 2nd Annual New Media Marketing Conference, held by IQPC in Johannesburg. So, for the next few day's I'm on my own, looking after CTDP, with no Internet connectivity at home, and trying my best to make sure that my grammar is up to her standard. She's so demanding in that way. ;)
Cape Town, known many years ago to Europeans as Cape of Storms, was first navigated by Europeans in 1488. Bartolomeu Dias, a Portuguese explorer, was commissioned by King John II of Portugal to find a shipping trade route to Asia via the southern tip of Africa. Europe was desperate for such a route because of the dangers of the land route and the high cost of negotiations with middle-men in countries on route to India.
On his initial voyage Dias never actually landed anywhere near Cape Town. For thirteen days his ship was caught in a raging storm, after which he laid anchor at Mossel Bay (a few hunderd kilometers up our east coast). When Dias eventually turned back and found Cape Town, he named it Cabo das Tormentas, the Cape of Storms. King John II of Portugal later renamed it to Cabo da Boa Esperança, meaning Cape of Good Hope, because it opened up a sea trade route to India and the rest of Asia.
Note: This really really big propeller can be found outside the Mediterranean Shipping Company's offices in Martin Hammerschlag Way.
De Hel is translated by Google Translate as Hell - the place of fire and brimstone. I'm not sure why it got this name, although perhaps it's because of the dense vegetation that leaves (*groan*) one strangely disoriented.
This afternoon Kerry-Anne and I went to seek out geocache GCTMP6 along this walking trail in Constantia. After quite some walking and fighting our way along a path that was somewhat overgrown in parts, we found the cache hidden among the roots of a huge tree. Although moderately tiring, the walk was great - the greenery and untouched natural forest was really very beautiful.
Today was the annual 56km Two Oceans marathon, sponsored by Old Mutual, a large insurance company. It's been suggested that this ultramarathon is the most beautiful in the world, taking runners on a tour of the Cape Peninsula, past both the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
For some reason I'd always had the impression that anyone taking part in a marathon would be slim and look super-fit, but this was not so - there were plenty of people who were slightly or moderately overweight. There were also old people and young people, black and white, South Africans and internationals, making for really colourful and diverse scenes.
It appears as though the backyard of our temporary home at Century on Lake has become a construction site. I'm not sure what's being built - perhaps a shopping park or offices or maybe even another block of flats.
To give some perspective, right in the centre of this photo, in the distance, is the Ratanga Junction theme park. Slightly to the right (almost out of sight) is the temporary home of Madame Zingara's tent, "a place of sensual indulgence, baroque splendour and sheer fantasy". If you're visiting Cape Town, you really have to visit Madame Zingara's - it's quite an experience... and while you're there, say hello to Marcel, a friend, and the most awesome magician we know!
Last night's wet weather left Cape Town by morning and today only remnants of those rain clouds remained. These, lit up across the sky, made for a scene worthy of canvas but impossible to capture in all its majesty.
Watching the sun rise and set from our balcony is spectacular when the air is quiet and the only sounds are those of the ibis, falcon and seagull. It's so calming to watch the ducks and geese paddle, chase each other and forage for food in the dam below. This really is an awesome place to live, and I'm a little sad that we'll be leaving in a just over a week.
Well, perhaps not famous, but having a good deal of money, certainly. I've seen this boat parked just off the beach at Clifton a few times. On this particular afternoon I watched for several minutes as a rubber dinghy towed a rather unsteady skier backwards and forwards. The beach is relatively well sheltered from the wind, so I guess it makes a pretty good place to learn to ski.
I remember that I tried skiing once many years ago. I did reasonably well until I ended up with a ski on either side of the boat's wake. I quickly had to make a decision - either let go of the ski rope or learn the splits in a hurry. I still can't do the splits. ;)
These two ladies might look chilled out there on their lilo, but let me tell you, they are in fact CHILLED, if you sense the difference in my meaning.
