Tag Archives: sky

Never hide

Never hide
I spotted this advert from the corner of my eye and immediately did a double-take. For a moment it looked like Cape Town had overnight become extra-liberal and allowed posting topless woman on billboards. Alas, it's not the case. Haha. :)

Sunlight betwixt itchy-scratch grass

Sunlight betwixt itchy-scratch grass
This is a similar photo to the one I posted yesterday, but I really liked this one because of the sun shining though the grass. It reminds me of summer days, as a child, playing on the lawn and becoming itchy all over. Those were the days hey? :)

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. :)

Get smarter and paint with light

Paint with light
Don't you love the reflection in the water? The photo looks to me like it should really have been a painting - perhaps a Monet - don't you think? :)

Sitting on the banks of the small dam at the Majik Forest (map) was one of the most tranquil moments that I'd had this whole year. The air was cool but the sun was warm, there wasn't a breath of wind and I wasn't distracted by thoughts of having to be elsewhere. It was perfect.

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Sky, mountain, grass

Sky, mountain, grass
This time of the year is probably the best time to travel the Cape province's inland countryside. Around time we'll often have cool, yet bright and sunny, windless days - whereas during summer our inland countryside is terribly hot and often windy.

The only problem with visiting Cape Town from abroad during winter is that the weather is so unpredictable - your visit could co-inside with superb weather like this, or with two weeks of rain, often accompanied by wind. Sorry about that. :)

Yellow fields and blue skies

Yellow fields and blue skies
We took a drive out to Riebeek Kasteel - a little town in the Riebeek Valley recently. If you've been out into the Cape countryside, I'm sure you'll believe me when I say that the view in real life is so much prettier than what this photo portrays!

In case you're wondering, the white nets that you see in photo cover the grape vines. I assume that they're used to protect the ripening grapes from the harshness of the sun. It's curious to me though that only this patch is covered - do you think it could be because this particular patch is used to provide grapes for late-harvest wines?

Winter at the beach

Winter at the beach
We often have beautiful clear weather in winter days, and were it not that on these days the air temperature remained at or below 20°C you'd most likely find this beach cluttered with people.

We do so miss the sun in winter. Even though we have plenty of sunny days, there are still far too many dull and grey days for my liking. Perhaps when I'm rich one day I'll follow summer around the world. Good plan, don't you think? :)

A beautiful view

If you saw yesterday's photo then you'll no doubt have realised that this photo was taken from the same location. From here the beaches of Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno stretch into the distance from this vantage point.

During summer months the roads in this area get choked with traffic and available parking spots become about as scarce as hen's teeth. I've often considered how awesome it would be to live here, but then when I get stuck in single-lane stop-start traffic on sweltering hot days - I'm not too sad that I live where the roads are wide and congestion is at a minimum.

Click here to participate in my quick poll.

Blue skies and purple flowers

Blue skies and purple flowers
I'm sure if you've been to Cape Town before that you recognise Camps Bay beach and the Twelve Apostles mountain range in the background of this photo. This, dear friends, is the Cape Town we live for. Blue skies, towering mountains, still air, clear water, and of course, the beauty of nature.

Chris and I agreed, in the comments of a previous post, that Cape Town is fantastic at this time of the year. I *hate* leaving for work in the dark and leaving the office at dusk in the winter months. These days I wake up to a brightly-lit room - and and atmosphere that shouts "get up, get out!". Cape Town's winters can be pretty - but OMW there's no beating summer!

Cyclist cycling

Cyclist cycling
Did I ever mention that I was moderately into cycling towards the end of high school and while I was studying? While I never actually took part in any races (it's not my thing), but my cousin and I enjoyed taking rides out towards Stellenbosch or to the Big Bay and around to Melkbos. They were fun times, and I was far fitter then than what I'm now. The irony is that it would be far better for me to be fitter now than back then, and while I've been saying it for a while now - I really have to do something about whippin' myself into shape again!

This photo was taken on Wellington Road, as it leaves suburban Durbanville and enters the farming district.

Skyscraper City

A big old skyscraper
Please indulge me, leave a comment, and try to guess which building this could be. It's located in the city's CBD, the style isn't *that* common, and it's found on the corner of two major roads.

