Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Blerrie Good Time

For those that don't know "blerrie" is Afrikaans slang for "bloody" which is a English swear word not only used for lots of blood.  

I won a soup competition with the restaurant Doppio Zero a few months ago.  My prize was a trip to Cape Town, which made me very happy because I would not have seen Carmen for another year if I did not win this trip!

Getting ready to board the Gautrain

Travelling on the Gautrain for the first time!

I had my first ever trip on the Gautrain, it is all so modern looking I expected a smoother ride but it was fun anyway.  What would be a hour drive is 15 min with the Gautrain!

I usually enjoy being at the airport but I was so excited to get going and to see my Carmen that the time till the flight left seemed to drag.

The weather in Johannesburg was dismal grey and heavy rain.  We were glad to leave it even more so when the captain said that the weather was good in Cape Town!

Flying to Cape Town

My family love to tease me about my spider solitaire addiction so of course Michael had to take a pic of me playing it on the plane.

Arrived in Cape Town

When we arrived in Cape Town I chased off to the car rental while Michael retrieved luggage.  The flight was delayed and I wanted to get to Green Point where Carmen lives before traffic.

Unfortunately there was a glitch with the rental car so we ended up having to drink coffee while the problem was sorted out.

Stuck at the airport with nothing much to do I took out my laptop.  Michael teased and said:

"First thing that Vivian does in Cape Town"

Eventually we arrived in Cape Town and went to the Waterfront to see Carmen.

Carmen is a manager at Alba lounge at the V& A Waterfront Cape Town.  Unfortunately we could not talk much as it was busy but I kept taking pictures of her.  Michael was whispering:

"Stop it you will get her in trouble with her boss!"

So I stopped.
That's my baby!
Carmen is as you can see extremely skinny, blond and she has green eyes.  People have many times asked me if I am really her mother ha ha.  I swear they did not swop babies in the hospital.  (That was Raewyn)  Carmen has her looks from her Dad's family.

I promise I did not drink, as I had to drive the rental!

Michael relaxing at Carmen's work

We could not talk much to Carmen so we decided to leave and drive to the Protea Hotel in Franschhoek.

Arriving at the hotel

 Once we had dropped off our bags we found a pub a few blocks away.  We stayed till after midnight to see in Michael's birthday.  We discovered a serial killer musician.

He not only murdered many of our favourite songs he also murdered his guitar.  Unfortunately the video that we took made him sound better than he actually did.  He would have received the wooden spoon on Idols.

We saw in Michael's birthday at the pub and at midnight we drank tequila shots and the rest is a bit fuzzy.........

The next morning we discovered that both the hotel we were staying at and Franschhoek the village are very beautiful.  We had breakfast at the hotel.  The chef makes the tastiest meatballs in a very unusual sauce he would only tell me part of the recipe.  There is a secret ingredient.  Hope it is not frogs toes or pigs nose.

Michael's says he is not sure how Famous the "The Famous Franschhoek Pancake House" is because up until our visit we had never heard of it before.

The Cape Dutch style building that the Western Cape is famous for. 

The smallest Pick n Pay supermarket that Michael and I had ever seen.  
Walking around in Franschhoek we went to a little flea market.  There was a woman selling samoosas that were snoek and crab flavour.  As I had never heard of these flavours before I decided to try them.  The best samoosas that I have ever eaten.

Long, long, long ago some people called the French Hugeunots came to the Cape because they were being persecuted for their religion.  They built this monument to symbolise their religious freedom in South Africa.

Me making sure that the ball does not fall.
This little old building is a police station.

Then came the only part of the trip we did not particularly enjoy.  Part of our prize was a wine tasting.  I was a bit concerned about this as I am allergic to wine.  My friends and family all reassured me that you can spit the wine out.  I had visions of a graceful wine estate in a glamorous old Cape Dutch style.  Sadly the place we went to was modern and boring.  

They did not even have a tour of wine making because they don't make wine on the premises.  This whole building is just for wine tasting.  No cheese and biscuits either.  Leopard's Leap is not a place I would recommend to anybody unless you are extremely into wine or extremely pretentious. The only thing I can say is the wines did taste good but that spitting thing is not for me.  How are you supposed to be elegant in a snobby place when you are spitting?

 Their kitchen goodies shop is obviously only for the very rich and famous.  Just one pot cost R4000 rand!

After the wine tasting we went to the local pub again,  I parked at the hotel because I did not want to drink and drive with the rental.  As Micahel had a painful and swollen toe (either bee sting or gout) and it was his birthday I had to make more or less four trips back and forth to the hotel because we kept forgetting things.

