Stellenbosch and the Stellenbosch Hotel, Western Cape, South Africa
Stellenbosch captivated us so much that we re routed to return to the city at the end of our trip aswell as the beginning.
We lost so much time to ambling around the city, renting bikes to explore. Simply just enjoying the atmosphere, the sense of community, the positive outlooks from so many who we met.
As soon as noon struck, we headed to the Boschendal restaurant where, teary eyed from a bittersweet goodbye to my grandfather, we ordered wine, and ate far too much.
Cici and AJ went for burgers and avocado on toast, I wolfed down a bowl of salad, grateful for fresh greens after the 700km drive first thing that morning.
We chatted, shared our favourite parts of our trip, sent messages to family around the country to say adieu for now. Bidding farewell to the country is always tough, it's my birth country yet I harbour so much stigma over calling it home. I can't place it, and haven't quite find a way to vocalise these sentiments, the disappointment in actions of those who have come before me. I am not them and they are not me.
There's a verse from one of my late grandfathers poems which I go to, I open his book and try to find out that little bit more about the source of this sentiment. Could epigenetics really impact the way you see the world?
"Then slowly down my cheek a teardrop falls,
I see my love on land she's waving now,
At last, I'm home, at Cape Town harbour walls,
And Table Mountain looms before the bow."
That night, we stayed at the Stellenbosch hotel, an old building from the 1700s situated centrally to the hub of the city.
The staff were diverse and wonderfully helpful, advising the best places for coffees and drinks nearby.
Instead of a hotel room we opted for a two bedroom apartment with views out onto the main streets. The morning that we were to leave, we enjoyed a coffee on the balcony, people watching before checking out.
The apartment was perfect, and on our next return to the city we've already agreed that we'd book the same spot.