Tag Archives: road

GPO Joint?

GPO Joint?
What do you think GPO Joint refers to? I googled GPO and found that it may refer to General Power Outlet - but I'm not sure exactly what it means in terms of this road marker. Do you think it's where the main power exchange, or junction, for the homes in this road lies?

Fountains in Paarl

Fountains in Paarl
Paarl (map) is a town of such contrast. The guesthouse that we stayed at was leafy, green, and beautiful - but just down the road the town's main road was unappealing and looked as though it was stuck in the '70s.

This really is a beautiful town, but if you travel the 60 kilometers from the city, don't expect to be wowed by the main parts of town. Rather look to the pretty places off the main road and on the outskirts of town. :)

Mini road trip through Malmesbury

Mini road road trip
Returning from our little road trip to Riebeek Kasteel we headed towards the well-known farming town of Malmesbury (map).

In case you're planning a trip, perhaps it's worth noting that Malmesbury isn't really a town to visit on an outing - in my opinion. The town itself isn't very pretty and rather the kind of town that one passes though when heading up the West Coast, or when going to places like Riebeek West, or Ceres.

Please, I'm looking for someone to disagree with me - so if you're keen on Malmesbury, please do leave a comment to say why you love it. I'm just being honest when I say that although the countryside is extremely beautiful, I've never found the town very pleasant at all.

Cloudy-grey on Bottelary

Cloudy-grey on Bottelary
This photo was taken on the Bottelary road that joins Bellville, Brackenfell, Kuilsrivier, and Kraaifontein to the Stellenbosch wine district. The word "bottelary" is an Afrikaans word that refers to a bottling plant - specifically, the kind that bottles wine. :)

The weather represented in the photo is actually in stalk contrast to the weather that we've been experiencing yesterday and today. In my next post I'll show you just how great the weather that we're having now is. After living here for so many years it's still astonishing to me how quickly and drastically the weather conditions change in Cape Town.

The narrow road, not often travelled

The narrow road, not often travelled
If you never caught the first post in the series of photos taken at Stellenbosch cemetery – click here to see what the photos are all about.

I first walked among the graves at Stellenbosch cemetery, taking photos, but later discovered that this little road wasn't only for official use, but was made for visitors to drive along - presumably because many people aren't able to walk the steep incline to see the graves of their loved ones.

I hopped in my car and took a drive through the graveyard - it was a little eerie, I have to admit.

Autumn leaves at Stellenbosch cemetery

Autumn leaves at Stellenbosch cemetery
If you never caught the first post in the series of cemetery photos - click here to see what the series is all about.

This place must have seen a great amount of sadness in its time but yet manages to be so beautiful. Isn't autumn lovely?

Waiting for 10 minutes

Don't you just hate roadworks? Don't you especially hate roadworks that result in you being parked in the hot sun for 10 minutes while oncoming traffic uses the only available lane?

The good thing about the stop/go system is that it forces us to pause in the midst of our rush to get somewhere. The bad thing about it is that 10 minutes can make all the difference when you're late for an important meeting. (Which we fortunately were not.)

Take a moment to pause your day... visit donothingfor2minutes.com. :)

Pedestrians are walking

Pedestrians are walking
Turning left at this interchange leads to the Waterfront, and continuing straight over these traffic lights lead to the N1 highway (heading out to the northern suburbs) as well as Eastern Boulevard and the southern suburbs.

This particular interchange always use to be a difficult crossing for pedestrians - but that was before the city received a makeover in preparation for the football World Cup in 2010. The pedestrian bridge (which you're able to see a part of on the right side of the photo) as well as the well-marked pedestrian crossing make it far easier that it use to be to cross the Buitengraght double carriageway.

If you visit the Google Map for this location - you'll notice that the satellite image doesn't show the bridge. If you then switch to StreetView you'll discover that depending on where you're positioned the bridge appears and disappears (showing that the various StreetView photos were taken some time apart).