One thing I have not mentioned yet is Cape Coloured people.  They are extremely entertaining people.  When they swear at you, you know you have been sworn at!   I saw a Cape Coloured guy sitting in his beat up car with a bumper sticker on the back that said.  "Warning I am lower than my Grandmother's tits"  I wish I had the camera with me at that stage.

Being a bit tired from the night before and all the walking Michael and I went back to the hotel early.

Sunday morning we got up earliesh and had breakfast at the hotel.  Then we went to a chocolate tasting.  Huguenot Chocolates in Franschhoek does a tour twice a day.  They talk about the history of chocolate and they demonstrate how chocolate is made.  The best part is that they offer lots and lots of samples.  The lady that does the chocolate tasting tells you not to be shy and to take as much as you want.  Mmmmmm It was tasty and fun.  The Belgium gov funds this business and instead of having lots of modern machinery opted for labour intensive in order to employ as many local people as possible.  Thanks Belgium!

Those slabs in the background are massive that is the way that the factory in Belgium sends the chocolates to South Africa.  Mmmm I would not mind having that Dark Chocolate mmmmmmmmmmm.

After the Chocolate dream experience, we took the rental car back to the rental agency at the airport in Cape Town. It was my first rental car and I it is nice to have one to get around but I was quite happy to give it back. I was so nervous about driving it and it was like learning to drive all over again. Our car is old and falling apart and I had to get used to a clutch that works and breaks that respond immediately. 

Jason fetched us from the airport and he took us up to Signal hill and then to Table Mountain. The boys edged me on to walk up and down mountains with them. Eventually my body would not any more so they found me a sheltered waterfall to sit by. Michael wanted to walk in a cloud and he kept on up the mountain until he was in one. The wind was crazy on the mountain and I had visions of Michael and Jason being blown off.

This is where the boys abandoned me.


We decided that Monday would be our beach day but the weather decided not to play along.  Jason took us to some beautiful coastal villages.  On the way we went over a mountain pass.  On this pass there are warning signs.  They warn you about toads.  We think they may be killer toads that damage your car.  Jason and Carmen call them "Suicide Froggers"  Fortunately the toads did not get us!

Being blown away by Simon's Town

Carmen and I were in a submarine and she was my only crew so she had to do everything but she seemed to enjoy  it.

Carmen and I decided to take a photo of a photo in the naval museum because these boys were nearly naked.

The captain's cabin,  looks like Biggie Best meets James Bond.

Suicidal diver
My cap went overboard and the navy did not dive it out for me!
Toy museum
Yum at a fish and chips shop

The seal that you can hardly see was very friendly he kept doing tricks.

Group photo in Carmen and Jason's flat.
 We hardly had time together at the airport.  On the way to the airport Jason was pulled over because he had not put the new number plates onto his car yet. They removed his number plates and warned him that he has 3 days to replace them.  We had a lot of fun thinking what Jason and Carmen could do for the rest of the evening without number plates.  Like driving too fast past speed cameras.  Jasons car is not very fast so he doubted he would pull that one off so he thought perhaps they should go through red traffic lights and Carmen could stick her bum out the window.  My daughter and her boyfriend are going to be Cape Town's new Bonnie and Clyde, I am so proud.  I raised her so well.
Tired out and having a drink together before boarding the plane

We had a wonderful time.  I really fell in love with Cape Town.  I miss Carmen already.


  1. Well, what a wonderful post. I read it twice. Your daughter is beautiful, JUST like her mama! I chuckled at the spider photo! What a gorgeous part of the world. Sounds like you had an awesome time! Did you find out what snoek

  2. Well, what a wonderful post. I read it twice. Your daughter is beautiful, JUST like her mama! I chuckled at the spider photo! What a gorgeous part of the world. Sounds like you had an awesome time! Did you find out what snoek

  3. Thanks Rachel, ha ha at least I know you understand the Spider thing. Rachel I am a bit ignorant I thought there is only one type of snoek so I wouldn't know.

  4. Hi Viv, I'm a little late in getting to this, but have to tell you that I loved this post. I so want to visit South Africa. Your trip looks great. As do you. It's fun to see all those photos of you and your family. I can relate to the wine tasting. I live in CA wine country. Spitting is common and recommended or you'll get drunk pretty darn quickly with so many wineries. Of course, many do. And I loved the serial killer singer/guitarist. Funny! And walking in a cloud. Lovely. Great great fun. I feel like I was part of your adventure. Cheers!