Monthly Archives: September 2010

Miss K in Greenpoint

Miss K in Greenpoint
Again, thanks to a special deal that Kerry-Anne bought through Twangoo, we found ourselves exploring a restaurant that we hadn't previously visited - Miss K in Greenpoint (map).

The bright-white decor gives Miss K has a fantastic light and open feeling that's perfectly suited to day-time visits. We visited for their buffet lunch which consisted of various salads and the most fantastic rare beef. The buffet never had a huge selection of dishes, so I took a little of everything - and I have to say that the combination of flavours was awesome!

What sealed the lunch as perfect was at tall, dark, Lindt chocolate milkshake at the end! :) Miss K; certainly worth a visit!

Foxgloves and fynbos

These Foxgloves are of the flowers that you'll find growing in fields around the Western Cape. These particular ones, as you may have gathered, I found on Tygerberg Hill during a recent visit. I find the way that sun lights them up awesomely beautiful!

Am I alone in this, or is there anyone else who lives in suburban Cape Town who also thinks that it would be awesome to have a well-kept, but completely Fynbos and wildflower garden instead of manicured grass, popular shrubs and flowers?

Flowers on a hill

Flowers on the hill
In my previous post I mentioned that I'd taken a walk to the top of Tygerberg Hill. The hill forms part of the Tygerberg Nature Reserve - but as not to repeat myself, you can read more about it in my post about the reserve.

The actual reason for my ascent was to see the multitude of flowers that have sprung up all over the hill. I took the walk just after lunch time, and while (as you may know) the light isn't great for photos around that time of day, it's great for viewing the flowers!

Cables and towers of Tygerberg Hill

Cables and towers
Observing this tower from an ordinary perspective doesn't normally hold much interest for the casual passerby. It's only when looking closer from a different angle that the normally-unappealing view transforms into something a little more interesting.

I spent a little while observing the tower before taking this shot. Don't you think it offers a little more interest than this, more traditional photo? :)

This tower is one of the radio and microwave towers on top of Tygerberg Hill. To be honest though, that's only my assumption. I'm not clued up enough to know for sure what the receivers and/or transmitters on this tower are used for. Do you know? Please leave a comment to let us know.

Over the next two or three days I'll share with you the reason for my ascent to the top of Tygerberg Hill. :)

Accidents and adverts

N1 Highway
The flyover bridge that you see on the left is Eastern Boulevard. Keeping left takes you to the northern suburbs of Cape Town via the N1 highway whereas keeping to the right leads to the southern suburbs.

The sign may not look that large in this photo, but did you notice the huge advert for the iPhone 4 against the side of the building on the left? That poster looks absolutely huge when viewed from your car on Eastern Boulevard. Because it's located next to a part of the road where lanes merge and traffic is accelerating out of the city, I find it dangerously distracting - especially if the advert is particularly eye-catching.

I've actually erected a mental block, forcing myself not look at the sign when traveling along that stretch of road!

A big big wheel

A big big wheel
Ah, I guess this photo makes it as clear as daylight as to where we were. This picture doesn't really do justice to how high up you feel you are when in the Wheel of Excellence at the Waterfront!

Although the fairly large gondola is said to take 8 passengers, don't believe them - unless of course you're one of 8 skinny teenagers. :) I'd guess that you'd rather more comfortably seat 6 people in one of these air conditioned cabins... again, unless of course you're 6 boerseuns * from Pretoria!

The ride around and around and around was extremely smooth, and very pleasant. It's clear that the workmanship leveraged to build this wheel was of the best quality and that the mechanics are well looked after - unlike the rides that I remember going on at the various fairs that I visited as a kid.

Speaking of fairs - remember the rides at the Goodwood Show Grounds? Check this pic out!

* Afrikaners sometimes tend to have huge, burly, sons and the word boerseuns is an affectionate term for these. You could literally translate the word as "farmer's sons".

Pictures from the sky

Table Mountain

Two days ago I posted a photo of a sign that is located inside the gondolas of The Wheel of Excellence, found just outside of the V&A Waterfront. This photo of the city was taken as we were reaching the apex of the wheel - isn't the view just superb?