Compared to other cities, Cape Town doesn't have a huge number of skyscraper-type buildings, so especially for residents, this shouldn't be such a tough question. :)

Sea, sand and a setting sun

Sea, sand, and a setting sun
This photo is a different perspective on yesterday's sunset picture. I loved the reflection of the sun's rays on the wet sand - there's something so calming and thought provoking about the reflection, the fading light, and the still ocean.

Perhaps being almost surrounded by wide open ocean is what makes Cape Town so attractive to her residents - and to visitors I guess. Were it not for the (often frustrating) wind, our city could be one of the most perfect places on earth. Although, I guess were it not for the wind perhaps we'd be one of the most smoggy and dirty places on earth... :-/

New Year’s blue moon

Blue moon on New Year's Eve
"Blue moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own..." were the words that Kerry-Anne remembered listening to on the radio on a New Year's Eve 20 years ago when she found herself babysitting while the boy that she had a crush on at the time was at some New Year's party - with another girl presumably. :)

New Year's Eve saw a blue moon in the sky, in other words, the second full moon in December... and apparently (according to my great oracle, Kerry-Anne) the last occurred 20 years ago - she remembers it clearly. ;)

As we head full-steam into 2010, and especially if you've been working far too hard, we both wish you all a year of love, laughter, and lots of lucre!


City and the bay

When I was younger I used to love doing jigsaw puzzles during the school holidays. The puzzle pictures that I liked most were the ones that evoked a sense of place. I liked pictures of city streets, or quaint alpine wooden houses with window boxes full of flowers, or horses grazing lazily in a field somewhere. I wasn't much into baskets of kittens, or underwater scenes featuring dolphins.

I think that what I enjoyed most about putting these puzzles together was the way that I got drawn into the scene; it was escapism, just like reading a really good book. There's something about this photo that makes me feel the same way - I could stare at it for hours. Now if only someone would make it into a jigsaw puzzle for me. ;)

Another view for a clue

Another view from the room

Here's another visual clue to the location of our friend's house, mentioned in our previous post. Isn't this view just divine? Even though it's quite a distance to travel from here through to the city centre for meetings or social events, I can just imagine that coming home to this heavenly picture makes all that driving seem somewhat insignificant.

And then, of course, there's always the possibility of spotting a whale frolicking in the surf...

A room with a view

Room with a view

This weekend we visited a friend of ours who lives on the other side of the planet. At least it seemed that way, given the distance we had to drive to reach her house.

I have to say, the trip was entirely worth it though, for this is the view that greeted us when we arrived. The small seaside village that our friend calls home has plenty of holiday houses, and isn't too far away from Cape Point.

You'll win a great deal of respect if you can guess the name of the village from just this description and the photo above. Have a try - where does she live?

Summer is approaching

Summer is approaching

Even though our gardens are still enjoying rainy days, the smell of summer is already in the air. Well, at least in my nostrils it is. Spring has already arrived - trees and shrubs are sprouting leaves, flowers are blossoming and the air is slightly warmer than it was a month ago.

Summer in Cape Town is fantastic, with the only really bad part being that locals find themselves busy at work, many of them indoors, hidden away from the beauty of summer. The things that make it bearable for them (us :) ) are holidays, and the fact that summer days last until after the working day, with the sun setting after 8pm. Even when it's dark the warmth of the day lasts late into the night.

You can tell I can't wait, can't you?

Careless litter

Field of litter

I took this photo while walking back home after leaving the Kwikspar (mentioned in my last post). Whilst the field's not a complete litter dump, I found it annoying that every now and again I came across of a piece of careless litter like the one presented in the photo.

Even as a kid I would never have dreamed of throwing my chocolate wrappers on the ground. Even if they fell by accident I'd pick them up. Even if the wind blew them beyond reach, I'd chase them down. Why is it that some think it's okay to not take care? Do you think it's that they simply don't think about what they're doing? Do you think that they believe that someone else should chase after their rubbish because they're too awesome to have to deal with it?

A Wednesday morning sunrise over Table Bay

Sunrise over Table Bay

I took this photo this morning at about 07h50, at a location just past the Table Bay Hotel at the V&A Waterfront. I overheard several people say that the sunrise this morning was the best that they'd seen in a long time, perhaps even the best ever!

