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Friday, 01 January 2021

South Africa's Artists, Craftspeople, History and Unique Culture - Page 5

Written by Russ and Emily Firlik
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The next day we took a bus to visit Robben Island, which takes its name from the Dutch word for ‘seals.’ Of course, Robben Island was the place Nelson Mandela was jailed for 18 years, but also the home for prisoners from outside of South Africa. Our last stop was to hop on the Table Mountain cable car to view the exquisite panoramic view of the blend of the two oceans, the Atlantic and Indian, and the flat-topped mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town.

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A few slow travel reflections of this trip to intriguing, interesting and inspiring South Africa:


(1). As we experienced lengthy traveling on roads, South African’s infrastructure was excellent. The roads were in great condition;

(2). Our accommodations were sometimes more interesting than others, but overall, we were happy;

(3). The water was safe to drink, but we preferred ‘Evamor’ bottled water, which had an excellent taste;

(4). The multicultural cuisine and service were superb. We never had a meal that wasn't enjoyable and delicious;

(5). We used both US dollars and Euros, depending on what the guides’ preferred, and what were the best exchange rates for us. However, most businesses only accepted the Rand;

(6). ATM machines were readily available, and fortunately, the exchange rates were favorable for U.S. dollars;

(6). We never felt intimidated or really uncomfortable at any point. Having expert and professional guides made sure that we would always remain safe and happy;

(7). One notices that almost every urban home had steel doors and gates as well as cast iron cages over every window. When pointed out this phenomena, we were told “for safety reasons;”

(8). The varied topography, natural beauty, music, dance, arts, crafts, and cultural diversity made this slow travel visit an absolutely captivating adventure;

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(8). Overall, we had a valuable and insightful cultural and historical first-hand learning experience. We wanted to visit the arts and crafts studios and galleries of artists’ establishments that were owned and operated by the women of South Africa. We were delighted, thankful, and appreciative of their time in helping us understand their craft and unique business models.

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In conclusion, we remain curious, greedy for knowledge, endeavoring to understand, to explain, and very careful not to generalize or judge.


We would absolutely return to South Africa in a decisecond.

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©Russ and Emily Firlik, Slow Traveling Seniors - “Nothing without Joy!”


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(Page 5 of 5)
Last modified on Friday, 01 January 2021

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