If you read this article (and click on the links to StreetView) months or years after January 2011 you may not see the difference in StreetView - Google may have sent the little StreetView buggy around to update it's records. Sorry about that! :)

Sunset road

Sunset road
I took this photo from a friend's balcony in Green Point - facing in the direction of Sea Point. Isn't the sky just beautiful?

Perhaps it doesn't look that way from this angle, but the roads in this area are so narrow that everyone parks on the curb in order to prevent this two-way road becoming fit for only a single lane. The little green Mini Cooper that you see parked on the curb is Kerry-Anne's. You'll notice that we decided to follow suit when parking. This was not only out of courtesy to other drivers, but also to prevent her little car from being scratched by other (under-cautious) drivers.

Cul de sac – you ain’t going nowhere

Cul de sac
Translated directly from French, "cul de sac" means "bottom of bag" - and in this case means exactly what you guess, this road leads nowhere. It's a dead end.

In South Africa, we normally have these words painted on the entrance to a dead-end road, as well as a small rectangular green sign displaying a T-symbol where the vertical bar of the T is white and the horizontal is red. I guess what they're trying to say is, "slow down lest you come to a sudden and unexpected stop" - and "no, this isn't a shortcut". :)

Cape Town’s strange weather

Beautiful beach weather
The weather the past week, or more, has been extremely topsy turvy. It feels almost as though winter and summer have struck a deal and agreed to alternate sunny and warm days with cold and rainy ones.

Fortunately, we struck it lucky this weekend with both Saturday and Sunday holding the most beautiful weather suitable for relaxing at the beach and sipping on sundowners, or spending the day at the swimming pool and braaing in the sun.

This is Cape Town folks. :)

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!

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. :)

The Old Paarl Road

Old Paarl Road
The Old Paarl Road starts in the suburb of Bellville and runs parallel to the N1 national highway, through Brackenfell, Kraaifonten, and other suburbs all the way to Paarl - and beyond in fact.

I wasn't around at the time, but at some point I was told that the Old Paarl Road was the main route that one took to get to Paarl (a farming town about 60 kilometers from Cape Town) before the N1 was built.

Cape to Kruger – a quick weekend getaway

OR Tambo Airport

I mentioned in my previous article that we would be on away a short holiday in Kruger National Park (one of Africa's largest game reserves, north-west of Johannesburg).

Kerry-Anne and I woke up bright and early on Thursday morning to catch a two-hour flight from Cape Town International to OR Tambo International in Johannesburg. Once there, we waited at the arrivals area (shown in the photo above) to be whisked away by Thabo, one of the lodge's drivers and probably the most jovial person I've had the pleasure of meeting in a while. :)

I'll tell you a little more about our our first day in the Balule Nature Reserve in my next article, but in closing let me say that the five-hour drive to Tremisana Lodge in the Balule Nature Reserve (part of the Greater Kruger National Park) was awesome, because I didn't have to drive! :) The route winds its way through some beautiful scenery, with wide-open skies and seemingly endless fields. We were driven through several towns that we'd never visited before, the prettiest of which was definitely Dullstroom, where we stopped for lunch.

If you don't fancy the five-hour drive, there is another option: you could instead fly to Phalaborwa or Nelspruit airport, both of which are much closer, though a lot smaller, than OR Tambo. If you have limited time, this would be a great idea!

An uncommon perspective in the city

Cape Town
I took a photo of this uncommon view from the top of the Golden Acre building (map) in Cape Town. The road below is Castle Street that further on becomes Parliament Street, finally leading right to our parliament buildings.

Well-hidden entrances

Concealed driveways
This road-sign always puzzled me when I was little. I couldn't understand why they would actually put up a sign to tell us about these "concealed driveways". I mean, surely they'd been concealed for a reason? Wouldn't their owners be a bit annoyed that someone was going around putting up signs alerting everyone to their existence, when they'd tried so hard to hide them? (I've always been a rather literal thinker.)

These signs still baffle me a bit, to be honest, although for a slightly different reason. I presume their purpose is to warn us that people might unexpectedly be turning out of these concealed driveways - but surely it's the responsibility of the motorist doing the turning to make sure that the road is clear before they pull out into it?

