Wine Country

Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
Trip End Mar 28, 2009

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

After spending a few days near Cape Town, we drove up to Franschhoek, a picturesque valley in the Cape winelands region - the land given to the French Huguenots seeking religious freedom in the 17th century. In addition to its vineyards, this town is also considered the culinary capital of the winelands region, with some of the best restaurants in Africa. What was also a plus is that you could enjoy this delectable food for a small price, given that the dollar is so strong in South Africa right now (a lunch at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek might set you back only $15, whereas I would guess the same meal in NYC could easily cost over $100).

We visited a few of the vineyards during our short stay in Franschhoek, including Mont Rochelle, Haute Cabriere and Boschendal (probably one of the most photographed vineyards in the region - though for some reason not by me). In addition to eating at a couple of the French-leaning restaurants, we also tried Topsi for dinner - a homey place tucked away behind the main street in the middle of a quaint garden, owned by a colorful woman, serving South African food. Here we tried bobotie, a traditional dish - interesting flavor, but I don't think it will end up on my favorite foods list. Since the weather was a bit rainy during the morning, we also decided to splurge for a massage - probably the most relaxing one I've ever had. Having been a bit spoiled for a day and a half, we then drove on towards the Garden Route, where we planned to visit the De Hoop Nature Reserve. . . (I'm not quite sure why I can't get some of the pictures to rotate the right way.)
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