Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace) – “the incomparable palace” -- Marrakech, Morocco, is a ruined palace that was commissioned by the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of the Saadian dynasty some

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace) – “the incomparable palace” — Marrakech, Morocco, is a ruined palace that was commissioned by the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of the Saadian dynasty sometime shortly after his accession in 1578

 

Palais Badii (El Badi Palace) “(Arabic:قصر البديع‎; meaning the incomparable palace) is a ruined palace located in Marrakesh, Morocco.  It was commissioned by the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of the Saadian dynasty sometime shortly after his accession in 1578.  The palace’s construction was funded by a substantial ransom paid by the Portuguese after the Battle of the Three Kings.  The palace took fifteen years to build, with construction finally completed around 1593 and was a lavish display of the best craftmanship of the Saadian period.  Constructed using some of the most expensive materials of the time, including gold and onyz, the colonnades are said to be constructed from marble exchanged with Italian merchants for their equivalent weight in sugar.  The original building is thought to have consisted of 360 richly decorated rooms, a courtyard (135×110 m) and a central pool (90×20 m).  After the fall of the Saadians and the rise of the Alaouite dynasty, the palace entered a period of rapid decline.  Sultan Ismail Ibn Sharif stripped the building of its contents, building materials and decorations, to be used in the construction of his new palace in his new capital at Meknes.” – Wikipedia

The most unusual architectural and landscape design at Palais Badii (El Badi Palace) is that the four square courtyards in the center of the palace are lower than the walkways and are planted with orange trees so that the top of the trees is at the shoe level of visitors walking around the palace (see photographs, below).

 

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #2; note the High Atlas Mountains, to the south, visible in the background

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #2; note the High Atlas Mountains, to the south, visible in the background

 

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #3; the orange trees were full of fruit

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #3; the orange trees were full of fruit

 

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #4

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #4

 

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #5

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #5

 

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #6 – while all the marble and carved decorations of the palace were removed years later, these mosaic floors remain

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #6 – while all the marble and carved decorations of the palace were removed years later, these mosaic floors remain

 

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #7 – a view of the city from the top of the palace

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #7 – a view of the city from the top of the palace

 

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #8 -- a view of the city from the top of the palace

Palais Badii (El Badii Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #8 — a view of the city from the top of the palace

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #1

PaPalais Bahia (Bahia Palace) is a palace and a set of gardens in Marrakesh, Morocco, built in the late 19th century and intended to be the greatest palace of its time; the name means “brilliance”

 

”Imagine what you could build with Morocco’s top artisans at your service for 14 years, and here you have it.  The salons of both the petit riad and grand riad host intricate marquetry and zouak (painted wood) ceilings while the vast grand courtyard, trimmed in jaunty blue and yellow, leads to the Room of Honour, with a spectacular cedar ceiling.  The harem offers up yet more dazzling interiors with original woven-silk panels, stained glass windows and rose-bouquet painted ceilings.  The floor-to-ceiling decoration here was begun by Grand Vizier Si Moussa in the 1860s and embellished from 1894 to 1900 by slave-turned-vizier Abu ‘Bou’ Ahmed.  In 1908 the palace’s beguiling charms attracted warlord Pasha Glaoui, who claimed it as a suitable venue to entertain French guests.  They, in turn, were so impressed that they booted out their host in 1911, installing the protectorate’s resident-general in his place.  Though today only a portion of the palace’s eight hectares and 150 rooms is open to the public, there’s still plenty of ornamental frippery on show.  While admiring the tranquil grand courtyard with its floor laid in white Carrara marble, remember this is where people waited in the sun for hours to beg for Bou Ahmed’s mercy.  Bou Ahmed’s four wives and 24 concubines all lived in the lavish interiors of the harem’s small salons.” — http://www.lonelyplanet.com

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #2

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #2

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #3

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #3

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #4

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #4

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #5

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #5

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #6

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #6

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #7

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #7

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #8

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #8

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #9

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #9

 

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #10 – quite unusual in a Moorish-design palace- a Mogen David (Star of David – the “Jewish star”)

Palais Bahia (Bahia Palace), Marrakech, Morocco, #10 – quite unusual in a Moorish-design palace: a Mogen David (Star of David – the “Jewish star”)

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Stellenbosch, the “capital of the South African wine industry”

Dutch Reformed Church surrounded by oak trees on Church Street, Stellenbosch, Western Cape Province, South Africa

Dutch Reformed Church surrounded by oak trees on Church Street, Stellenbosch, Western Cape Province, South Africa