Speaking of the V&A Waterfront... there's a competition that (I'm sure you'll agree)  you have to enter. The prizes range from helicopter flips, to cruises, complimentary dinners and even an overnight stay in a Marina apartment. To win all that you have to do is take a photo and write a short story telling what you love best about the Waterfront. Check out the full list of prizes and submit your entry here.

I'm sure it's needless to say that if you win the dinner-with-friends or the private movie screenings you'll be obliged to invite Kerry-Anne and myself along. ;)

Air show at Ysterplaat

Gripen Fighter
This weekend sees the Africa Aerospace and Defence expo taking place at Cape Town's Ysterplaat (which translated literally refers to a sheet of iron) air force base. I visited today to get a small preview of what would be happening over the following three days.

Although the little bit that I saw was awesome, unfortunately the weather never played along so we were rained out by around mid day! Fortunately for you (if you're in Cape Town, that is) rain isn't forecasted for Friday and Saturday, however rain is set to dampen Sunday visitors - so be there early this weekend! :)

Our friends from the USA may like to know that 11 of your country's USAF air crafts have landed at Ysterplaat to join in with the expo. Although... I just think they're keeping an eye on us. ;)

Where in the world were we?

Emergency Exit
I have to say that although it was well-meaning having the words "emergency" and "notfall" in such close proximity, it was concerning - given where we were at the time. I realise that "notfall" means must mean "emergency" in another language and I spent some time with Google Translate trying to work it out, but as yet haven't identified the language. Do you know what language this would be?

If you've been to London or Paris, or if you've been here you may recognise the sign. Where was this photo taken?

Pirate-ship attacks in Table Bay!

Pirate-ship attacks
I'm not sure what the name of the unfortunate vessel on the right is, but approaching her on the left is the fiercest pirate ship that sails the waters of the Cape of Good Hope - the Jolly Roger!

Although I may have exaggerated a little calling it "fierce", I'm not pulling your leg - Jolly Roger is a pirate boat with a pirate crew and is generally seen sailing young land lubbers out into Table Bay for adventurous birthday parties or similarly celebratory occasions. The little trip costs anywhere between R50 and R200 per person, depending on the time of day, the package that you purchase, and the size of your shoe. (Hint: People wearing kids shoes pay a whole lot less than those wearing adult-size shoes.)

Between the plundering of defenseless ships in Table Bay you'll find the murderously cruel crew with the moored Jolly Roger at the V&A Waterfront's quay 5 - close to Sevruga and just outside of the V&A Shopping mall. Visit this pirate map to find the gap where the Jolly Roger should be moored. (I guess it was out plundering when the satellite made it's turn over the Waterfront!)

Surfing wipeout at Mouille Point

Mouille Point surfer wipeout
Isn't that just a beautiful wipeout? I guess it's times like these that surfers are glad that they're not sand-boarders!

I think this guy was fine - but it's not always the case. Although one falls into water, the amount of danger you're in when coming off your board depends on the depth of water the possibility of collision with immovable or hard objects - like the seabed, rocks, a surfboard, large marine life, and other surfers. If you're starting off with surfing, I suggest you read this commonsense guide to surviving a wipeout.

Perhaps on the lighter side - I found a post in the Surfing Waves forum suggests the following to be the greatest losses surfers experience:

You spend all your money.
You lose your job because your looking at charts all day.
You lose all your friends 'cos you'll never commit to doing anything at the weekend.
You lose your girl/boy friend cos you smell all the time.
You become obsessed and irrational.
You turn into a miserable git when you dont get your swell fix.

This is perhaps an exaggeration, but surfers, how accurate would you say the quote is?

Take a look here at a few more surfing photos taken on this outing to Mouille Point (map).

Trepidatious boogie-boarder

Trepidatious boogie boarder

Our boogie-boarder friend stood observing the water for a while before venturing in. It's good to have a healthy dose of respect for the ocean - it's able to turn nasty fast!

This particular part of Mouille Point is right next to large concrete breakwater walls against which the ocean waves relentlessly thud, sending sprays of water and foam flying into the air. The boogie-boarder carefully watched the way the ocean was moving to find the most efficient route by which he could reach his surfer-friends who were about 100m away at the time (map).