The water at Clifton is just a little on the icy side. When I say "a little on the icy side", I mean of course that you might lose a toe if you step too hard on the way out. Durbanites, who are accustomed to the bathtub waters of their own coastline, are often taken by surprise by this, and can usually be quite easily spotted: they're the ones wearing 8mm wetsuits at Gordon's Bay (which, in case you're wondering, actually has very swimmable water indeed - by Capetonian standards, anyhow).
Clearly these ladies are braver than I - the longest I've managed to stay in the water at Clifton is about 30 seconds. And that was just up to my ankles. Nearly lost a toe too, on the way out...
As autumn wends its way towards us and the days get shorter, our beaches will slowly empty, with the probable exception of adrenaline-starved surfers, hardy beach addicts and the odd romantic couple. Cooler weather seems to have sprung upon us quite unexpectedly, with evenings now requiring warm clothing to ward off the chilly breeze.
Summer always seems to end far too abruptly - and I'm pretty sure that it's getting shorter each time around! So, as we head towards winter you should expect to see a few more beach pictures, as Kerry-Anne and I make as much use as possible of the few remaining warm days.
I took a drive out to Durbanville today where the IGSA "Fair Cape Downhill Challenge" skateboard and street luge competition was being held. I'm not sure exactly what speeds were reached this weekend, but it's reported that 103km/h and 117km/h were expected for skateboarders and street luge respectively. Although the bales of hay lining the road help to prevent serious injury, I can imagine that hay is still pretty hard if you fly into it at over 100km/h.
After two days of tough competition in the baking sun, Michael Zietsman came out tops with Anton Pratt, Richard Dweza and Tibor Hery following close on his wheels. Congratulations guys, you were cooking! ;)
The annual floats procession along Adderley Street is just one of the fundraising events organised by the University of Cape Town's RAG committee.
Students work in teams to design and build floats based on a theme (this year's theme was "Homegrown Heroes"); the floats are then driven up and down Adderley Street in a colourful, energetic and wonderfully noisy procession. Each student has a collection box, and as they walk, run or... um... dance alongside their floats, they creatively request donations from the spectators lining the streets. All the money they collect goes to SHAWCO, a student-run organisation that concentrates on youth and community development programmes.
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Not just their milkshakes, actually - their burgers too; and not just the boys either - apparently Salma Hayek (who, according to my sources, is definitely a girl) was quite taken with Royale's gourmet burgers and milkshakes too. This shot was taken inside Royale Eatery, a funky diner-style restaurant on Long Street, renowned for their huge gourmet burgers and heavenly milkshakes.
We had our burgers with sweet potato chips, which turned out to be an excellent choice; Paul had a Honeycomb milkshake, which was so good, I tried to steal it while he wasn't looking; and I had a Plum and Grape milkshake, upon the recommendation of our delightful - and very pretty - waitress. (Paul mentioned in passing that if he were a single guy, he's spend a lo-o-o-ot of money at Royale, 'cos they've got some of the loveliest waitresses in town.)
Most lamp-posts in Cape Town are adorned with posters advertising shows, exhibitions, concerts and other events - at least, it certainly seems that way.
We thought we'd post this one today: firstly, because the colours are rather pretty, and secondly, in case you're in Cape Town, and didn't realise that the UCT Rag Floats Procession was taking place this weekend.
And if you're not in Cape Town, don't worry - we'll make sure we get up early enough to get some photos of the floats as they make their way up (or is it down?) Adderley Street on Saturday morning. Stay tuned. ;-)
This unusual view of Table Mountain (enlarge the picture and you'll be able to see the cable-car station at the top) was taken from one of the highest roads in Camps Bay.
I'm sure we've mentioned before that the beachfront area in Camps Bay is one of our favourite parts of Cape Town - particularly in December, when the streets are jammed, the beaches are full of holidaymakers, and the restaurants are packed with beautiful people.
The houses aren't too shabby either, as you might be able to see from this shot. Camps Bay is an affluent neighbourhood, and a high proportion of the properties here are owned by foreigners.
