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Tag Archives: travel

A Sunday bike ride.

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What a sight!! How beautiful is this? The coastal road in all its glory!

I know, I know, it is already Tuesday.

But I want to post some pictures from this past Sunday, because I enjoyed it so very much. And also, I don’t have anything profound to say at the moment…

We did a wonderful roundtrip – from home, we went through the Overberg district which is a beautiful area with rolling hills and wide open spaces, and it is well known for sheep, wheat and canola production. Onwards from there to the seaside where we had an early lunch in Hermanus where whale enthusiasts from all over the world go every year to do some whale watching. Onto the coastal road from Hermanus right up to Gordon’s Bay, and from there over the mountains and back home again. A 400km trip in total, and the perfect way to spend the day. 🙂

So, without further ado, onto the pics…

Wide open spaces of the Overberg district.
Coastal road.

It does clear the cobwebs, riding on a motorbike… And then I feel ready for whatever the week can throw at me!

My place.

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The beautiful town of Robertson.

I thought that I’ll introduce you to my place today.

‘My place’ is a town called Robertson, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, about 150 km from Cape Town. It is quite a large town, but still has that small-town feeling, which is part of the reason why I chose to buy a house here. The other part is that it is a beautiful area, and I feel very at home here. (It is a major wine making area, that might be why I feel so at home 😉 )

But I’m not going to do a huge amount of talking, I’ll show you in pictures what this area looks like!

My street.
Part of my back garden.

The rest of the pictures are of the general area, and I’m not going to explain too much – I’m sure you’ll see why I love living here!

A picture I took yesterday afternoon, after we did some unintentional bundu bashing!
Jacaranda trees.
About 10km’s from my house – in the mountains.
Winelands.
View from the cemetery.

Don’t you think it is a gorgeous place? I’ve got tons more photographs of this area, so be warned, you will see some more in future!

If you would like to know more about this town and the area, please have a look at this page, and you will get an idea of what you can do, where you can stay, and how you can thoroughly enjoy your stay here (bird watching, mountain biking, motor bike tours, olives and olive oil tasting, and so much more!) Also take a look at my Wine Wednesday posts which, of course tells you a little bit more about the wine aspect of the Robertson Wine Valley.

Until next time, stay safe, be happy and keep on planning your next trip! 🙂

Wine Wednesday (5)

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The view from the tasting deck at Springfield Wines.

I may be wrong, but it seems you guys are not really into the Wine Wednesdays? Do you want to know more about the wine specifically? Please let me know…

Nevertheless, today we are visiting Springfield Estate, just outside of the town Robertson in the Robertson Wine Valley, about 160 km from Cape Town.

I tasted their Miss Lucy wine about 4 year ago when visiting a friend in Pretoria, and loved every sip. Then I bought a house in Robertson, and discovered that Springfield is right on my doorstep! Happy days! 🙂

Springfield wines are really quality, delightful wines. Each and every one brings something to please the palate. The setting of the farm and tasting deck is peaceful and beautiful, and the ideal place to unwind and chill for a while. And best of all, the tasting and cellar tours are free!

Visit them virtually, and see what they are about. From the very first paragraph of their website, you will know that you are onto something good – ” – our need for perfection is driven by our honour – it is our honour that ensures that we will only ever release a vintage that has greatness, and nothing less.”

Amazingly, the farm has been in the hands of the same family since 1898, now flourishing under the vision of the 9th generation of French Huguenot descendants, who arrived in South Africa from the Loire valley in France in 1688.

Their philosophy is to make wine as naturally as possible, and quality is more important than quantity. Six delicious whites to choose from, and five amazing reds. As you browse their website, click on each of the wines to read more about their wine philosophy, and the wines themselves. If you ever come across Springfield wine, treat yourself to a bottle or two, you will be so glad you did! And visit them if you are ever in South Africa – worth a detour.

The cellars.
Wine tasting at Springfield.

Wine lovers, I hope you are starting to realize that the Robertson Wine Valley is worth a visit. You can spend a week here, easily, to visit all the estates and enjoy the beauty of the area, and the hospitality of our people.

Please note, I am not getting paid for this post – it is my own attempt to promote the area I live in because I think it is worthy to be ‘on the map’.

Until next time, keep calm and sip a glass of wine. 🙂

To go, or not to go…

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2004, my daughter and I in Paris, obviously…

The travel bug bit me at the age of thirteen.

I remember clearly, it was one day in an English class that I decided that after I finished university, I’ll become an air hostess so I can see the world. Those days there were strict parameters that you had to fit into to become one – no less than a certain height (I think it was around 5’4″), and no more than a certain weight. I held my breath throughout my teen years to see when I would stop growing, hoping, wishing I’ll be tall enough. And I was !!!! Yay!!