Microlight trips in Cape Town

Microlight over the ocean

Besides for experiencing the weather yourself, you know it's a great day in Cape Town when you hear the buzz of microlights in the air. The winds in Cape Town get so strong, gusty and difficult to predict that I've never seen a microlight or hang-glider out except on beautiful, clear and mostly-windless days.

If you'd like to take a microlight flip in Cape Town take a look at Aquila Microlight Safaris - from their site it looks like it'll cost you between R500 and R1000. I've never taken a trip with them, so I can't vouch for the experience, but I can only imagine that you'd get some great photos from the open-air cockpit of a microlight!

I did some hunting around and I can't seem to find anywhere that one's able to hire a microlight in Cape Town, so for the moment taking a flip as a passenger may be your only option. If you do know of a place, please be so kind as to leave a comment on this post.

Wild flowers in the Cape sun

Orange wild flowers
Abundant numbers of wild flowers have for several weeks been showing their brightly coloured faces all over the Western Cape. Our West Coast is an array of petals and each weekend sees hundreds of locals and visitors make their way around the West Coast to relax in the sun and take in the flower's beauty.

If you're keen on attending flower shows, consider taking a day trip to Tulbagh (map) to see the Tulbagh Horse and Wildflower Show from 22 to 25 September. The show comprises the National Horse Championships along with the natural wildflower exhibition and will more than certainly have food stalls, a beer garden and plenty of arts and crafts stalls.

Email Elsa Rix or call her on 023 230 0189 for further details. Visit Tulbagh Toursim's website for more information about this old town of the Cape.

Unconventional sushi chefs

Unconventional sushi chefs

Kerry-Anne recently bought a two-for-the-price-of-one Wakame sushi voucher from Twangoo, and graciously invited me to tag along to enjoy a sushi platter. Wakame's one of our favoured restaurants in Cape Town (Mouille Point, to be exact) so we were bound to enjoy the delectable treats prepared by what, we assumed, must be the best Japanese chefs in the country.

However, what I discovered was that the sushi chefs weren't Japanese at all. Even though the sushi was cut to precision, kept its form impeccably (even after being manhandled by my chopsticks), and tasted exquisite - it turns out that they were crafted by the very-black-and-decidely-not-Japanese gentlemen on the right of this photo!

Congrats to Marius for, in my last post, guessing correctly that the lights were from Wakame. :)

Have you seen these lights before?

Restaurant lights
I took this photo at a popular restaurant in the Cape Town vicinity. It's near the ocean and they serve great sushi. Do you recognise these ceiling lights; have you seen them before?

If you're sure that you've seen these lights before, leave a message here and name the restaurant! :)

Public prosecutors

Public prosecutors
Public Prosecutors are the people who represent the State in criminal cases. They're the people who decide what charge should be levelled against an accused and are also responsible for building the case that ultimately convicts guilty parties.

You may have heard about people such as the "National Director of Public Prosecutions" in the much publicised cases against various politicians and high-powered businessmen. The National Director is the top prosecutor in our judicial system supported by a hierarchy comprising the Deputy National Director, Directors, Deputy Directors and finally the Public Prosecutors mentioned in this photo.

Given who these people are I'd say that it's better than one takes heed of the sign and doesn't park on this side of the road. :)

Pillars of the Magistrates Courts

Pillars of the Magistrates Courts
These are the pillars with which the Cape Town Magistrates Courts in Parade Street are built. To be honest, I'm fairly confused by our country's many courts and their legal processes. We have Magistrates Courts, Regional Courts, High Courts, Equality Courts, Supreme Court, Constitutional Court... to name only a few. See the full list of courts here.

Perhaps it interests you to know that there are about 366 magisterial districts and main magistrates’ offices - and about 1906 magistrates in South Africa; which I guess is a great number of people who on a daily basis have to make difficult decisions over other peoples lives. I guess then it's not strange that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is trying to (or by this time may have) implement an amendment to the Magistrates' Courts act which would make stricter the criteria for appointing magistrates.

