Remembered Places, Remembered Stories

This is what my blog is all about.  After publishing my last entry, a review of my Picasa files showed stories I had forgotten to include.  Let me relate some of them now.

We found the City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-Off bus tours in both Johannesburg and Capetown, interesting and economical.  In Johannesburg we just stayed on for the full tour without any intermediate stops.  This gave a great introduction showing where Gandhi practiced law, the jails where anti-apartheid protesters were held, and the modern commercial district in the photo below.  Only later did I realize that most of the white vans are share taxis.  They are vital for the townships as the bus and train transportation only run basic routes.

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In Capetown we came upon the multicolored buildings of the Bo-Kaap neighborhood just a few minutes walk up from where we stayed.  This was the home to the Cape Malay community made up of immigrants from all over Asia. Many who spoke Malay were brought as prisoners from the Dutch East Indies colonies in Indonesia. It appears that very few of the prisoners came from the peninsula covered by present day Malaysia.

In Windhoek, we stayed at a Guest House.  Although it had been dry, we managed to be caught in the rain a few times.  Safe at the guest house, we were treated by a full arc rainbow.

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Afrikaans is one of the languages of South Africa.  It sounds similar to Flemish (the Belgian variety of Dutch) so I can pick the gist of some conversations.  From its Cape Dutch beginnings, it has become an amalgamation of Portuguese, Bantu, Malay, German and other languages.  What I found most interesting is the first books written in Afrikaans around 1820’s used Arabic script.  Below is an example from 1860.  This occurred as Afrikaans replaced Malay as the language of instruction in Muslim Schools.  The first books were school primers.

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To the Cape of Good Hope (and back)

After crossing Africa from Dakar to Nairobi at the end of January, we headed south to South Africa. We spent a week in Johannesburg, then two weeks in Capetown. One of our goals was to see the Cape of Good Hope. We made it all the way to the farthest Southwestern point of Africa, and then we turned around and started traveling up to Europe.  Along the way, we stopped in Windhoek, Namibia and Gaborone, Botswana before shooting up to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.  I post a lot of pictures that capture some of our memories and some of our deepest impressions.  In the captions you will find commentary to explain where and what touched me about the photograph.  I faced a quandary trying to choose the best photos with the strongest impressions out of so many we took.

 

From African Skies

We prefer to travel overland when possible. Due to the distances, differing bureaucratic visa requirements, and questionable roads and rail, we opted for flying for most of our travel in Africa. As much as possible, we booked daytime flights in hopes of seeing as much terrain as possible. Part of the excitement of Africa is flying on a clear day viewing the vastness of the land.  I captured the following landscapes through airplane windows using iPad and iPhone.  During January to March 2016 we started in Casablanca flying to Dakar (via Madrid). Then we flew on to Nairobi, Johannesburg, Capetown, Windhoek, finally back to Johannesburg. We visited Pretoria by train. Then, we took a bus to Gaborone returning by air. Then, we continued up to Addis Ababa (via Nairobi).  The austere red earth highlighted by mountains, dappled with shadows of clouds, cut by the occasional river fascinates me. The lonely yearning in each of these photos of the distant expanses resonates with me.