Friday, 23 March 2007
For photos, click here and here.
Saturday, 17 March 2007
I also had the opportunity to meet the relatives of my sister's boyfriend, Malcolm: Toinette, Michael, their 3 children (Daniella, David, and Joshua), and Dandy (Malcolm's sister) hosted me for a few days, took me sightseeing, took me shopping, fed me, sheltered me, etc. They were great hosts! I was very happy to meet such a wonderful family.
I also took a tour of Soweto. What an interesting experience! I saw Nelson Mandela's old house before he was imprisoned and where Winnie spent her days while he was in prison for 27 years, Winnie Mandela's current house, and Bishop Desmond Tutu's house. I also saw the real Soweto townships and met some of the people living there. It was incredible to learn that some of the most expensive houses are located in Soweto .... and of course, some of the poorest! To see my photos, click here.
Monday, 12 March 2007
Our 3.5 days together were spent exploring the coast and the wine country by rented car. Despite the fact that the South Africans drive on the "wrong" side of the road, not to mention the perpetual warnings about car-jackings and theft, we managed quite nicely. The drive to the edge of the continent at Cape Point was other-worldy, reminiscent of some of the dramatic coast-lines and blue waters of the Mediterranean. Some of the beaches looked absolutely glorious, despite the uber-frigid Atlantic water temps.
Hanging with the African Penguins at Boulder beach was a highlight. The penguins came dressed in their best dinner jackets...(ok, weak joke, sorry). Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope were spectacular, although the winds were so monstrous that the svelte Mélanie was almost hurled into the air on our climb up to the summit (slight exaggeration for dramatic effect). But no wonder there have been over 600 documented shipwrecks around that bend over the last 400 years.
We also headed inland to Stellenbosch to do "the posh thing" and taste some wines. Actually, we were more into finding spectacular locations to have a nice meal accompanied by good wine and tremendous views. We were especially lucky at the Sylvanvale winery (pic below, taken from the winery's restaurant terrace). I should also add that South African wine was a revelation to me. Yum.
And just in case you're wondering, we did not fall victim to South Africa's infamous crime (although we do think the wheel on our car rental was punctured on purpose one night; fortunately we did not have to deal with the problem until the following morning -- in daylight). Ironically, the only time I was "threatened" was in Paris at the airport train station awaiting the TGV (Thalys) back to Brussels. I was approached by four totally emaciated mid-20 something men in broad daylight on a relatively busy platform. I could not understand what they were doing, since clearly it would have taken all four sets of their atrophied arms to pick up my 20kg suitcase. After encircling me (not kidding) they pulled out their customs official badges, as if they were the FBI. It was a bizarre public spot check of my bags and passport. I must have been looking particularly swarthy after the 10.5 hour flight from Joburg. ;)
For our "best of" pics (note: not all are yet uploaded), click here.
For all our South Africa photos, click here
Sunday, 4 March 2007
MK: Melanie and Lindsey - 2 of
The journey involved several stops along the way, not to pick up additional passengers (because we were already over capacity) but to purchase much-sought after food items: brochettes, cartons of buttermilk, grilled corn on the cob, donuts, etc. One female passenger was either starving and had not eaten for months or bored, because she atecontinuously (devouring six brochettes, two cobs of corn, and a donut or two) during the entire nine hour journey (yes 9, you read correctly).
The fiasco at the border (there is definitely a difference between “law-abiding
Just when Lindsey and Melanie thought they were nearing the finishing line and could see