South African Tourism is justifiably proud of “the Stellenbosch winelands, [which] are considered to be the capital of the South African wine industry. With more than 60 estates currently operating, it’s the leading centre for viticulture and viticultural research.  Simon van der Stel arrived at the Cape as commander in 1679 and soon after was appointed its first governor. Later that year he undertook his first tour of inspection, which brought him to ‘the most charming valley he had ever seen’ – the Stellenbosch winelands.  So enchanted was he that he set up camp in a grove he named Stellenbosch, and there decided to establish a second settlement after Cape Town. He grew to love the town, spending his birthdays there. And he ordered the planting of the oaks, which is why it is sometimes referred to as Eikestad, or ‘town of oaks’. Today these massive trees shade the historic Dorp Street, which runs through the well-preserved old town.  While initially established as a centre to produce fruit and vegetables, van der Stel had a hunch that its Mediterranean climate would be ideal for wine growing. He was right.”

.
We spent the initial part of a morning in the Winelands at Root 44 Market that showcases a number of food choices in beautiful wine farm surroundings, including a number of outdoor traders.  We then drove over to one of the most picturesque winery settings any of us had seen, around the world.

Tasting room on an island on the pond at Stark-Conde Wines, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Tasting room on an island on the pond at Stark-Conde Wines, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Stark-Conde Wines is located in the picturesque Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch.  It is a dramatic valley with steep changes in vineyard elevation from 492-1970 feet (150 – 600 meters), making for a range of sites with distinct characteristics.

The wines are hand-crafted in small volumes using traditional methods: hand sorting, open-top fermentations, hand punch downs and manual basket pressing.  Winemaking is overseen by owner Jose Conde.

The focus is Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Pinot Noir for reds and Chenin Blanc (the most widely planted varietal in South Africa, accounting for over 20% of all production in the country), Roussanne and Sauvignon Blanc for white wines.

The unique Stark-Conde tasting room is small and intimate, built on its own little island (see photograph, above).

Lily and lily pads in pond at Stark-Conde Wines, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Lily and lily pads in pond at Stark-Conde Wines, Stellenbosch, South Africa

A small group of us from the ship, with our head sommelier (who previously worked in the wine industry in the Cape Winelands) met with winemaker Jose Stark for a tasting and then luncheon on the terrace, overlooking the pond and surrounding mountains.

Stark-Conde Field Blend (white wine), Stellenbosch, Winelands, South Africa

Stark-Conde Field Blend (white wine), Stellenbosch, Winelands, South Africa

We particularly enjoyed the “field blend” white wine with our luncheon, as the blend of Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Verdelho was light and crisp and a nice accompaniment to the food.

Following our midday visit to the winery, we had a few hours to walk around the town of Stellenbosch and enjoy the shopping, wine stores, and local cafes and pubs for refreshments prior to the hour-long drive back to Cape Town and the V&A Waterfront where the ship was berthed.

Bug on lily in pond at Stark-Conde Wines, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Bug on lily in pond at Stark-Conde Wines, Stellenbosch, South Africa

The Swartland Revolution (in wine), The Western Cape, South Africa

The Swartland Revolution (poster for festival)

The Swartland Revolution (poster for festival)

Revolution in South Africa — one immediately thinks of the colonization by the Dutch, French and British, the resistance by the Zulus and other South African tribes, Apartheid, etc.  The Swartland Revolution, on the other hand, is not political nor racial.  It is a wine revolution in the Swartland region of the Western Cape winelands, located about 40 miles north of Cape Town (and a little northwest of the more famous wine town of Paarl).

We were extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to have a full morning private tour, interview and tasting with South Africa’s “first certified celebrity winemaker”, the “enfant terrible” Eden Sadie who founded The Sadie Family Wines in 1999 near Malmesbury and is one of the five leaders of the Swartland Revloution.  The Wine Enthusiast magazine in Septermber 2014 documented the revolution: “It’s not easy to start a revolution. When it comes to a winemaking region with hundreds of years of history—and corresponding traditions—it’s especially difficult to challenge conventional wisdom.

“There always seem to be visionaries, however, who see beyond the status quo…the Swartland is home to vast wheat fields that cover most of its landscape. As the Cape’s traditional breadbasket, the region’s wine quality was often overshadowed by areas like Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch.”

The Sadie Family vineyards, The Swartland Region, Western Cape, South Africa

The Sadie Family vineyards, The Swartland Region, Western Cape, South Africa

“It wasn’t until 1997 that the region started to garner buzz, when Fairview’s Charles Back purchased vineyards in the Swartland and opened a new project called Spice Route. Back’s arrival sparked a surge of private estates investing in the region.