Yesterday I gave a clue as to what I'd be doing today, but given that only Hilda from My Manila commented on the post I'm guessing that the clues must have been too vague. Well, either this, or the Internet is ignoring me... :-/

Today's clue in the photo above is the last one and will surely help narrow it down. In fact, I'm sure by now you have a fairly good idea of what I did this morning. Still, today's clue will help you uncover only one half of the puzzle... with the other half still represented in the second clue from yesterday's photo.

Who in the world is Dratlock?

Concrete pylon

I have no idea who Dratlock is. It may not even be someone's name, nickname, or callsign. Does anybody have an idea as to who or what it is?

I've posted photos of graffiti in Cape Town before, mostly of mural art rather than instances of vandalism. The reality is that just like any city ours has its fair share of graffiti that is not always the most appealing or artistic type. Plenty of tax money ends up being spent on cleaning up the mess instead of on improvement projects, or benefiting the community in some way. The City of Cape Town is however in the process of drafting a by-law to address graffiti. The by-law will put in place a graffiti unit that will focus on the problem and be in a position to lay civil and criminal charges against offenders.

I remember years ago when we visited Sydney my nephew mentioned that kids under 18 aren't allowed to buy spraypaint at all... and in fact may not be in the possession of such unless in the presence of an adult! This law is much like the law that prevents kids in South Africa from buying cigarettes. The reality is that many kids under 18 manage to buy smokes anyway, so I don't believe limiting who may buy spraypaint would be very effective. In fact, it would have totally sucked if this law were in place in South Africa when I was younger. I remember buying loads of paint in my youth to spray everything from skateboards to science projects, and even shoes! Seriously.

If you are an artist, then don't worry too much. It seems as though the by-law will cater for graffiti artists, providing areas for them to express their art... which I must say, is often just astounding.

And sometimes it’s the big things :)

Table Mountain after sunset

There are so many fantastic sunset spots in Cape Town: Clifton 4th Beach, Summerville in Camps Bay, Signal Hill, Table Mountain itself, Scarborough, upstairs at Wakame in Mouille Point, Blouberg Beach (which is where today's photo was taken), the top of Tygerberg Hill, Lovers' Lane... if you live in the city, or have been here, which is your favourite? And yes, I know, that's like asking you to name your favourite dessert - but give it a try anyway.

As much as I love all the other spots, I'd have to say that the two most spectacular sunsets I've ever experienced were the two I watched from the top of Table Mountain. Clifton 4th Beach is a close second, though, and a bit more accessible, to be fair. :)

Paragliding off Lion’s Head

Lion's Head

Lion's Head is a very popular launch spot for paragliders in Cape Town. That's not at all surprising, of course - can you imagine what the view must be like from up there? Actually, as it turns out, you can do more than just imagine it. There is, in fact, a way for you to paraglide from Lion's Head without leaving your chair.

This post has taken a little longer to write than it should have, because in the course of my research I discovered an awesome-beyond-words paragliding simulator on the Paragliding Earth website. And I've been paragliding all around Lion's Head for the past half an hour.

If you'd like to try it for yourself, go to the listing for Lion's Head, and click on "Fly on this site: PG simulator in GoogleEarth!". You'll need to have the Google Earth Plugin installed. And while you wait for the landscape to load up, you can prepare for your flight by reading everything you need to know about paragliding from Lion's Head.

Have fun, and happy landings!

Partial eclipse of the sun

Partial solar eclipse from Cape Town

Once every month, the moon moves in between the sun and the earth and casts a shadow; but most of the time the position of the moon's orbit relative to the earth's means that this shadow misses us entirely.

This morning, however, we got to see the first solar eclipse of 2009 (and the best one that will be visible from South Africa for several years). The eclipse was only partial, with a maximum coverage of about 65% visible from Cape Town just after 8am.

Of course, a partial eclipse doesn't mean darkness by any means, despite what you see in the photo - the sky was actually perfectly blue, but Paul took the photo using a very high shutter speed and small aperture. Everything seemed to take on a slightly paler, softer look, though, almost as though the earth and sky were covered with gauze.

And don't worry, no eyes were harmed in the making of this photo. ;-)

Update: Take a look at Justin Hartman's awesome shot of the eclipse. I love the colours of the swirling clouds - that'd look good on a canvas, don't you think?