Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Russell Road Cemetery

No I'm not weird. I just like to explore old cemeteries. I've wanted to go and have a look around the old Russell Road Cemetery for so long and just never made the time. So the other day I decided to put on my Indiana Jones hat and headed over there for another of my grave yard exploration trips. The Russell Road Cemetery is one of the older cemeteries in Port Elizabeth and is situated on the hill side between Central and Richmond Hill. Some of the graves date back to the early part of the 19th Century.
The most significant grave in the cemetery is the white one in the middle of the above picture. It belongs to James Langley Dalton who was a survivor of the Battle of Rorke's Drift and the recipient of a Victoria Cross. (see post here)

Unfortunately due to its age as well as vandalism in the past, there isn't a huge amount of graves still visible in the cemetery. Some time in the past the municipality has taken the grave stones that has fallen over or that was broken off and cemented them flat (horizontally) into place over their graves. At least its one way of stopping the stones to be damaged more.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Graaff Reinet Statues

I still had a couple of odd monument photos from Graaff-Reinet lying around and decided to put them together and do a "Random ..." post for today.

This monument is in memory of Andries Pretorius, one of the Voortrekker leaders. It was erected in 1943 and can be found just outside of town on the way to Middelburg. This is the route to the north and into the interior which the Voortrekkers followed in the 1830's.

In one of the residential areas there is a monument dedicated to Boer soldiers who died during the Anglo Boer War (1899 - 1902) The inscription reads "in memory of the fallen in the struggle for Freedom and Justice".

One of my favorite monuments in Graaff-Reinet is the bronze figure of the "victory Peace Angel", mounted on a high pedestal in front of the town hall. It is dedicated to local citizens, including Die Middellandse Regiment, who lost their lives in WWII.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Valley sunrise

Sunrise over the Port Elizabeth Harbour as seen from a viewpoint over the Baakens River Valley in South End. Sunrise and sunsets are my favorite photos to take, but due to the whole getting up early enough in the morning to get to see sunrise, I do more sunsets. LOL!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Klein Karoo landscape

The Klein Karoo is a narrow strip of land wedged between the Outeniqua Mountains to the south and the Swartberg Mountains to the north. Although its only about 70 kilometers wide, it stretched from the Langkloof in the direction of Cape Town as far as Montagu over a distance of a couple of hundred kilometers. The word "Klein" means little in Afrikaans and the word "Karoo" is a Khoi word which means place of thirst. Thus Klein Karoo means "Little Place of Thirst". The landscape is mostly dry and fairly barren, but it has a fantastic and alluring beauty of its own. Its even better when the moist air from the coastal side of the Outeniqua Mountains push through the valleys in the form of mist.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Insect skin

On our camping trip at the end of last year I found a few of these shedded insect skins on the trees around our campsite. I've been meaning to try to find out what kind of insect it is, but just hasn't gotten around to it. I am sure either Joan or Zane would know. Perhaps I should ask them. Mmmmm.... Or perhaps they would see this post and comment about it...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wire Madiba

Walking around one of the craft shops at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town the other day, I came around a corner and face to face with this life sized wire mesh Madiba.  What a stunning work of art and the likeness to Nelson Mandela was amazing.  I wipped out my camera and immediately put it back, walked over to one of the shop assistants, explained that I would like to feature it in my blog and got permission.

Apparently they had two and one has been sold already.  I'm surprised that this one asn't gone as well as it would make such a stunning centre piece in some office entrance area.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

V&A Clock Tower

Probably my favorite building at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is the old Clock Tower.  Situated on the far side from the main shopping centre area, the Victorian Gothic-style Clock Tower has always been an icon of the old docks and has become an important focal point in the Waterfront's recent developments.  The building was originally the Port Captain's Office and was completed in 1882.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grave cross

On a recent exploration of the Russel Road Cemetery here in Port Elizabeth I found this very interesting grave stone cross.  It kinda reminded me of a Celtic cross and probably got its inspiration from the Welsh connection amongst the 1820 British Settlers as the grave dates from the mid 1800's.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Flowering Aloe

There are few flowers, in my mind, that comes close to the aloe when in full flower. Driving through the countryside and seeing hundreds of these magnificent flowers in full bloom makes me want to stop and pull out my camera. This one I photographed in the Gamtoos Valley west of Port Elizabeth.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cape wreck

Lying just off the beach at Bloubergstrand in Cape Town for the last year or so is the wreck of the Turkish ship Seli 1. The Seli 1 apparently dropped anchor in Table Bay when the anchor broke off in large swells. The ship drifted towards shore and landed on a sandbank before being pushed onto rocks which punctured a hole in the side of the boat. Fortunately it didn't cause any pollution along the coastline.

Authorities have been unable to refloat the boat due to the damage caused. The cargo and oil has been removed and the ship will now be cut up as scrap metal. So for now it has become part of the Cape landscape and photographers' subject.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Little Mr T's christening

Every now and then when something of significance happens in my family, I do the odd family post. This is one of those occasions. Two weeks ago was my nephew, Little Mr T's christening.
A family photo of my Sis, BiL, Lielies and Little Mr T

Friday, September 17, 2010

V&A boats

My weekend in Cape Town was a bit of a dull and dreary one, so I didn't get to take too many bright pictures. Stopping by the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, I wanted to get a couple of photos of the different boats in the harbour for a post. Not the best, but here they are.

Looking to my left, there were fishing boats lined up, while...