Basically the draft bill would require candidate magistrates to have a higher qualification than what is currently accepted and in addition specifically details requirements such as "competence, diligence, dignity and social standing". While not being a reflection on our 1906+ magistrates - I can't say that this would be a bad bill to have passed!

Darling and Parade

Darling and Parade
After my previous post about the Cape Town Central Library a friend asked exactly where the entrance was located. You'll see the entrance to the library on the right-hand side of this photo - in Parade Street.

Besides for the Central Library, South Africa has two national libraries who've been mandated to "collect and preserve public documents and make the accessible" - according to their website. The one is in Pretoria and the other is in our beautiful Cape Town - near the Company Gardens. We're certainly going to have to visit this treasure chest in Queen Victoria Street soon!

Cape Town Central Library

Cape Town Central Library
A little while ago I posted a photo of the Cape Town City Hall - the previous location of the Central Library - and said that I'm sure Kerry-Anne would want to visit.

Well, we've visited and were it not that we were there too late in the day to open a membership, Kerry-Anne would have walked away with armfuls of books! We're use to our smaller suburban libraries - so the visit to this multi-level, multi-room library was quite something. So, if you're a book-lover person - check out this map and be sure to visit!

I even found a section that contained comic books - like Superman and Batman - right next to the Photography section! How perfect! :D

Danger, Xhosa and Wikipedia

Danger sign
Inkozi (pronounced "ing-caw-zee") is the Xhosa word for danger and in this case is found on a sign posted at the location of an electricity substation in the Wooltru building (mentioned in my previous post).

Even though it's commonly spoken in our Western and Eastern Cape provinces, when considered in a global context, Xhosa is a relatively small language. What I was happy to find out is that there's a Xhosa edition of Wikipedia available! While it is a relatively small edition, with only 115 articles at the time of writing this post, it was once explained to me that it's a major step towards documenting what the Xhosa elders have through the centuries passed on to their children by word of mouth only.

I found this interesting and alternative usage of an abbreviated form of the word, and although I doubt it's legitimacy I found the dialogue at the bottom of the text terribly entertaining. :)

The Wooltru mystery

Wooltru and City Hall
The building on the left in the photo backs onto Cape Town City Hall and is know as the Wooltru building in Corporation Street. While Wooltru is a huge company that (as I understand) is the cash shell of several other large corporates I've found it extremely difficult to find much useful information about them on the Web.

They have no Wikipedia page and their site doesn't work and hasn't been indexed by Google. With the exception of a handful of financial articles on there really doesn't seem to be much information that someone like myself (who is largely ignorant when it comes to cash shells, reverse takeovers, and other business strategies) would find useful.

Please, if you know more than I do, would you mind leaving a comment to explain what Wooltru is about and how this all works?

A pretty kind of ugly

A pretty kind of ugly
This sure isn't a well-painted wall, nor is it a beautiful work of art or graffiti - but still, don't you find that this section of wall has some kind of appeal? I'm not sure, perhaps it's the layers of paint, old doors, and damaged walls that cause a tinge of nostalgia towards the things of old.

Many people would jump at the chance of having everything be pristine and new, but don't you think the City would lose some of it's character if, in some way, it were possible that all these building would be restored?

However, I'm torn in two because there's plenty of room for improving the City's surrounding suburbs - and while I'm all for beautifying and uplifting rundown areas, I'd hate to lose all the history reflected in these walls.

Say what?

I found this piece of graffiti in Salt River interesting - I think it was because of the dark layers of muted colours beneath, covered by the bold white lines. I stood looking at this piece of graffiti for quite some time before realising that either it never meant anything, or I was just not going to see what the artist was trying to say.

Do you have any idea what this could mean, or do you think the artist wasn't an artist, or expressionist, at all?

The Eastern Food Bazaar

Eastern Food Bazaar

This, my dear friends, is my latest discovery and the answer to the question posed a couple of posts back - the Eastern Food Bazaar (map). A colleague recommended the place, so on this particular day, while in the area, I decided pay them a visit.

