Arrived here this afternoon after a very pleasant journey from last night’s campsite. We saw Table mountain, first in the distance and then gradually nearer and nearer. Mind you, it’s still a long way away. It feels very “Western”, very colonial and not very African. We spent a few days here.
Stellenbosch Town Centre (Please click on any image to enlarge gallery)
Stellenbosch is about 50 km east of Cape Town and is the second oldest town in South Africa. It was named (like Simon’s Town) after the former Governor Simon van der Stel. The town is situated on the banks of the Eerste River (‘First River’) and has some fine examples of Cape Dutch architecture.
It is also known as ‘Eikestad’ (‘Oak City’) because of its oak tree lined streets. Wines from the Stellenbosch region are known internationally and rank among the best in the world. Stellenbosch is also home to one of the country’s oldest established universities with over 25000 students. There is a bustling night life during the university term-time, with many night clubs catering for young people.
I spent a lot of time rambling around and stopping regularly to have coffee and cake or mango smoothies and cake or just cake and cake. I had my cake and ate it. The city is very walker friendly and quite different from other African towns I had visited before.
I spent a few very interesting hours strolling around the botanical gardens where a huge range of plants were on display, especially lots of bonsai trees.
Botanical Gardens (Please click on any image to enlarge gallery)
I came across this book in the botanical gardens bookshop. The photos was so realistic, I nearly jumped out of my skin.
Our next stop is Cape Town where the trip ends for 9 of my fellow travellers; leaving 5 of us to meander along the garden route to Johannesburg