Monthly Archives: November 2011

Tractors and picnics at Solms-Delta

Tractors and picnics
We tagged along with a Irene and a small cluster of friends to Solms-Delta for a picnic along the river. At arrival we first took time to enjoy the wine tasting and then boarded this small tractor for a trip among the vines to the picnic spot on the banks of a little river.

The picnic cost R135 per person and came neatly packed in a cane basket with bottles of wine and water. The day was hot. The wind was cool. The food was good. In conclusion - we had an awesome time devouring the food, lying under the trees, dipping into the river, and playing a round or two of cricket.

The picnic at Solms-Delta comes well recommended!

Wine tasting at Solms-Delta

Wine tasting at Solms-Delta
The wine tasting at Solms-Delta was super-entertaining. The tasting expert was a descendant of the people who for centuries worked in the farm's vineyards - picking grapes and helping to turn them into wine. He kept our crowd of 20 people entertained with stories of the farm's history, tales of deceit and murder, and about how the various wines got their interesting names.

I'm not a connoisseur, so I can't comment on the quality of the wine - but it appeared as though the experienced people in our group were pleasantly surprised by both the quality and quantity of wine they tasted. ;)

Broken porcelain

Broken porcelain
Imagine people 1000 years from now excavating and marveling over our broken bottles, plates, vases and MP3 players. Isn't that a weird thought?

I found this display in the wine tasting room of Solms Delta, a popular wine estate just outside of Franschhoek.

Burlesque in Edward Street

Burlesque in Edward Street
Burlesque is a nightclub deep in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town - at the top of a little strip called Edward Street. Don't be confused by the name, Burlesque isn't a traditional burlesque venue - it's a nightclub that has burlesque dancers perform on the dance floor on Friday evenings.

I don't frequent the strip of clubs and bars in Edward Street (map), however, I found myself at Burlesque shooting pics, and in so doing learned a few interesting things about Edward Street's party-goers and the clubs they visit:

  1. most party-goers are a fair bit younger than what I imagined (probably 18 to 23).
  2. they are super-friendly, especially towards anyone with a camera.
  3. the bouncers are freegin' huge!
  4. club DJ's will be responsible for thousands of people needing hearing aids in later life.

The Traffic fashion show at Trinity

The Traffic fashion show at Trinity
If you follow Cape Town Daily Photo closely you may remember that I wrote about Traffic Clothing's 2011 Winter Collection in March this year. Well, as you may have noticed, summer has arrived and consequently Traffic timed the release of their 2011 Summer Collection just perfectly.

I, and a few hundred other folk, spent the evening at Trinity Supperclub (a restaurant in Cape Town) being entertained by DJ's and treated to delectable chocolate delights from Café Le Chocolatier in Franschhoek. After a little patient waiting the first of the 10 models descended from an iron staircase to the catwalk to display some of what Traffic Clothing's store will be stocked with for Summer.

If you'd like to see a few more photos (besides for those below) - I've uploaded a few of the models in action to a Facebook album here.

View my article about Traffic's 2011 Winter Collection for info on where and how to buy Traffic's designer gear.

Five strange horses of the Sea Point Promenade

Five strange horses
Earlier this year the City unveiled Kevin Brand's White Horse sculpture at the Sea Point Promenade.

Each of the five horses has a trumpet-like piece of aluminum protruding from their mouths and from beneath their tails (see the pics below). What the photos don't show is that the five horses are interconnected by underground tubes that help convey sound. The idea is for pairs of people to work out which trumpet is linked to which other trumpet by speaking and listening.

These strange horses reminded me of another strange horse whom you may like to follow on Twitter.

Sea geese

Sea geese
I'm use to seeing geese in and around calm dam water; like here, and here - but at the ocean with waves breaking all around? That's just weird. I sure hope their proximity to the rough ocean isn't why there's only one kid in this family!

Click on the photo to see the large version - isn't the fluffy liddl' gosling cute? :)

The perfect surf-ski launching spot

Three Anchor Bay, again
This is the little sandy beach at Three Anchor Bay that I mentioned in my previous post. It's, as mentioned, quite protected and really very shallow quite far in. So if you're looking for an easy place to launch a surf-ski, paddle-ski or canoe - this would be it! :)

Three Anchor Bay

Three Anchor Bay
Three Anchor Bay (map) is a tiny bay with a small sandy beach located more or less where Sea Point and Green Point meet.

Even though it's extremely rocky the little section of beach looks to be quite protected from the ocean at low-tide and seems perfect for young kids, be careful to keep a close watch on them - the ocean get's pretty fierce pretty quickly and the rocky outcrops make it very easy for even young kids reach this danger zone.

