We’re here! 2 1/2 hours to Toronto, 7 ½ hrs to Amsterdam and 11 ½ hours to Cape Town. Combined with 4 hours of wait time and we have a little over 24 hours of getting there. Left Bedford @ 2:30 on Wednesday. Dropped at the door of the 2Inn1 Kensington Hotel at 11:00 on Thursday. And we’re travelling light. Our luggage is still in Amsterdam. Those Dutch! They can’t even get a couple of suitcases on the right plane. No wonder they could never build a dyke that would hold water. Hotel looks nice. Done for the day.
Eventually dragged ourselves out of bed in the morning. After deciding what to wear that day, (Oh yeah, the same thing we’ve worn since leaving Bedford 2 days ago.) We head to the main house for breakfast & meet Stephanie, who along with Klaus, owns the inn. Super nice couple who insist on helping us with every detail around tours, dinner reservations and general activities. Strikes me that Claire could own a small inn. She certainly likes to tell people what they want to do even if they think otherwise. The thought passes though, as I remember that operating an inn involves cooking. Not going to work. Off to explore Cape Town, but first some context.
Settled by the Dutch in the 1600s while searching for an ocean route to India for spices. It took them awhile. Don’t forget, they can’t even manage to get a couple of suitcases from one airplane to another. Basically they hung around for a couple of hundred years until the British took it away from them. Here’s where it get interesting. Remember the Boers? You don’t really do you? Admit it. You’ve heard of the Boers and the Boer War all your life, but you don’t have a clue what it’s about. Well, you’ve come to the right place. In 100 words or less I’ll enlighten. But I’m afraid it will be a little Boering. (Sorry, I tried and I tried but I just couldn’t help it!). Over time a large majority of the Dutch settlers identified more with South Africa than with the Netherlands. Began doing their own thing including hooking up with the locals that preceded them. Even developed their own language, Africaans. They became known as the Boers. Don’t know why. My theory is that they had so much time on their hands that they just talked and talked and talked in that stuttery Dutch language until people started saying “You are so boring” and the name just stuck. (That’s the last one, I promise). Anyway moved inland, did their own thing for a long, long time.
Since they didn’t identify all that much with the Netherlands anymore, they didn’t much care when the Brits took over and the Brits didn’t much care about them, even eventually giving them more territory and independence….. until that is, silver and gold was discovered at the end of the 19th century in territory recently given to them. You can see where this is going now can’t you? Follow the money. Can you say Boer war? The Boer’s and the British slugged it out, with the British ultimately declaring victory. Why is this important? Because the impact that some of what was left of the Boers would have in the 20th century is what todays South Africa is all about. We’ll do some more book learning later but that’s enough for now.
The rest of the day is going to be pretty Boering as well. (So, I lied.) Go for a walk downtown, about a 20 minute walk away, wander around a bit (gardens, churches, government buildings) Jump on a hop on / hop off bus and do the city tour. Go to dinner that night at Miller’s Thumb. Excellent, excellent neighbourhood restaurant. If we lived in Cape Town would be our Cellar or Lucky Pelican. Go to bed that night dreaming of what clean clothes must feel like.
Oh yes.. Claire has been living up to our blog name since before we even left, but seems to be on the mend.