“It also signaled greater quality potential for the wines. Spice Route’s inaugural releases from young winemaker Eben Sadie eschewed the region’s then-common styles of big, high-alcohol reds and off-dry whites.

South Africa's "first certified celebrity winemaker", the "enfant terrible" Eden Sadie in his cellar at The Sadie Family Wines, The Swartland Region, Western Cape, South Africa

South Africa’s “first certified celebrity winemaker”, the “enfant terrible” Eben Sadie in his cellar at The Sadie Family Wines, The Swartland Region, Western Cape, South Africa

“In 2010, The Swartland Revolution—a weekend celebration of the region’s wines, with ticketed tastings, seminars and meals—was born, brainchild of the new Swartland Independent Producers association.

“The mission: To improve quality standards and educate consumers about the unique “Swartlandness”—what traditionalists might call terroir—found within the region’s wines.

“Now in its fifth year, the key players behind The Swartland Revolution have been integral to the region’s development. They produce must-try wines that convey a sense of place, putting South Africa more firmly on the global wine map.”

Finding a little shade at The Sadie Family vineyards, The Swartland Region, Western Cape, South Africa

Finding a little shade at The Sadie Family vineyards, The Swartland Region, Western Cape, South Africa

Bartholomew Broadbent, proprietor of Broadbent Selections, who imports The Sadie Family Wines, notes “Eben Sadie is considered one of the great preservationists and visionaries in the new generation of South African winemakers. To Eben, the vineyard and fruit are part of the story—the truest expression of his art and philosophy.”

The wine writer Neal Martin recently called Sadie an “outspoken, peripatetic, terroir-obsessed winemaker who has been instrumental in putting Swartland on the map. He produces a small portfolio of comparatively expensive, but highly coveted wines based on Rhone varieties sourced from his seemingly never-ending search for pockets of old bush vines and unique terroirs. These are cerebral wines built to age.”

Our ship’s head sommelier, who worked in the South African wine industry for six years and organized and led our excursion, notes “The Sadie Family has enjoyed success beyond any other modern South African wine producer as Columella [their signature Rhone-style wine, a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre] is the most highly rated South African wine, and the only one to achieve a 95 point rating by U.S. wine magazine Wine Spectator.”  We were fortunate to hear Eben’s philosophy about wine and agriculture and to taste his extraordinary wines.  Unfortunately, the winery sells out every new release within days of its availability, and we were not able to purchase any wines to enjoy in the future.  However, we headed off to Paarl to the exquisite Grand Roche Hotel and its restaurant where we had a fabulous luncheon and scored some 2004 Columella.

Grand Roche Hotel Manor House, Paarl, The Western Cape, South Africa

Grand Roche Hotel Manor House, Paarl, The Western Cape, South Africa

The Manor House of the Grand Roche Hotel is the original homestead of Hermanus Bosman, who was granted the farm De Nieuwe Plantatie in 1707.  The Manor House, built in 1715, was home to the Bosman family for 214 years, until it was sold in 1929.  After 1978 it changed hands several times, until it was bought by Hans George Allgaier and was restored to represent the period 1869 – 1876.

View of Paarl from the Grand Roche Hotel, The Western Cape, South Africa

View of Paarl from the Grand Roche Hotel terrace, The Western Cape, South Africa

Our luncheon was served on the hotel’s terrace, where we had magnificent views of the surrounding countryside, Paarl, and the mountains.

For the first course, we had a choice of SLOW BRAISED BABY BEETS with goat cheese parfait, pumpernickel crumble & horseradish creme,

Luncheon, Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant -- first course, Slow Braised Baby Beets

Luncheon, Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant — first course, Slow Braised Baby Beets

or PAN FRIED KINGKLIP MEDALLION with truffled flavoured mushroom veloute, sauteed Asian mushrooms & cranberry gel:

Luncheon, Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant -- first course, Pan Fried Kingklip Medallion

Luncheon, Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant — first course, Pan Fried Kingklip Medallion

For the main course we had a choice of PAN FRIED KABELJOU FILLET (drum fish) with pulpo-chorizo risotto, baby Patagonia squid & mussel cream,

Luncheon, Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant -- main course, Pan Fried Kabeljou (drum fish) Fillet

Luncheon, Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant — main course, Pan Fried Kabeljou (drum fish) Fillet

or SOUS VIDE SPRINGBOK (antelope-gazelle) LOIN with broccoli puree, classic Austrian bread dumpling, marinated enoki mushrooms & juniper sauce.