Theatricality, Flamenco dance and Asian aesthetics

Theatricality, flamenco dance and Asian aesthetics
La Rosa, one of South Africa's finest Spanish dance companies, are performing Bernada, a theatrical performance with Flamenco dance and Asian aesthetics from 24 November until 3 December at UCT's Hiddingh Hall in Orange Street (map) at 8pm each evening (except Sunday and Monday).

The cost is a mere R80 and you can book through La Rosa directly by calling 021 461 4201 or emailing

Sir Adderley’s Adderley Street

Adderley Street
This is Adderley Street, Cape Town's main road that runs from the harbour area, past Cape Town train station, and up to the Company Gardens. You'll see the tiny canal that I showed in my previous post to the right of this photo.

Alex commented on yesterday's post mentioning that the mayor of the day named the street was named after Sir Charles Adderley in 1850 to show honour to him for successfully convincing the British government not to turn Cape Town into a penal colony - like they did Australia.

Big-up to you Sir Adderley! :)

The Seine of Cape Town

The Seine of Cape Town
It's not quite the Paris's Seine, but it's about as close as I think we'll ever get. And, if you ignore the occasional plastic bag that manages to find its way into the water it's quite pretty, actually.

You'll find this little gem flowing right down the middle of Cape Town's main street, Adderley Street.

The Civic Center’s knot of red tube art

The Civic Center's knot of red tube art
I could find little information about this piece of art located near the Civic Centre in Cape Town. The piece has no inscription and there's little information on the Web.

What I could find out is that the work was commissioned from the renowned South African artist, Edoardo Villa, in 1981. What's interesting is that in 1981 the National Party won a majority of the seats in government, 131 of the 165 seats. I wonder if the work was commissioned to commemorate this event?

Johan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck

Jan van Riebeeck
Johan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck, more commonly known as Jan van Riebeeck, landed in Cape Town on 6 April 1652 and established a way-station for VOC ships traveling between the Dutch Republic and Batavia (now known as Jakarta).

Even though Jan and his crew weren't the first people on our shores he was the first "Westerner" to set up a formal settlement here, and in colonial-times that made him Commander of the Cape of Good Hope, a position that he held for 10 years from 1652 until 1662. Interestingly (and perhaps because of all the friends he made while stationed in Cape Town) Jan retired to Jakarta where he passed away in 1677.

Tall buildings, many stairs

Tall buildings, many stairs
I recently heard of a corporate who, after 6pm, turn their building's elevators off to conserve electricity. IT unfortunately isn't a 9 to 5 job, so you can imagine how annoyed the staff must have been to learn that if they work late they have to walk the 9 flights of stairs to the ground.

Personally, I think it's pretty smart of the company to encourage their staff to work off the extra kilojoules added by the overtime-pizza run. :)

Shuttle from Cape Town International Airport

Bus from Cape Town International Airport
The My CiTi buses leave from Cape Town's Civic Centre Station (map) heading for the airport at 04h20 each morning and continue to do so every 20 minutes until 21h20 in the evening. Trips from the Cape Town International Airport station (map) start at 05h10 in the morning with the last departing for the city at 22h00.

While kids below the age of 4 travel free of charge the 2011 fare for adults is R53 and R25.50 for kids up to the age of 11.

Note that the site's menu system is broken and currently doesn't work in Chrome - but fortunately does in Firefox and probably most other browsers.

Watching the view

Watching the view
The views from up top of Table Mountain are spectacular. It's the perfect place to sit peacefully and take some time to reflect while feeling the African sun on your back.

I've spent a lot of time looking out over the peninsula from this vantage point and it never ceases to wonder me that 260 million years ago the top of Table Mountain was at sea level. How weird is that?!

Table Mountain and the New 7 Wonders of Nature

Table Mountain and the New 7 Wonders of Nature
By now you may have heard that Table Mountain was voted to be one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Even I (as a citizen of Cape Town) was surprised at the credentials that earned the mountain this title. Three of the many reasons that make Table Mountain deserving are that:

  • it is one of the oldest mountains on the planet - around 260 million years old!
  • it is the only terrestrial feature on our planet to have a constellation named after it. The Mensa constellation was given the name Mons Mensae (the Latin name for Table Mountain) by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1754.
  • as part of the Cape Floral Region it was named a World Heritage Site in 2004 for being one of the smallest and richest of the six floral kingdoms of the world supporting about 8,200 rare and endangered plant species.

The Official New7Wonders of Nature was established to raise awareness of the diversity and beauty of nature in a hope to increase tourism and hence funding to preserve the natural beauty of landmarks like Table Mountain.