The way up Signal Hill

The top of Kloof Nek Road
In this photo (map), did you notice the three cyclists coming down the road from Signal Hill? I imagine that they'd been for a morning ride up to the lookout point at the top of Signal Hill.

The ride up the hill is really very beautiful at sunrise. From the road you're able to see the bright glow ascending in the distance over the Boland Mountain Range and the low-lying mist over the city and suburbs that slowly clears as the sun heats the air. The city looks so peaceful from the hill that it's hard to imagine that there is anything but friendly happy people waking up from their slumber.

Rear view

A rear view
Yesterday's photo was taken a little while before this one. At the time I noticed a spectacular view of the mountain and city, behind me, bathed in the late afternoon sun. I took this photo in a feeble and failed attempt and capture the view.

Although the evening cools down substantially around this time of the year, we still have great weather. Skies are clear and there's not too much wind around - wind being something that Cape Town is well known for! I'm just hoping that this weather persists for two months more - I hate watching soccer in the rain. ;)

A West Coast goods train

A goods train

This photo nearly cost me my camera. :) I took the shot by holding my camera out the car window, with one hand, while travelling at about 110km/h. Fortunately I had a reasonably good grip as the force of the rushing air hit, trying to pluck it from my hand.

This train line crosses the N1 highway near the perpendicularly-running N7 highway (map), and is (to a great deal) used to transport cargo up and down our West Coast. I've always wondered exactly where it leads to, so I tracked if for a while on a map using Google Maps. If I'm not mistaken this line is the same one that takes passenger trains to well-known places like Evita se Perron in the little town of Darling.

If you're into small and intimate theatre experiences, I'd encourage you to see a performance by Pieter-Dirk Uys at Evita se Perron, his little West Coast theatre.

Longmarket Street in the old part of town

Bo Kaap
I, and many others, have written so much about Bo Kaap I feel it unnecessary rehash all the same information again. Normally, you'll find photos of brightly-painted colourful houses go along with stories about the area. This however is a different perspective on this old part of town.

If you're super religious about reading my posts (and thank-you if you are :) ), you may recall that in April of 2008 I wrote one about Longmarket Street and how (many years ago) farmers used it to get their produce down to Greenmarket Square.

This photo is a different perspective on Longmarket Street. Can you imagine taking a horse cart filled with produce down to the market way below? Wow! :)

The South African automotive industry

An old car

While driving on the N1 national highway, I passed this Mercedes Benz whizzing along at a comfortable 120km/h. Taking a photo while driving would have been tricky, so I handed my camera to Kerry-Anne who opened her window for this shot, almost losing my camera while doing so!

It may be of interest to you that the first Mercedes-Benz, the Benz Velo, arrived in South Africa in 1896, and in 1958 Car Distributors Assembly had the first Mercedes-Benz rolling off their production line.

In recent years our automotive industry has accounted for about 10% of South African exports and about 7.5% of our GDP. That makes the industry a huge contributor, providing stable income to thousands of people. The past two years have however been as difficult for the local industry as they've been for the global one. Fortunately however, the economy is turning and folk seem to be buying cars again... unfortunately I'm not one of those folk. :(

Clifford, Frank, and Table Mountain

Clifford, Frank and Table Mountain

Besides the proximity of Table Mountain being fantastic, this area of Cape Town, Vredehoek, has gorgeous views of the city, harbour, and Table Bay. As I'm sure you can imagine, this particular spot in Cape Town is highly sought after, making it impossible for most to afford a home here.

However, there's another price to pay for living in this area - and that would be the wind. When it's a beautiful day, it's awesome, but around this time of the year every now and again the wind howls like a troupe of irate banshees, leaving the only means to a peaceful night's sleep a comfy pair of earplugs! :)

People under the stairs… or the bridge…

People under the Stairs

This photo reveals a little more context around my previous photo. People under the Stairs is an underground hip-hop group from the USA... who by all accounts played at Zula Sound Bar on 20 November. If you're into hip-hop I'm going to guess that you've heard of this duo, but if not, take a look at their MySpace page and listen to a few of their tracks - they have some interesting stuff!