Luncheon, Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant -- main course, Sous Vide Springbok (antelope-gazelle) Loin

Luncheon, Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant — main course, Sous Vide Springbok (antelope-gazelle) Loin

And with the luncheon we had Sadie’s 2004 Columella — an absolutely delicious Rhone-style red wine (80% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre).  It was easy to taste the difference aging makes for this wine — at the winery we tasted the 2012 Columella — the wine gained considerable smoothness and was an outstanding accompaniment to the food.

2004 Columella Liberatus in Castro Bonae Spei by Eden Sadie, The Sadie Family Wines, Malmesbury, The Western Cape, South Africa

2004 Columella Liberatus in Castro Bonae Spei by Eden Sadie, The Sadie Family Wines, Malmesbury, The Western Cape, South Africa

At the end of the meal we were able to say thank you to the restaurant’s executive staff and share our appreciation for an outstanding introduction to the local Winelands cuisine and wines.

Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant executive staff, Paarl, The Western Cape, South Africa

Grand Roche Hotel Restaurant executive staff, Paarl, The Western Cape, South Africa

Hout Bay revisited in the evening fog (Cape Peninsula, South Africa)

Hout Bay enveloped in evening fog, The Cape Peninsula, South Africa

Hout Bay enveloped in evening fog, Cape Peninsula, South Africa

Just before sunset we returned to the Cape Peninsula for an evening reception and dinner at the Cape Point Winery.  Along the way, we stopped again at a viewpoint on Chapman’s Peak Drive, across from Hout Bay.  This time, we could barely see Hout Bay and the peninsula, as the area was quickly being enveloped by the rapidly blowing Atlantic Ocean fog.  Quite a contrast with the midday view, below.  For a few of us from the San Francisco Bay area, the changing scenery with the fog felt very familiar!

Hout Bay Peninsula, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Hout Bay Peninsula, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

The fog was blowing across the bay and starting to climb up Chapman’s Peak Drive which only a few weeks before had been badly charred by a wide ranging fire.  Note the little patch of green grass by my feet, in the midst of the fire burnt hillside, testimony to the way the winds capriciously moved the fire down the coast.

Fire charred hillside of Chapman's Peak Drive, overlooking Hout Bay

Fire charred hillside of Chapman’s Peak Drive, overlooking Hout Bay

With sunset approaching, as we resumed our drive south to the winery the fog closed in on Hout Bay, with just the mountain tops peeking through the “whipped cream” fog.

Hout Bay mountains peeking through the enveloping evening fog_

Hout Bay mountains peeking through the enveloping evening fog_

Penguins of South Africa

Welcome to Boulders -- home of the African Penguin

Welcome to Boulders — home of the African Penguin

Our granddaughter was disappointed that we visited Madagascar (see earlier post) and did NOT see the “Penguins of Madagascar” (she recalls having a great time at the movie theater watching it with us!).  So, Eloise, here are the penguins — in South Africa!  And yes, they’re cute.  And smaller than you’d think…

"Say, this beach is getting crowded..."

“Say, this beach is getting crowded…”

A World Heritage Site and part of the larger Table Mountain National Park, Boulders is located just south of Simon’s Town (on the False Bay coastal road to the southern tip of Cape Peninsula at Cape Point).  The National Park informs visitors that “Boulders has become world famous for its thriving colony of African Penguins and magnificent wind sheltered, safe beaches.

“Although set in the midst of a residential area, it is one of the few sites where this endangered bird (Spheniscus demersus) can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected environment.

“From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony has grown to about 2,200 in recent years.  This is partly due to the reduction in commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, which has increased the supply of pilchards and anchovy, which form part of the penguin’s diet.”

Grooming on the beach

Grooming on the beach

Penguin FACTS:

— The African Penguin is listed in the Red Data Book as an endangered species.

— Of the 1.5 million African Penguin population estimated in 1910, only some 10% remained at the end of the 20th century.  The uncontrolled harvesting of penguin eggs (as a source of food) and guano scraping, nearly drove the species to extinction.

"That was a great swim; nice to be back on the beach..."

“That was a great swim; nice to be back on the beach…”

— Because of the donkey-like braying call they were previously named the Jackass Penguin.  Since several species of South American penguins produce the same sound, the local birds have been renamed Africa Penguins, as they are the only example of the species that breed in Africa.

"Heading home after our swim."

“Heading home after our swim.”

— Their diet consists mainly of squid and shoal fish such as pilchards and anchovy.