In fact, a UK woman has apparently just paid R44 million (that's around $5.6 million or 3.6 million Euros) for a double-storey building on the beachfront - and she plans to demolish it!
As mentioned in a previous post, we're living in a furnished loft apartment for the month. We had a friend over for dinner tonight - his comment was that the décor makes the flat look homely. Don't you just love this pot - it's a really nice idea of how to add volume and atmosphere to a holiday flat.
La Piazza, at the huge Canal Walk shopping mall, is host to several fine restaurants, many of which overlook a beautiful (man-made) canal. Kerry-Anne and I met up with a friend at Primi (lower right in the photo) where we lazed comfortably on huge couches, sipping our coffee, watching people wander by.
We'd already had dinner, so I think it must have been the proximity of so many nice restaurants that made us hungry all over again. But, we stood fast and resisted the tempation to order some kind of post-dinner snack.
We celebrated my mom's birthday today, so all we had time to do was take a quick drive past Green Point, where cyclists competing in the Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour were finishing the arduous 109 kilometre race around the peninsula. As he did last year, South African champion Robbie Hunter won the event - this year in 2 hours 27 minutes!
109 kilometres around our peninsula is no joke. For guys like Robbie, it's a very serious and well-planned race. For many of the 40,000 other cyclists, it's a day of fun, with little training and often little planning. I've heard reports that up to 65 people were taken to hospital as a result of road accidents, fatigue, kidney stones and heart attacks.
A colleague of mine is presently trying to convince me that I should take part next year. I keep having to explain that I don't have a bike and it's really very difficult to cycle with a camera in hand. :)
We spent a pretty awesome afternoon at Mzoli's, in the heart of the township of Gugulethu. Technically, Mzoli's is a butchery. But I doubt you've been to a butchery quite like THIS before. Instead of trying to explain how it works, I'm going to suggest you visit Andy's blog, and read his excellent description instead.
It was the first time either of us had been to Gugulethu, and Andy, who organised the outing for us, took us on a little walk around the block after lunch. The people were overwhelmingly friendly to us, both at Mzoli's and while we were walking through the neighbourhood. I imagine we stood out a little - there aren't too many white faces in Gugulethu on any given day. :-)
In short, we had a great time, and if you're looking for a different, close-up view of vibrant township life, then see if you can make lunch at Mzoli's part of your visit to Cape Town. A number of tour companies offer trips to Mzoli's and the surrounding township, but if you want an arguably more authentic experience, I'm sure we'd be able to find a fair number of ordinary Capetonians who'd be happy to take you. I'm certainly up for another visit.
Friends of ours got married to each other today on this very beach. Kerry-Anne and I rushed through to Strand beach after work to watch Andrew and Richal exchange vows on the beach. It really was a beautiful wedding - take a look at a couple of extra photos that we published at Cape Town Daily Photo Extras
I did a really stupid thing a few days ago... I broke my camera. Yip. Broken-broken. But more about that in a moment.
The Hadeda (a type of Ibis) is a very very loud bird. They're pretty common to the Western Cape, and very common to the dam right behind our apartment. The Hadeda is easily recognised by its loud squawking, which sounds much like haa-haa-haa-de-dah - hence the name Hadeda (pronounced haa-di-daa).
As I mentioned earlier, I broke my camera. Two of the pins that plug into the memory card snapped off! Anyway, I was referred to Tim Fisher at Cape Camera Repairs. Having heard of repairs taking weeks I was dreading not having my camera for even a few days. Imagine my surprise when he assured me it would take only a day or two to repair. Well, he kept to his word and so I guess today's post is compliments of Tim at Cape Camera Repairs. Thanks Tim!
I you have a moment please visit our extras blog where I've posted three more Hadeda photos taken this evening.
Edit: A friend kindly informed me that these birds are indeed not of the Hadeda Ibis variety, they are in fact from the Sacred Ibis clan - differentiated by their white plumage. Thank-you Riaan!
