Tag Archives: strand

Lunch at Antonio’s Pizza Place in Gordon’s Bay (2017-03-16) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 12 AUG 2017

Back in March this year, Jessica and I embarked upon a nice long weekend away to Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay. In fear of the rain spiders that lurk there over this time of year, Chantelle opted not to join us, and so, the day before we were to leave, we decided to have a special lunch for some Chantelle and Jessie time, i.e. sans the mommy attention hoarding Emily!

Having heard people talk favourably about the place in the past, we decided to give Antonio’s Pizza Place a shot for the first time.

Tucked in between the Krystal Beach Hotel and the more famous Bertie’s Moorings restaurant on the boardwalk section of the Harbour Island development (also home to a particularly good Ocean Basket offering), Antonio’s Pizza Place is known for serving up particularly cheesy pizza – which turns out is absolutely true about them.

In all honesty, I’m not a major fan of such a lot of cheese on my pizza, but given the view that comes along with it, it is hard to say that a visit to the vibey Antonio’s doesn’t make for a nice outing.

As it turned out, that particular Thursday ended up being quite a busy day for myself and the girls – After picking up Emily from school it was time for some play at the always pleasant Pollock Park in Gordon’s Bay, followed by a nice sunset stroll along Strand beach.

(Complete with hilarious no walking construction sign in the middle of the sea).

Anyway, back to Antonio’s. In summary, expect loads of melted cheese with a pretty pleasant view.

Related Link: Antonio’s Pizza Place | Gordon’s Bay

Walking along the Beach to Cape Sands in Strand (2017-03-10) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 06 MAY 2017

On a windless Friday evening in the Helderberg Basin, there is no better way to see out a long week of work than with a stroll along the water’s edge of Strand beach, patiently waiting for the shimmering sun to finally dip below the horizon.

The sea wall construction work continues unabated all along Strand’s beachfront (it is all part of the City of Cape Town’s R180 million promenade upgrade), meaning that a fair bit of the beach is technically still out of action, the impact on evening strolls isn’t all that high given the length of Strand’s famous main beach.

Of course, the girls are never keen just to walk for the sake of walking, so to make it a mission I have to create an objective – and for this particular Friday night evening stroll I decided that we should take the long walk over to the always art friendly upmarket Cape Sands apartments (on the very edge of Strand’s beachfront as you come into Strand) in order to see what they currently have on display in front of the building.

For reference (just in case you are curious and because the girls wouldn’t let me get close enough to take a photo with my phone), currently on display is a large green (bronze) face from the internationally acclaimed South African painter/sculptor Lionel Smit, who well known for his larger-than-life portraiture works.

And the reward for such a long trek? Some sit down and play in the sand time of course!

Also, a map (for just in case you’re not entirely sure where I am):

Related Link: Cape Sands Apartments | Strand

Ducks and Jungle Gyms at the Dam Park in Strand (2017-01-28) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 28 FEB 2017

I love the fact that we have a proper duck pond as a municipal park here in Strand. The appropriately named Dam Park is situated right across from the Strand High School and offers a nice green space in the middle of Strand suburbia.

There is a playground to the side of the dam with an array of colourfully painted swings, a climbing frame, a roundabout, and a slide – you know, all the basics – as well as an old tractor and plinth mounted steam train.  (Which stinks at the moment thanks to some homeless person deciding that it would be great to use as a bathroom. Disgusting!)

We used to in the past visit the dam fairly often in order to feed the ducks (like literally everyone else in the area) and watch the locals occasionally try their hand at catching a dam fish or two, but seeing feeding ducks is now seen as not quite the correct thing to be doing (population and invasive species control reasons mainly), we drop by there far less than what we used to in the beginning.

The water levels of the dam itself on the day that we visited was surprisingly high – much higher than what I had anticipated (considering the drought conditions we are currently experiencing), but quite probably because of the one or two surprise days of rain we had experienced earlier in January.

With Chantelle stuck at work, the girls and I spent some time playing around (they even got me to climb to the top of the climbing frame with them), before we eventually got bored and convinced Chantelle to join us for some lunch at play time at the Gordon’s Bay Spur during her break.

It was a good plan.

Also, a map in case your kids bug you to go and look at some ducks.

Related Link: Facebook Page

Kitesurfers at Melkbaai Beach in Strand (2016-11-05) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 19 NOV 2016

Having enjoyed a good day out that started off with some yacht watching in Gordon’s Bay harbour, followed by a couple of hours’ worth of driving around the Elgin Valley and taking in some of the sights of the Open Gardens Weekend, the girls and I decided to cap off the Saturday with some KFC sprinkle pops for supper whilst watching the kitesurfers at Strand’s main Melkbaai beach.

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After chillling in the car, eating our KFC pops and marvelling at the kitesurfers doing their thing in the water from afar, I succeeded in convincing the girls that what we now needed to do was step out of the car and head in for closer look.