— They can swim at an average speed of seven kilometers per hour (4.3 MPH), and can stay submerged for up to two minutes.

A young penguin chick, left alone while parents went out to the sea

A young penguin chick, left alone while parents went out to the sea

— Their enemies in the ocean include sharks, Cape fur seals and, on occasion, killer whales (Orca).  Land-based enemies include mongoose, genet, domestic cats and dogs — and the Kelp Gulls which steal their eggs and new born chicks.

— Their distinctive black and white colouring is a vital form of camouflage — white for underwater predators looking upwards and black for predators looking down into the water.

A mother penguin sitting on her nest on the beach

A mother penguin sitting on her nest on the beach

— Peak moulting time is during December, after which they head out to sea to feed (since they do not feed during moulting).  They return in January to mate and begin nesting from about February to August.

"I'm outta here, now that you've got my portrait..."

“I’m outta here, now that you’ve got my portrait…”

— After a year or two, baby blues moult and attain their distinctive black-and-white adult plumage.  African Penguins generally only start breeding at about four years of age.  The main breeding season starts in February.  They are a monogamous species and the lifelong partners take turns to incubate their eggs and feed their young.

— Penguins have very sharp beaks and can cause serious injury if they bite or lunge.

"Enough with the photographs, already; you humans should hit the road..."

“Enough with the photographs, already; you humans should hit the road…”

The Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Hout Bay Harbour, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Hout Bay Harbour, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Like Julius Caesar’s observation that “all Gaul is divided into three parts”, the visitor to Cape Town finds that the southern part of South Africa, bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the southeast by so called “False Bay” (and more of the Atlantic Ocean), is divided into three parts.  Cape Town, Table Bay, and Table Mountain comprise the major geographic highlights of the city area by the bay fronting the Atlantic Ocean.  Stretching south from Table Mountain to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point (and its lighthouse) is the Cape Peninsula.  Finally, stretching to the east are the world famous wine growing regions of Stellenbosch, Franschoek, and Paarl, the so called “wine lands”.

After morning hiking on Table Mountain (see our previous post), we spent the rest of the day touring the Cape Peninsula.  Our guide drove us down the west side of the peninsula, initially going through the Clifton Beaches and the charming beach resort town of Camps Bay.  The main highway, M6, then heads diagonally inland to the southwest, emerging at Hout Bay and its harbour full of sailboats (see photograph, above).

Hout Bay Peninsula, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Hout Bay Peninsula, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

It’s not until you drive further south on M6, here called Chapman’s Peak Drive, that you can appreciate the spectacular geography that you’ve just visited.  The photograph, above, was made from across Hout Bay on Chapman’s Peak Drive.  Sadly, just a few weeks prior to our visit, an uncontrolled fire spread throughout the Chapman’s Peak area — from Muizenberg to Hout’s Bay — closing the roads (and shutting down a section of the annual bike race there).  Where we stopped we stood amidst badly charred tree trunks — very eerie, as some fellow ship passengers had been precluded from bike racing there just the week before.

Homes at Noordhoek Beach, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Homes at Noordhoek Beach, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

A little further south the vista opens up to encompass the breadth of the Cape Peninsula.  Pictured above is a view of homes in Noordhoek, looking to the southwest and the low mountains abutting False Bay.  Below is the view to the southeast with the wide, sandy Noordhoek Beach in the foreground and a lighthouse in the distance on the peninsula.

Noordhoek Beach, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Noordhoek Beach, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

The highway (M6) comes across the Peninsula at Fish Hoek and then becomes M4 as it heads south along False Bay to Simon’s Town, a South African beach town very much resembling a vintage British beach town (note, below, there is an eponymous “British Hotel” in the center of Simon’s Town).

Main Street, Simon's Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Main Street, Simon’s Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

My grandchildren would have an easy time identifying the homes,  Here’s the “blue house”:

Blue house, Simon's Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Blue house, Simon’s Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

The harbour was crowded with sailboats.

Simon's Town Harbour, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Simon’s Town Harbour, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

The hotel is located on Main Street in the center of town.

British Hotel, Simon's Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

British Hotel, Simon’s Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Another easy house name for the grandchildren, the “red roof house”.  Following a delicious lunch at a restaurant overlooking the bay (I had the Cape Malay “bobotie” beef pie, first sampled in Bo-Kaap in Cape Town), we headed further south to continue our explorations.  More to follow…

Red roof house, Simon's Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa

Red roof house, Simon’s Town, Cape Peninsula (south of Cape Town), South Africa