Travel and Leisure

16May

"Medical mysteries exposed"

First appeared
Saturday, 28 April 2007

The Museum for Medical Morphological Sciences (MMMS) is, to say the least, a strange place. Housed deep inside the monolithic edifice of the Medical Faculty at Stellenbosch University’s Tygerberg Campus in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, the museum is not easy to access. In fact, it was only recently that Dr. Ben Page and his colleagues opened the museum to the visiting public – first to high school groups (they had 4,000 pupils last year) and then to adult visitors in guided tours. In the not-too-distant future, anticipates Page, they hope to make the museum more widely accessible. Until that time, however, those who do make the effort to organise a group visit will find it well worth their while. And, perhaps, a little disturbing.

16May

Route 62: the world's longest wine route

First appeared
THE WEEKENDER
Saturday, 14 April 2007

There are few towns in South Africa where you won’t find an ATM. McGregor is one of them. My wife and I discovered this late on a lazy Sunday afternoon, having made our way through an olive platter at Die Wilde Vy, an all-in-one enterprise on the high street, where “Ouma Anna se Health en Juice Bar” meets “Oom Kerneels se Negosiewinkel”.

16May

"The Free State re-invented"

First appeared
Saturday, 03 March 2007

Until recently, when I encountered the words “Free State” and “tourism” in the same sentence, an unavoidable chain of association would bring back a distinct and not altogether pleasant memory from my university days. I’m driving a kombi along a straight, flat, nameless road, somewhere within a 200km radius of Bloemfontein. The day is hot and dry. Behind me, someone starts to hum the theme from The Neverending Story. Before long, new words are added to the old tune: “Absolutely nothing, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, absolutely nothing...!”

18Apr

The Slave Lodge: "Reminders of the ties that bind"

First appeared
Saturday, 03 March 2007

The Slave Lodge is located at an historic intersection in the Cape Town city center, where the bustle and traffic of Adderley Street ends and the perpetual holiday mood of tree-lined Government Avenue begins. The building itself is impressive, with an attractive façade; when it was constructed in 1679 to house the slaves of the VOC (Dutch East India Company), the lodge was a crude, single-storey rectangular structure with no exterior windows, but it subsequently served as a post office, library and, for a hundred years, the Cape Supreme Court – gaining appropriate architectural embellishments along the way. 

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