We were a little lucky in that although the wind was blowing rather strongly, it wasn’t whipping the sand around too much, meaning that we were able to walk a fair stretch of the beautiful pristine beach without being completely sandblasted to bits.

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Of course, with both girls being so mysteriously petrified of the sea at the moment, they pretty much clung to me like limpets, making the stroll a bit of a lesson in patience and deep breathing exercises, but we did get to see some pretty cool kitesurfing up close, not to mention the odd washed up jellyfish or two!

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Eventually the two of them found themselves rather enjoying the outing, loving the thrill of watching the kitesurfers doing flips and all manner of tricks in the waves, as well as the playful lifeguards milling and playing around in front of the Strand Surf Lifesaving Club HQ.

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Right, so now it’s just getting the two of them a little less petrified of the sea – we are after all going away to Gouritsmond for this upcoming December holiday period!

As always, a handy map to the beach if you too want to go kitesurfer watching:

Related Link: Strand

Running on the Sand of Strand Beach (2016-09-24) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 15 OCT 2016

Having just enjoyed a rather unexpected midweek getaway in Swellendam towards the end of September, we returned home just in time for first me to fall ill on the Friday, and then Chantelle follow suit on the Saturday. As you might imagine then, the weekend was a bit of an indoor affair, though I did venture out on Saturday afternoon in order for the girls to stretch their legs with some play time at the main Strand Beach, also known as Melkbaai Beach.

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If you didn’t know that already, Strand has about 5 kilometers’ worth of white sandy beaches, which is probably why it is such a popular weekend destination then for beach fishermen and rock anglers, and of course holidaymakers come season time!

Melkbaai beach is one of the safer beaches for swimming and fishing, and of course there is more than enough to do in the area, including an Olympic-sized indoor pool which is centrally heated and is open all year round.

Naturally, water sports like surfing, sailing, power boating, paddle skiing and board sailing are also a pretty big thing in the area.

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Anyway, the girls and I were just there to stretch our legs for a bit, and so with a Jelly Tots chocolate slab as lure/motivator, I soon had the two of them running up and down the beach and getting rid of some their pent up energy!

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As you can see from the pictures that I snapped when the girls gave me a chance, it was actually a pretty overcast day – which was nice in the sense we had plenty of space to ourselves then! :)

(Also, because that’s how these things work, by the next day both of them were struck down with the same illness that was plaguing Chantelle. Poor babies…)

Anyway, here’s a handy map to the beach if you too want to go exploring:

Related Link: Strand

Stroll along the Mostert’s Bay Section of Strand Beach (2016-09-09) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 03 OCT 2016

The Strand (Afrikaans for ‘beach’) is technically a seaside resort town on the eastern edge of False Bay, geographically between Macassar and Gordon’s Bay. It’s main attraction is of course the magnificent Melkbaai Beach which is known as one of the best and safest bathing areas in the country.

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However, as you head past the Pavillion complex towards the east, you’ll find yourself now walking along first Blake’s Beach and then Mostert’s Bay, both popular fishing and dog walking stretches of the beach area.

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Strand is super interesting in that despite it not appearing to be a wealthy area in the slightest, it features a stunning array of beautiful and interestingly designed high-rise apartment buildings which dominate the Golden Mile, Central, and Platinum Mile sections of the iconic Strand Beach Road that stretches the entire length of the beachfront.

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I’ve mentioned this before, but the nice thing about living so close to beaches whilst working from home is of course the ability to stretch one’s legs come lunch time by heading out for a sandy stroll – which is exactly what I ended up doing one recent Friday afternoon.

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For a change, instead of leaving my phone in the car, I forgot it in my pocket – which now means that I have a whole lot of photos for the blog again!

And of course, a map:

Related Link: Strand

Watching Gordon’s Bay from the Steenbras Lookout Point (2016-08-27) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 15 SEP 2016

I’ve mentioned Steenbras Dam on these pages before, formerly the main reservoir for Cape Town and also current source for the Steenbras Power Station (a pumped storage system).

I know that it used to be open to the public back in the day, making for a fantastic fishing and picnic spot for the local Helderberg residents, but has sadly for security reasons and due to vandalism and neglect, it has been closed to public access for a couple of years now.

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Thankfully though, the Steenbras Lookout Point has remained open to the public, situated literally in front of the gates of the Steenbras Water Treatment Plant (constructed in 1946).

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Once you reach the top of the steep, winding road leading up to the water treatment plant, you park in the parking area in front of the treatment facility’s gate and are immediately rewarded with a great view of False Bay.

However, for the full effect, you need to walk on the narrow path along the fence of the water treatment plant to reach an open lawn that then affords spectacular views of Gordon’s Bay, Strand, and in fact the whole Helderberg region!

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Amazingly, neither of my girls appeared worried by the seemingly treacherous path to reach the lookout point, though I must say for the most part I was sticking VERY closely behind!

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The reward was however worth it.

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Despite the slight haze on the day, the views were amazing, and the girls and I rather enjoyed watching the cars and boats seemingly at play down below. Mountain flowers were starting to bloom and of course, the girls were rather pleased by the fact that every now and then we could see clouds floating by underneath us!

