I would like to share our recent trip through the winelands in Franschhoek and countryside close to where we live in the Western Cape.
First we went to Leopard’s leap for lunch. If you have been following my Weight Matters series you will know that I have been working at losing weight so it was the first time that I had celebrated with food. Although there was a lot to choose from I felt confident as I had developed and practiced good choices. Here is a sculpture of the leopard leaping.
Franschhoek is a great place to explore on a sunny day and there are many wine farms, cheese making and craft breweries along the way for tastings and lunches. The little town of Franschhoek is quaint and a wonderful place to visit, thus is one of our tourist attractions. It offers art galleries, coffee shops, historic buildings and interesting architecture as well as clothing and gift shops so it is pleasant to wander around.
We passed the Huguenot Monument at the end of Franschhoek as we headed for the Franschhoek pass. It represents freedom from religious tyranny and the figurine seen standing in the middle is a lady with a Bible in one hand and a broken chain in the other. These early settlers came from France to settle here during the late 1600’s because they were French Calvinists (following John Calvin who was a Protestant.) At that time Protestants were persecuted by the Catholics and they fled to places like United States and Africa seeking out new and safer places to live.
When the Huguenots arrived they were given two areas that are now known as Franschhoek and Paarl. Franschhoek was originally known as Olifantshoek (translated into English means elephants corner). There were, at the time, wild elephants that use to traverse across from the other side of the mountains seasonally. It is said that the elephant cows would calve in Olifantshoek as it was a luscious protected valley.
The pass was originally the elephant track forged by the elephants but it was very rugged so people could only commute by horseback. The old road was first build along this track in 1818 but later when the British governed they built a new road and these days you can still hike along the old elephant track if you attain a permit.
The French Settlers were wine makers and brought their wine farming skills over with them, as well as their secrets of crafting wines and brandy. Their knowledge and wine making skills contributed enormously to the expertise of the Dutch wine makers in the Cape and we now have many thriving wineries. We are therefore known for the Winelands in the Western Cape.
The scenic Franschhoek Pass
There are breathtaking views as one travels up the pass and luckily there are places where one can pull off the road to enjoy the scenes. I am also awed by the rock formations and the rugged rock faces.
Next time I will focus on Theewaterskloof Dam.
Remember: Life is a gift, be inspired and let it happen.
Take care till next time.