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TRAVELBUCKET

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HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, KING WILLIAMS TOWN

The first and foremost thing that struck me about King Williams Town, as we drove into the centre of the town, is the abundance of steeple chases complimented by the purple jacarandas  that was coming into bloom dotted all over town. King Williams Town started as a mission station on the banks of the Buffalo River in 1834 and boasts a number of old and interesting buildings.  This probably also explain the abundance of steeple chases that you can see when scanning the horizon.  While having breakfast at the Spur I had a good vantage point to admire yet another Sophy Gray church.  When reading up on the history of the stone churches I became hooked on this remarkable and inspiring woman that Sophy Gray was and now try to find as many of her churches as  I possibly can.  It seems they just have the habit of popping up in… Read more >

DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH, GEORGE

Situated in the main road of my home town a visit to the church is a relaxing and peaceful outing and is open to visitors, but take cognizance that it still is an active church so be respectful, please. Here you can witness the incredible history, architecture and craftsmanship that are present at this stately building which is also declared a National Heritage site. The church’s story starts a decade or so before it was inaugurated.  On 14 April 1832 Rev Ballot laid the first cornerstone of the building, but because of financial problems the building took twelve years to complete.  But then the church suffered the unwelcome event on 13 September 1905 when the steeple collapsed after 10 inches (+- 250 mm) of rain fell in three days.  The congregation bravely started with reconstruction work and the present bell was bought at the time. The London firm, Philipson and Stow, presented… Read more >

ST CUTHBERT’S, PORT ELIZABETH

Tucked away in Westbourne Road in Port Elizabeth is St Cuthbert’s Gray Memorial Church, which was consecrated in March 1884 and commemorates two saintly men St Cuthbert and Bishop Robert Gray.  (Grays’s wife is the legendary Sophy Gray who designed and built numerous other small chapels dotted around the country). It is called St Cuthbert’s because of Bishop Robert Gray’s connection with the See of Durham. With the expansion of Port Elizabeth’s residential area to Westbourne Road and surrounds the need for another Anglican church was seen and in June 1882 the Town Council granted a piece of ground for the erection of a church in memory of Bishop Robert Gray. Due to lack of funds the first building was of wood-and-iron, designed by Mr WT Miles, the municipal architect. The new chancel (the area around the altar of a church for the clergy and choir) was built in 1889… Read more >

CHRIST CHURCH, MALACCA

The Christ Church is an 18th-century Anglican  church in the city of  Malacca, Malaysia  and  is the oldest functioning Protestant church in Malaysia. The church is built in the Dutch Colonial architecture style, which reminds me a lot of the buildings that we see in Cape Town, and is laid out in a simple rectangle . The ceiling rises to  12 meter and is spanned by wooden beams, each carved from a single tree.  The floors of the church are paved with granite blocks originally used as ballast for merchant ships.  The church bell is inscribed with the date 1698 suggesting that it was used for another purpose prior to the completion of the church. Originally painted white, the church and the neighbouring Stadhuys building was painted red in 1911 and this distinctive colour scheme has remained the hallmark of Malacca’s Dutch-era buildings since. Another World Heritage site that can be ticked off by… Read more >

SARDINIA BAY

On a quick weekend visit to my daughter in Port Elizabeth I was afforded the opportunity to visit and explore the less touristy but scenic beach of Sardinaia  Bay on the western side of Port Elizabeth.   The morning was greyish but quite pleasant when we set off from home in St Georges Park. Our aim was to do a cache here, but on arrival was pleasantly surprised to see that the locals were out and about with dogs and children enjoying a sort of windless day – only a slight breeze tucking at my pants, so quite pleasant! We walked up the dune and spent some time on top of it to admire the views and breathe in the fresh sea air.  Fantastic.  I must say our country must be one of the most beautiful places on earth that God has created!  Reluctantly we made our way back down… Read more >

FRIENDLY STRANGER

In a previous life the premises was a small surfboard factory, but was given a new life and was turned into a popular eatery situated in the friendly city of Port Elizabeth away from the tourist strip.  That is what makes it so nice to visit – you meet the friendly citizens of The Bay while having breakfast or lunch or a beer or whatever you fancy at that moment. My daughter took me for an early Sunday breakfast and what a nice surprise!  The mixed décor creates a fantastic relaxed atmosphere to create just the right mood to have something delicious from the varied menu. A first for me was the “craft” juice – something to the likes of craft beer, but a healthier option.  But do not forget that they also serve some craft beer here!  This is not just a coffee shop but much more.  It was… Read more >

LIVINGSTONE AND STANLEY

While all wrapped up in winter woollies we traversed the Outeniqua pass towards Oudtshoorn before sunrise.  Our aim for the day was Minwater 4×4 (owned by Louis Jordaan) near Oudtshoorn with Livingstone the Landy accompanied by Stanley (the coffee flask) – two true explorers side by side! As the sun was starting to lift its head there was time for a quick early morning cup of coffee  and a rusk with Stanley providing the hot water source.   It was on the chilly side so  we did not linger long before we continued the drive. The sun was slow to rise and the shadows cold and deep.  We had breakfast while the fog was still hanging low over Oudtshoorn and the valley down below.  What a privilege to live in Africa and enjoy life from the window of your old Land Rover. We all enjoyed a nice day out in… Read more >

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