Every year, the whole of my high school goes away and spends a week in nature, be it hiking or paddling. This year, as is a custom at my school and many other schools across the country, we spent five glorious day on the Orange River, which serves as a border between South Africa, and our neighbouring country, Namibia.
We drove up (it took almost 12 hours), and after multiple toilet breaks and burger stops, we finally got through border control and were in another country (!!!). Being out in nature with school always make my heart so full. Without much signal or technology (I always make a point of leaving my phone at home), we have so much time to just chat to each other and engage and connect in ways that the busy everyday school life doesn’t really leave much room for.
We paddled for three of the five days, and the other two days were for traveling. The Orange River is so beautiful. We’d start in the morning, and pull up to a sand bank for the night just as the sun was setting.
I can’t quite put into words how it feels to fall asleep after a day of paddling down the river, with the moon and stars above your head, huddled in a little group, sleeping amongst some of your favourite people, whilst listening to the sound of water running gently over the rocks, and listening to the chirp of insects. It’s magical to say the least. Whilst the paddling was physically taxing at times, it was so fulfilling and it makes me a little teary if I think about it for too long because my longing to go back is that great. We have a beautiful continent, that’s for sure.
Recently, I spent a calm weekend at the Rocherpan Nature Reserve near Velddrif. Even although the pan isn’t completely full, there is an abundance of birds, beautiful vegetation and serenity. As far as I know, there is one main hiking trail within the reserve, and a picnic spot. There are also a few bird hides that allow you to observe the birds peacefully in their habitats.
We stayed at the eco cabins (Cape Nature) which are nestled in the reserve with beautiful views of the pan and the surrounding reserve – a lovely place to wake up in. I spent most of my time reading my book and just appreciating the beautiful surroundings and breathing fresh, clean air.
If you’re looking for a place to decompress and leave the stress of city life behind, this might just be it.
I recently visited the beautiful island of Mauritius with my family and it was a welcome break from the extreme cold we’ve been experiencing here in South Africa. We spent our time at a resort on the north-west side of the island, and although it was a bit chilly and wet sometimes (it’s winter there too), it was bliss. I thoroughly enjoyed some timeout to just read on the beach, swim and relax. Anyhow, here is my photo diary of the trip. Enjoy!
As a lover of the ocean, any time spent frolicking around in the waves and basking in the sun is an absolute treat. Imagine my felicity when I found myself in a beautiful beach house with my lovely family for just a little less than a week. Queue early morning runs, long walks on the beach, riding the waves, and taking some time to do good old nothing. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to take some photos, the quaint fisherman’s village being my subject.
When we weren’t on the beach, we ventured to Cape Agulhas (the southern most tip of Africa) and De Mond Nature Reserve.
A little while ago, my family and I went to stay in the beautiful Kogelberg Nature Reserve for a quick getaway. It was utter bliss. I had just returned from my Europe trip, and it was lovely to have a chance just to lie in the winter sun, and read a book, without the constant noise of the internet (there’s no cellphone reception) and city. The Oudebosch Eco Cabins are beautiful, wooden houses on the foot of the mountains in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. There are mountain bike and hiking trails all within the area too, which is lovely too. As a design student and a person who has a deep appreciation for aesthetics and innovation, I was taken aback by the incredible design of these sustainable, eco-friendly structures. They’re beautiful and functional and staying there was such a treat. Nothing quite like some peace and quiet, fresh air and time offline…
I never thought I’d end up in Poland. Am I glad I did? You bet. The city of Kraków stole my heart. What a charming, unassuming place. Its not a place that is really hyped up about in magazines and on travel blogs – I’d consider it underrated in the least. It has a vibe like no other, holds so much historical importance and the architecture is so very beautiful. We did a walking tour of Kraków, explored in the little tourist shops and all in all had a ball. Its safe to saw that Kraków was one of my favourite places that we visited (although I did love them all)!
Prague is such a beautiful place with the loveliest buildings. It is home to the largest castle complex in all of Europe, Prague Castle. Some of the prettiest views can be seen from there! Although my time in Prague was brief, it was oh so lovely. What a charming place.
Ah, Salzburg. I’ve watched the Sound of Music a few times too many when I was little (every week for a few months), so you can imagine my excitement to be in the very place it was made! The beautiful gardens with rolling lawns was a treat to visit (especially since a scene from The Sound of Music was shot there). As I’ve played the piano for most of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed the Mozart Geburtshaus, (Mozart’s birth house) which is now a wonderful museum. We only spent a few hours in Salzburg, but I enjoyed every second!
Munich is incredible. Its such a beautiful city with the loveliest buildings. We explored by bike, as one does in Germany. Its incredible how many cyclists there are! As a lover of riding my bike, I had such a blast! Anyhow, here are my snaps! (I don’t have too many snaps as my phone wasn’t on me for most of the tour. Again, I tried to absorb things through my eyes and not only my lens).
I’ve always dreamed of going to Venice. I’ve seen people riding gondolas in the canals in movies and photos, and never thought I’d be lucky enough to visit this beautiful place.
Venice is made up of 120 small islands, and there are around 400 bridges going over the canals! The buildings are exceptionally beautiful, and the little restaurants and cafes on the water have such a lovely charm. Venice is just as beautiful as the photos. Its one of those places where you have to control yourself or else you’ll just take photos of everything.
A water taxi or gondola is a must. You can’t go to Venice and not go on the water! We also explored quite a bit on foot, then crossed the Rialto Bridge and explored the other side. Its such a beautiful place. It definitely stole a chunk of my heart too! I dream of going back some day.