So, off to varsity went, to get a degree, so I can start traveling. While studying, the inevitable happened. I met my (now ex) husband. Long story short, when he asked me to marry him, I said on one condition – that we travel to Europe before we have kids. That never happened.

Fast forward many years – the kids are growing up and they don’t need me around all the time. I started sewing from home to make money and I saved like a demon, and the day came that I said to my husband that this coming year I’m going overseas, are you coming with? He said no, not believing that I’ll do it on my own. But I did. 2002, my first trip to Europe (or anywhere!), and it was amazing! I stayed in Vienna with friends for a week (I also visited Salzburg, Hallstatt and a few other places in Austria with them), and then I went to the Netherlands for a week, via Paris.

Two years later, an even better trip – I got to go with my daughter when she finished school, and it was a blast, to say the least. Sharing these experiences just take the level of enjoyment up so many notches!

It was not an easy decision to go that first time – I hated leaving my kids, but I knew they were at a stage where they’ll be okay without me for a few weeks. And it was ‘now or never’ – I felt that I’ve been patient long enough for my dream to come true…

Since then, I’ve been to Europe one more time (thanks to my SO*), to the UAE with my youngest son to visit a friend, and to Canada a few times to visit my daughter and her husband (and the last time, my first little grandchild), and although I enjoyed every single minute of every trip, I’m still frustrated. (Does that sound ungrateful? I’m not, I appreciate that I’ve had more opportunities than most.)

2008, with my youngest in the UAE.
With my SO, Munich, 2012
At the top of Sulphur Ridge, Canada, with my daughter. 2015

I only started traveling relatively late in my life, (I’m reaching retirement age now), and I haven’t seen nearly enough places yet. I’ve got a bucket list as long as my arm, but I have to start realizing that I’ll probably never get to see all of them… I mean, it is all good and well to say ‘just do it’, but reality is it costs a lot of money, especially traveling from South Africa, since our money is worth nothing in other countries. I’ve got a partner and responsibilities here, which makes taking off on a whim difficult as well.

So I am an avid arm chair traveler now. I cannot get enough of YouTube’s travel channels, I watch them all the time. And who knows, I might get to see a few more places on my wish list in real life, if my health permits!

( Thanks journey-junkies.com for giving me the idea for this post. It is an amazing thing if one can live out your dreams, but for some of us, the reality of life gets in the way. Enjoy your travels, we’ll live vicariously through you!)

Until next time, stay safe! 🙂

Wine Wednesday (3)

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One of the blocks at Van Loveren.

Time for wining again! 🙂

I skipped a couple of weeks, but I decided that I’m not going to break my head about that, as long as I do a Wine Wed. every two or three weeks, and it is on a Wednesday, at least.

So, I think today I’ll do a place that I’ve been to the most. That in itself should tell you something. Today we are visiting Van Loveren Wines.

Van Loveren is very well known in South Africa, as they have a very wide range of wines, and they have been going for three generations – the one stronger than the previous, every time. It all started in 1937 when Hennie Retief’s father bought him the land, later his two sons, Nico and Wynand took over from him, and now it is their four sons (the Four Cousins), that are running the show. Their success has much to do with their courage to take risks, and innovative thinking.

They have amongst many others, the Van Loveren Wines, their Heritage Range, the Christina wines, the Single Vineyard Heritage Range, the Rhino Run wines, their Premium Conservation Range, the Five’s Range, their Empowerment Range, Tangled Tree wines, their Eco Range, and Four Cousins, their Lifestyle Range. To see all their ranges and wines, and their history, please click on the link above.

I love visiting the winery, because it is in such a beautiful setting, and they have a gorgeous area under the trees where you can do your wine tasting and relax with friends and fmily. Their wines are delicious, and my personal favourites are the Van Loveren Colombar, and the Van Loveren African Java Pinotage. I always have a bottle or two (or more, but who’s counting?) of Van Loveren at home in my little wine rack.

My youngest son, doing some wine tasting with me at Van Loveren, just before he left for Ireland.

There is a lovely place to have lunch – Christina’s Bistro, where you can also sit and eat under the trees (weather permitting) and enjoy your food, your wine, and the stunning garden. They offer wine tasting, cellar tours and garden tours, and there are hiking and mountain bike trails.

The gardens.
The cellars.

All in all, I would recommend a visit to Van Loveren Wines should you ever be in the Robertson (Breede River Valley) area of South Africa, it is definitely well worth a visit.

Until next time, blog friends, enjoy your wine, but please don’t drink and drive. 🙂

PS. This is NOT a paid advertisement, or sponsored in any way, this is me promoting the area I live in, and the excellent wines that are produced here.