... to my right there were luxury yachts with upmarket apartments in the back.

A closer look of the luxury boats. Some are for sale and the price tags range from like R6 million upwards.

One of the bigger fishing boats up close

Another fishing boat in the dry dock for repairs

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grave yard flowers

I found these flowers growing in St Mary's Cemetery the other day on one of my grave yard exploration trips. I'm not sure what they are, but any passer-by would have been very confused about this dude crawling around between the old graves.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stadium Lake

The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth seen from across the North End Lake

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sandy Bay

Everybody in South Africa knows (or should know) the name Sandy Bay. It's probably the only public beach in the country where it's acceptable to let it all hang out. And with that I mean going nude (Like you didn't know what it means). So on my recent visit to Cape Town we were driving along the Atlantic Seaboard when my brother asked me if I've ever been to Sandy Bay. Now I had heard that you have to walk quite far from Llandudno to get there, but this seemingly isn't the case. I think somebody tried pulling the wool over my eyes. Obviously he offered to go and show me.
The walk along the coast only takes about 10 minutes or so and has some stunning (scenic) views and turquoise little bays. I felt a bit weird walk with my camera out in the open taking pics all the time, but we didn't really encounter anybody en route and non of those we did pass were naked or gave me any funny looks.

After a stretch of flat rocks we came over a crest and there it was... Sandy Bay... with no nudes. Bwahahahaha, how funny was that. Not that I was expecting many as it was late winter and a bit chilly. It's actually quite a stunning beach and I can see why its so popular in summer. Listening to my brother's rendition of what he saw the day he visited in summer, I may just have to make another trip... Heeheehee...

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Why am I posting a picture of a warthog. And not even a good picture at that. Let me tell you why. I have had this picture in my "to be blogged" file for ever waiting for one or two pictures to join it in a "Random ... theme" post or something likewise, but alas, nothing seems to fit in with the poor dude. Its been calling out... crying out actually, to be posted. So I can't handle it's whining anymore and decided to allow it to have its way. Here it is... Warthog.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How low can you go?

I was watching these guys perform at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town the other day...

... and this guy actually went under a burning rod balanced on dumpy (500ml) Coca-Cola bottles

Friday, September 10, 2010

Milnerton Lighthouse

Situated on Table Bay to the north east of Table Mountain is the Milnerton Lighthouse. Built in 1960, the lighthouse is in the suburb of Milnerton on the way to Blouberg. Even though the location is well inside Table Bay, this small stretch of coastline has wrecked more ships than any other coastline in South Africa. Over 150 ships have met their demise in the last few centuries. With the Urban development, a lot of land has been reclaimed changing the coastline and sadly the remains of the wrecks, along with their heritage, lie buried in tonnes of earth and concrete.

Unfortunately I only spotted it at about sunset on a rainy day, so there was no light to speak of when I took the photos. But I wanted it to be part of my lighthouses set. Next time I'll make an effort to stop by on a sunny day to get some proper pics.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cape Town Stadium

Looking at the new 55 000 seater Cape Town Stadium at Green Point from this angle it doesn't look so big...

... but as one gets closer the enormity of the city's new stadium, purpose built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup at a cost of R4,4-billion – or approximately US$600-million, starts to dawn on you.

The real impact the stadium has on Cape Town and its skyline only really hits home when you look at if from across Table Bay. This view being from Milnerton...

...and this one from Bloubergstrand

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

12 Apostles

The Twelve Apostles is probably the second most photographed mountain around Cape Town after Table Mountain's table top. The Twelve Apostles is part of the Tabel Mountain range as it stretched down towards Cape Point. The area in the distance is Camps Bay, an affluent area with a beachfront fringed by palm trees and trendy restaurants and night spots.

I always forget that my camera has a panorama setting, so I haven't used it much. I did try it out over here, but it will probably work better off a tripod.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shapes of not all round

Today's "Random ... theme" is Random shapes of not all round.

Oranges are round...

Rocks lying on the beach isn't quite round...
Mussel shells in a shell midden isn't round at all

Monday, September 6, 2010

Coca Cola Crate Man

Standing out (like a sore thumb) on quayside at the V&A Waterfront is Elliot the Coca-Cola crate man.

Elliot was built from 4200 (another website said 2500, so I'm not too sure) used crates for the FIFA World Cup as Coca-Cola was one of the main sponsors. It stands 18 meters high and weighs in the region of 25 tons. It was one of two built for the event with the other one being in Newtown in Johannesburg.

If I can give my personal opinion, I feel now that the World Cup is over Elliot should go. It looks very out of place on the V&A Waterfront and actually spoils the view looking across the harbour to the mountain from Nobel Square. Perhaps relocate him to the parking area at the Cape Town Stadium. But maybe that's just me.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Nobel Square

Although its been around for about 5 years or so already, I recently got to see Nobel Square at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town for the first time. Nobel Square pays tribute to South Africa`s four Nobel Peace Prize Laureates; the late Nkosi Albert Luthuli (1960), Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (1984), former State President F.W. de Klerk (1993) and former President Nelson Mandela (1993).

The life sized sculptures of the four Laureates were created by internationally acclaimed artist Claudette Schreuders and is a very popular attraction on the Waterfront with lots of tourists posing with them and taking pictures. The most popular of the sculptures is naturally Nelson Mandela.
The fifth sculpture in the square, Peace and Democracy, was created by Noria Mabasa and acknowledges the contribution of women and children to the attainment of peace in South Africa.