The clothes maketh not the peacock

The clothes maketh not the peacock
Contrary to what I'd previously believed a study conduced in Japan revealed that peahens (like the dull-grey one on the left) aren't at all impressed by the size or brilliance of the peacock's plumage, nor by how neatly it's been pressed at the dry-cleaners.

According to the study it's what the peacock says that makes all the difference. I have reason to believe this may too apply to the human race.

Run little sheep, run!

Run little sheep, run!
Not being an expert at sheep-identification, I'd guess that this could be a Blinkhaar Ronderib Afrikaner sheep. Feel free to comment if you disagree. :)

I read something interesting about the origin of sheep in Southern Africa. Apparently there's no evidence to suggest that there were any sheep in Southern Africa 2000 years ago! It's believed that the Khoi-Khoi people (who migrated from central Africa) introduced us to the wonders of lamb and mutton! Now don't we all just love the Khoi-Khoi? Of course we do! :D

West Coast water

Deutz-Fahn Tractor
Our West Coast isn't as fortunate as the rest of the Western Cape in that it doesn't have a great deal of surface water and most of the water used for agriculture has to be sucked up from deep below the earth.

In stark contradiction to the area's agricultural strength, the West Coast fishing industry booms with the seas along this stretch of coast teeming with Snoek, Cape Lobster, abalone, calamari, octopus, oysters, mussels and more.

If you like areas with hot and dry weather, plenty of fish, and a relatively low number of people per square kilometer - then our West Coast certainly is the place for you! If not, try the East Coast garden route. :)

If you’re driving through Paarl

Kikka restaurant and florist
If you find yourself peckish and in need of bunch of flowers while driving through the winelands town of Paarl I'd recommend visiting Kikka restaurant and florist at number 217 in Main Road.

Kikka's food was delicious, the coffee was good, and the atmosphere created by the beautiful decor and French background music made it the perfect spot for afternoon tea. We'll certainly return on our next trip to Paarl. :)

Is that building on fire?

The city from the sky
Well, no, even though it looked like it could have been the building wasn't on fire. The Terraces office block on Bree street appears to have unusual highly reflective pyramids on each corner of the building's roof. You can see what I mean if you take a look carefully at this photo taken by Damien du Toit.

If you're unfamiliar with Cape Town, then for reference, that's the V&A Waterfront in the top left corner; the colourful houses on the left (towards the bottom) are in an area known as Bo Kaap; and the CBD is slightly larger than the lower right quarter of the photo.

Not an Arum and not a Lily

Not an Arum and not a Lily
I was surprised to find out that the Arum Lily is neither from the Arum nor Lily genera. According to Gardening Made Easy this particular plant is named Arum Lily because the flower's appearance represents purity (and elegance).

An amusing fact that I discovered was that the Arum Lily is called a Varkoor (translated as Pig's Ear) in Afrikaans. Could the English and Afrikaans names have more contrasting meaning?! Purity, elegance, and a pig's ear. :)

Egyptian geese, a pest?

Egyptian geese, a pest?
These parents with their four goslings looked awfully cute as they swam around the dam with the rising sun highlighting their brown colouring. They are beautiful to watch, however along with the beauty comes a contrast.

The dams in the Durbanville area (Sonstraal dam and Vygeboom dam) use to be surrounded with green grass and were previously home to families of the ordinary white ducks and geese. Over a period of a few years Egyptian gees started nesting in the area and soon overtook their white neighbours in number and appeared to push them out of the area. I remember watching the birds for some time and observing that the Egyptian gees appeared more hostile whereas the white ducks just looked clumsy and meek.

Today there are hundreds of Egyptian geese in the area and since they typically eat grass, leaves and seeds, it appears as though their sheer number overgrazing has rendered the once-green grassy areas barren and sandy. It's sad really - those two dams specifically use to be such beautiful places.

Allergic to pollen?

Allergic to pollen?
Cape Town's in the midst of her hayfeaver season and with the last trees slowing down in the release of pollen we're now suffering the effects of the October/November release of grass pollen into the air. Take a look at the up-to-date pollen-count charts provided on PollenSA's website.

If you're planning on visiting Cape Town between now and the end of the year, and if you're one of those effected by pollen - be sure to bring along a small stash of antihistamines. :)

Walking the narrow path

Walking the narrow path
If you were to reflect on your life I'm sure that you'd easily think of dozens of times that you could have made different decision and left the path that you're now on to travel another.

Have you taken time to consider how different your life could have been if you, say, hadn't taken that job; or you'd grabbed that opportunity to travel abroad; or if you had stopped at that red traffic light? Wouldn't life be awfully interesting if when you reached the end of the road you had an opportunity to live it all over again?

I took this photo at the Majik Forest in Durbanville.