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Lovely parts of South Africa

fullsizeoutput_92bDuring my recent trip to South Africa, the wine regions of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch were recommended for me to visit.  I decided on Franschhoek (Afrikaans for French Corner) mainly because after some internet searching the township looked lovely.  It has centuries-old vineyards and traditional Afrikaans architecture as well as a lovely little tram that takes visitors to those old wineries.


source: internet

On my first day I decided to walk around the local area and have lunch in town.  What a beautiful town with the main street packed with cafe’s, restaurants and shops selling beautiful ornaments and other items.  Franschhoek has many cute statues around its streets, even a bicycle hanging from the roof of a restaurant.  I chose a sweet little restaurant and enjoyed a glass of delicious South African wine and a mushroom risotto.fullsizeoutput_91cfullsizeoutput_91dfullsizeoutput_924fullsizeoutput_91fEven Foliage Restaurant where I dined on my last evening had interesting statues on its tables.  I pre-booked this restaurant before I travelled to South Africa as it had very good recommendations on-line and its essential ingredients are foraged plants and mushrooms; very suitable for vegans.fullsizeoutput_921IMG_7152IMG_7155My entree and main meal were beautifully presented and tasted so fresh.fullsizeoutput_922fullsizeoutput_923My second day I took a ride on the wine tram, however I woke up feeling very unwell but as I had paid the tram fee and wanted to see the wineries I decided to go.  Once on the tram we were offered a glass of wine but I really couldn’t stomach it so went upstairs to enjoy the view.    Our first stop on the Blue Line was the Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate.  The winery is 325 years old and spread over forty-seven acres and quite beautiful.  We had an hour stop-over and I decided to walk around the grounds rather than taste any of their wines; just wasn’t feeling up to it.  The walk around the grounds were really lovely though.fullsizeoutput_92dfullsizeoutput_927 fullsizeoutput_928There is a small open gallery within the grounds displaying paintings and other art from leading South African artists and an evolving sculpture garden.  There is also a cheetah outreach centre within the estate where you can spend time for about R160 ($16AUD) as part of a conservation drive to help stop the reduction in their numbers.  I went and spoke to the  young lady but decided not to visit.fullsizeoutput_926fullsizeoutput_925fullsizeoutput_92afullsizeoutput_929I had no idea why I was so unwell.  I was trying to push through however once I returned to the wine tram I had to ask the driver to drop me back into town so I could return to my hotel.  That afternoon my illness had passed which was good as I didn’t want to be unwell for my next location; Thornybrook Riverside Lodge at Kruger National Park (more on that later).