Day tripping to the small town of Riebeeck Kasteel and Riebeeck Wes, not so much for its wine but for its extensive history and incredble beauty. The bonus was the warm people that I met.
Riebeek-Kasteel is one of the oldest towns in South Africa, situated at 80 km north-east of Cape Town in The Riebeek Valley together with its sister town Riebeek West
Named so in honour of their commander, Jan van Riebeeck, during 1661 by Pieter Cruythoff leading an inland discovery expedition. On the 3rd February 1661 they ascended a lonely mountain and came upon the fertile vista of the Riebeek Valley.
In the 19th century both Jan Smuts and Daniel Malan were born in the outskirts later both becoming prime ministers of the country.
Having lived in a small town myself for the last couple of years it’s always great to listen to other people’s stories in small towns, how they got to live there, why did they leave the city?
And what their life styles are all about now? Then of course you start looking around and you know why, here you can step outside and breath to escape
The first stop is the Tourism information centre where as per normal you get the usual run down of a town. A great start I must say! Well done Tourism, what a lovely girl you have there.
So I popped into a few shops and spots in town and chatted to the people who live here and make a day to day living in Riebeeck Kasteel.
A wine dealer called Anton that consults and returns every couple of years, a retired journalist Jacques Pauw and partner Sam Rogers who decide to start a ‘small’ B & B and Restaurant /Bar in a Grand Dame mansion now called the Red Tin Roof.
A craft brewer, Steve Miller who is the head honcho at Garagista and bides his time making happiness in a bottle to share with us, Cheers.
And an Olive Boutique where Susan shared her story and love for olives with us, she processes these ancient fruits into tasty snacks, mustards and smooth oils all fit for the palettes of gods, and even has a range of body pampering products.
Exploring some of the historical buildings and places of interst in the area I came across the Royal Hotel who has the longest stoep (veranda) South of the Limpopo and is the oldest and most colonial hotel of the Western Cape.
My favourite place however was the Smuts house. Located on the outskirts of the town of Riebeeck West it show cases the humble begins of Jan Smuts in this tranquil setting among the trees. A great visionary in his day, Smuts was a well connected man with a broad outlook on life.
The day came to an end way to soon and I left with the feeling that I need to discover some more…
Take a trip to this fascinating delicious little town and indulge in its riches of culture, food and beauty.
Thank you for time Riebeeck Kasteel, you stole a piece of my heart.
The Travel Bug Rose