Friday, December 26, 2008

Regarding Christmas


Just so you know, we weren't the only people in South Africa who thought of going to the beach on Christmas Day.

(Oh, and that whitish stuff on the ground is sand, not snow.)






Melissa

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family, especially those in the northern hemisphere.  


Melissa and Andy

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Soccer

They're building a new soccer stadium in Cape Town, for the 2010 World Cup.  This photo shows it from the top of Table Mountain.


Melissa

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Up Skeleton Gorge

We've hiked around on Table Mountain's slopes many times, and we took the cable car up once.  Recently we finally climbed all the way up on our own two feet.  We went up Skeleton Gorge, which some people say is their favorite route.

The hike started out steep, with a couple of fun spots where we had to climb ladders and scramble up rocks.




At the end of that first leg, we took a quick detour to check out a reservoir.  On the way, we saw a sand dune, which seemed like an odd thing to find on top of a mountain.





After that, we wended our way more slowly upward and then across the table.  On the way, we passed this cool castle-shaped rock.  


 
At the top, the views were far clearer than they were the time we went up by cable car.  





This rock climber preened a bit when he saw me taking his picture.  Little did he know that I just wanted him to offset the view of Lion's Head, which is the big hill, and Robben Island, which used to be the site of a prison.  Nelson Mandela spent a couple of decades locked up there.



Melissa

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cape Wildlife etc.


A lizard with a blue head!


An ostrich with three well-camoflauged babies!


A dead puff adder!


Melissa

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cape Point Beach Hike


The morning after we stayed in Simon's Town, we still had to spend a few hours away from home.  We drove to the Cape Point and went for a hike.

These flowers were blooming all along the trail.  The petals felt completely dry, and when the wind blew through them, they made a sound like rustling tissue paper.  


We thought maybe this whale bone was a skull, but we weren't sure.


Here's part of the reason why the Cape of Good Hope was originally called the Cape of Storms:



And you're not tired of ocean vistas yet, are you?


Melissa

Friday, November 21, 2008

Spontaneous Free Vacation


Recently our landlords had to kick us out of our place for a night to avoid killing us with insecticide fumes.  They fixed it so we could stay in a house one of their relatives owns in Simon's Town, which is a little vacation spot about 45 minutes away from Cape Town.  The place was beautiful:



So was the view:  



This neat toy was there:


Melissa

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bay Leaves

I don't think I ever saw bay leaves on an actual tree before I came to South Africa.  Here we have a bay tree in our yard.  We can pick and dry the leaves and put them in soup.



Melissa

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Don't Worry, Mom!


The following weapons are not allowed in the walkway that leads under the railroad tracks by our house:


Clockwise from top left:  machine gun, axe, assegai and knobkerrie, machete.  

Melissa

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nest Building


On a trip a while back, we had a chance to watch some Cape Weavers building nests.  They weave them so that the entrance hole ends up on the bottom.




Melissa

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Groceries


People often ask me what the grocery stores are like in South Africa.  They're pretty similar to the stores in the states, except that they tend to be more crowded.  Our favorite store is the Fruit and Veg Market.  They sell tons of produce, as well as most other foods:







Another store we shop at often, the Pick n' Pay, carries less produce and more dry goods and meats.  



 
I'm sorry I've left such a long gap since my last post.  I've built up quite a backlog of pictures, so I'm hoping to post quite a bit over the next few weeks.   I hope you'll keep checking.

If anyone has general questions about South Africa (like the question about the grocery stores) send me an e-mail or ask them in the comments.  I'll answer them if I can.

Melissa

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Flower Season

It's spring here, wildflower season.







Melissa