This reminds me of one of those kiddies' puzzles - how many cranes can you count in the picture? (I got to 17, but I could be wrong.)
These cranes are over at the construction site of Green Point Stadium, one of the stadiums that will host several soccer games during the 2010 World Cup. In the middle of February, city spokesperson Pieter Cronje apparently said that a third of the stadium is already complete, and that it's well on its way to being completed on schedule, by 15 December 2009.
I find the presence of the cranes on our skyline really inspiring - to me, they're a symbol of progress and growth.
If you're very, very observant, you might have noticed that the SA Blog Awards button to the right has changed a little. That's because we've been nominated! Yes indeed - we were thrilled to discover that we've received nominations in three categories: Best Photographic Blog, Best New Blog and Best Travel Blog. If you enjoy our blog, please click on the button to vote for us, and while you're there, have a look at some of the other nominated blogs and vote for those you fancy. What an awesome first birthday present for Cape Town Daily Photo!
Yes indeed - it's been a whole year since we posted our very first photograph on Cape Town Daily Photo. In that time, we've visited new places, seen new sights, and done things we'd never done before, all in the interests of getting a good shot. It's been maddening at times - usually at about 23h54 on a weeknight when we suddenly realise that we haven't done a post yet - but mostly it's been out-and-out fun.
Thanks to: - Eric, for unknowingly inspiring us to start this blog - Alice, Jules, Jenty, Joy, Abraham, and ALL the other regular commenters - it's always great hearing from our readers, and it really makes a difference to our levels of enthusiasm :) - All the other City Daily Photo bloggers, especially those who visited our blog right in the beginning and made us feel that we really were part of a community - All our friends in Cape Town (and the rest of South Africa!) - it never ceases to delight me when I'm introduced to someone who lives in this city and they say, "Oh, YOU'RE the guys who do Cape Town Daily Photo!" It's fantastic to know that so many of our fellow Capetonians and South Africans read our blog regularly. - And finally, thank you to you, whoever you may be - even if you've never left a comment and we've never met, the fact that you visit here means the world to us.
We still have plenty (PLENTY) to show you in and around Cape Town, so don't you worry, we'll be back tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. And so on and so on, until you get tired of us.
This kind of photo opportunity deserves a super steady tripod and one of those really expensive lenses that I'm always seeing at cricket matches... you know, the ones that are about a meter long and have a lens diameter similar to that of a small car's tyre.
I shot this photo early this morning from our balcony. Kerry-Anne said it reminded her of one of those lengthy immunity challenges in CBS's Survivor. You know - the ones where contestants are compelled to stand on a pole for hours on end. Our friend here lasted for several minutes before taking a dive off into the water - in search of a peanut butter sandwich no doubt. (Peanut butter? Google here.)
This is the view that greeted us this morning when we woke up and went downstairs for coffee and breakfast. (Yes, we did wake up rather late - not surprising though, considering how little sleep we've had since Wednesday.)
We've been listening to the birds in the reserve all day, and it really does feel as though we're on holiday here. I feel more relaxed than I have in a very long time, and I'm looking forward to exploring this part of Cape Town for a change.
By the way, we have an important milestone coming up this week... do come back on Tuesday to see what it is. :)
So today we're all settled in our temporary home at Century City - kindly sponsored by our super-dooper estate agent, Jeanne-Pierre from Milieu Properties. In days to come we'll bring you photos from in and around the area, but today it's Theme Day.
Today's photo was taken in the city centre, on Darling Street just up the road from the Castle. The mural is of Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Cissie Gool and Imam Haron.
Take a look at our CTDP Extras Blog for more graffiti and street art around Cape Town.
Sorry for being late with today's post. Since our move we've had limited internet connectivity - and that which I do now have is also kindly sponsored by Milieu Properties. Jeanne-Piere, you're a star! :)
Please use the links below to visit a few of the 144 City Daily Photo blogs taking part in today's Theme Day.