The concept is that you browse the half-a-dozen stalls, inspecting each for what  your tummy desire. Once you've memorised your list you pay for the meal at one of two pay points (at the same time specifying if you'd like the food in a take-away container) and then receive in return a printed slip that lists what you've purchased. This slip you present at each of the stalls in exchange for the food you've purchased.

Three things about the visit impressed me. The first thing was how clean each food stall was; the second was how friendly everyone working there was; and the last was how large the portions were - given that most curries were priced between R25 and R30, with the most expensive being R35 (excluding rice and naan)!

In terms of the quailty of the meal - it was great. The Rogan Josh that I had was fairly hot, and I guess the only point that I could criticize the meal on is that there were more bones than I'd expected. However, Indian curries rely on bones for flavour - and for R30 I'd be hard-pressed to feel cheated. :)

Old wooden décor

Old wooden furniture
I may be dragging out the question that I posed in my second-last post a little, but (besides for the fact that I'm a little behind in these daily photos) there were so many photo opportunities at this place that I've decided to give one more clue before revealing this restaurant's identity and location.

Don't you just love this wooden décor? While it wouldn't suite our house I think it's awesome. Take a close look at the woodwork and imagine a family crowded around a piece of wood, carving out every detail by hand. I kid you not, much of this type of furniture is made by mom, dad and their children.

I find myself thinking of this both as wonderful and sad at the same time. While this kind of family work may instill a great sense of unity it's sad that in many parts of the world kids aren't left to be kids for very long. All too soon the practice of having to earn one's keep become a reality.

An old-old till

An old till
In my previous post I asked if you had any idea where I'd gone to buy lunch. You may have been tempted to think that I was referring to the Woolworths restaurant on the corner of Corporation and Longmarket Street (map).

The clue however was in the phrase "refreshingly different take-away lunch" - a category which I'm afraid I wouldn't place the Woolworths restaurant into. In this photo is another clue to where I bought lunch. Besides for this till, take note of the left top corner of the photo.

You'll find this place very close to the Woolworths restaurant.

A city center photo walk

Hungry for food
Perhaps it's all the walking, but I always seem to get terribly hungry when out on a photo walk.

Naturally you'd need to be familiar with Cape Town to answer this question... but given this sign and that I was somewhere in the city center - and given my previous photo - where do you think I visited to buy a refreshingly different take-away lunch?

Cape Town City Hall – a different perspective

Cape Town City Hall
For some reason, and I honestly can't say why, I've never seen the back of the city hall! To help you get some perspective on where this photo was taken - the lower left corner of this photo has the Grand Parade in the distance. You may recall that I posted a photo of this building from a different angle a few months back.

The last time I was in the City Hall was during the mid '90s. At that time it house the Central Library, and I remember spending time in a slightly stuffy, very cramped, slightly dark room that reminded me of a library that you'd be more likely to be visiting if your name were Harry Potter.

I never realised this before now, but on closer investigation I've just learned that in 2008 the library moved to a building located just to the left of this one (if you were facing it's front). Kerry-Anne hasn't read this article yet - but I imagine that on reading she'll be insisting that we soon pay the "new" library a visit. :)

Are we human or are we dancer?

Adidas on a bike
At first I never realised what this mural was about - but then when reviewing it this evening I realised that it's an advert - for Adidas. Perhaps just like you, I enjoy good clothing, but contrary to many I'm in no way brand loyal. I don't identify myself with a particular brand and have a rather cynical view on, especially, branded clothing.

Many photographers are extremely loyal to the make of camera that they use. I happen to use a Canon camera, but I'd switch to another make in the blink of an eye - provided of course that what I switched to is of similar or better quality.

Isn't it strange how people are affected by branding and marketing? Isn't it interesting how one's opinion can be swayed by a marketing company associating one thing with something that one may aspire to be - like Adidas being associated with this cool-looking guy on a bike?

Marketing and media really do have the power to sway our minds - in a way we're just putty in someone else's hands, and I guess this is partly the motivation on my post about the media and I believe a part of the message behind the The Killers song, Human. See the "Meaning" section of the Wikipedia article if you're unsure of what I'm referring to.

Are you human or are you dancer?