For interest's sake, this photo was taken in Gardens, where Maynard Street crosses under Mill Street (the M3). The area is an awesome place to just wander around and take photos. While it's not an unsafe area (and perhaps I'm being over-cautious), I did notice a few loitering people around, whom I avoided. So, if you do take your expensive camera on a walkabout, just keep your eyes open and all will be well.

District 5, aka De Waterkant, aka Cape Quarter

District 5, aka De Waterkant, aka Cape Quarter

Most locals would know that De Waterkant is also known as the Cape Quarter. I never realised, though, that it had previously been District 5, sibling to the infamous District 6.

Way back in the 1700s and 1800s it was the home of many Malay slaves, and then in about 1966 the government of the day forcefully relocated these people away from their sea view and mountain shade to the comparatively barren and flat Cape Flats. Unfortunately for the government, and definitely not according to their plan, it was not the upper crust that moved into District 5 - it was the bohemian liberals, free-thinking students, and proudly gay population. *snigger*

Today De Waterkant is still an energetic and colourful area with old buildings and cobble streets. It's an area that you should spend at least an afternoon exploring. Here's a map with a place marker to help you find this road. :)

Goodwood in the ’70s

Voortrekker Road in Goodwood

As a comment on my previous article, Jonathan suggested that Voortrekker Road is reminiscent of something out of the 1970s... and I do believe he's right. Were it not for the more modern cars in the photo you'd easily mistake this for a photo that my mom or dad may have taken.

I mentioned previously that I have lots of memories of Voortrekker Road - one of these is that I bought my first car from "Lekker Lieg Motors", which is just a little further along this road, on the right. "Lekker Lieg" is our interpretation of the letters that make up the name of the dealership. Roughly translated, the Afrikaans word "Lekker" means "Nice" and "Lieg" means "Lies". Put them together and I'm sure you get the idea. ;)

Voortrekker Road, Goodwood

Voortrekker Road, Goodwood

If you live in Goodwood, or perhaps did at some time in your life, I hope that you'll forgive me for saying that it's not the prettiest suburb.

I have lots of memories of the area, though, from visiting girlfriends and skateboarding with my cousin to going to see the annual Christmas-time parade in this, Voortrekker Road. Today the area just looks old and run-down, and from Monday to Saturday during business hours you'll always find the area heavily congested.

However, even though Voortrekker Road in Goodwood isn't the prettiest place to be, it sure is filled with an assortment of interesting small shops (and FAR too many used car lots!). If you don't live in Cape Town and find yourself here on holiday some day, and if you'd like to experience a little more of what tourists often don't see, pick an afternoon and take a drive down Voortrekker Road. Don't expect to drive fast, remember to keep your cool in the traffic, and I guarantee that you'll see plenty of interesting things. :)

Long and winding road

Red road bus

Have you ever been on a long-distance bus trip? When I was young, I used to go on a lot of school camps, and of course, we were always transported to and from the campsites by bus. Most of these trips were only two or three hours long, but on one occasion we travelled all the way from Cape Town to Pretoria (about 1400km) on a bus - an ordinary bus too, not one of those nice luxury ones with the soft seats, headrests and little curtains.

I guess it's not so bad when you're young, because it's kind of an adventure. Still, I remember it being a Very Long Journey. What's the furthest you've ever travelled by bus?

Highway of rain

Highway of rain

Whoa, where did all this rain come from? Kerry-Anne and I drifted out to Paarl to check out the "Persia to Paarl" festival that was being held at the Nederburg estate.

Sadly, on arrival we scoped out the scene and decided that it wasn't going to be worth the R160 entrance fee (for two of us)... so instead of photos of pretty dancers, lovely bottles of wine, or sparkling beaded jewellery, we bring you this somewhat grey, perhaps even depressing photo of a wintry Cape Town weekend. :( To be fair, it was raining kittens and puppies, so perhaps that was the reason for the festival appearing to be rather less exciting than we'd hoped it would be.

Perhaps next time, hey?