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If you find yourself in the area, do yourself  a favour and take the quick trip to the top. It is definitely a nice and short, but rather rewarding, little tourist attraction here in Gordon’s Bay.

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Oh, and apparently this lookout point gives quite the view come night time – though I suspect I might do that without the little ones also clomping about!

(Also, as you might have surmised, Chantelle nearly fainted when I eventually showed her the pictures of what the girls and I had gotten up to while she was away at work!)

Here’s a map in case you also want to take in the view:

Related Link: Steenbras Dam

German Measles and a Walk along the Strand Beachfront (2016-07-06) Photo Gallery 07 JUL 2016

Believe it or not, a little while ago I came down with German Measles of all things. Sadly for Jessica’s sake though, the Gordon’s Bay Lötters weren’t quite done with German Measles after all – second week into her holiday and bang, a big red rash spreads across her entire body, and with that, my little girl is down and out for the count.

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Luckily it didn’t affect her nearly as long as what it did me but Monday, the first day of her illness, was tricky with both Chantelle and I needing to physically be at work on the day.

Thankfully Dad (who appears to be loving his new pensioner status by the way) was able to make the early morning trip through to Gordon’s Bay and look after her for us – which she rather enjoyed mind you!

Obviously holiday care at school was out thanks to the infectious nature of German Measles, so from Tuesday onward she stayed at home with me watching movies while I worked. An arrangement that also didn’t seem to bother her much!

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Halfway through Tuesday she was already starting to feel much better, and so when Wednesday rolled by, I decided to treat my now very bored little girl to a lunch time break that saw us drive out and pick up some KFC pops for lunch, sit in our car at the beach with a view of the sea and devour them, and then finally enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Strand beachfront to stretch our legs for a bit!

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Strand always feels a bit weirdly run down to me, what with its mixture of expensive high rise apartments right next to old, tired looking shopfronts. Nevertheless, that beachfront of theirs is great for a stroll, and Jessica was loving getting a bit of sunlight and fresh air after being cooped up in the house for so long!

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I see the construction phase of the City of Cape Town’s R180 million project to refurbish the Strand sea wall and in doing so, update the promenade and attempt to breathe some new life into the tired Strand beachfront is already well underway.

I can only imagine the headaches this work will bring in the future (basically the same issue that has plagued Kalk Bay and Fishhoek for years now), but the long-term benefits should more than outweigh the short-term inconvenience I’m sure!

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Despite being out for far longer than what I had originally planned, it was great to get out and enjoy the fresh sea air on such a beautiful, windless Winter sunny day, so definitely a lunch break well spent.

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Plus, it was rather nice to have a healthy, albeit it quarantined, Jessica back again!

(In case you are wondering, we think that Emily already had her German Measles first, so she should be okay. Hopefully.)

Ducks and Play Time at the Dam Park in Strand (2016-07-03) Photo Gallery 06 JUL 2016

We used to head out and feed the ducks at Dam Park in Strand (just opposite Strand High School) quite often when Jess was still a baby, but in recent years we’ve kind of slowed down on doing that for some or other reason. (Maybe the fact that it has become socially unacceptable to feed ducks bread has had something to do with it?)

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Anyway, Sunday saw Chantelle working, and so not wanting to waste the wonderful sunny Winter weather of the day (and also not really being in the mood for the last day of this year’s Winter Wonderland Festival – which we sadly completely missed out on by the way), I rounded up the girls and headed out towards Strand to the duck pond for a bit of a play and walkabout session.

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Obviously, the girls were overjoyed at the prospect, and pretty soon the two of them were darting between all the play equipment, making sure not to miss any in the process!

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The old, colourful tractor and train remains the biggest hits of course, a problem because Emily is way too small to clamber all over those by herself yet – which of course she simply HAS to do, seeing as big sister Jess is doing it!

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We spent a good amount of time playing on all the equipment, and even Teddy got roped into the fun!

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We ended off the session with a leisurely stroll around the dam, watching the ducks and Egyptian geese, and of course taking selfies – because just like any other little girl, Jessica really seems to enjoy having her picture taken!

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Visiting the Dam Park here in Strand never really disappoints, and is always great if you are looking for something local to do that doesn’t require you to open your wallet. (Plus, it was really nice to see the dam back to its fuller level – the last time I was here it was halfway empty!)

We had some time to kill in the general area because we were meeting up with Chantelle, Retha and Miguel a little later at the mall in order to say goodbye and wish them well for their upcoming Camino de Santiago (St. James Path) pilgrimage adventure in Spain.

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Teddy wanted a milkshake, burger and chips, so we popped into McDonalds Waterstone for that, and after spending some time there, we headed up into the hills of Somerset West in search for more public park spaces.

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As luck would have it, we stumbled across this one brilliant wooden jungle gym at the bottom of a sloped grass patch with perhaps the most magnificent view any play park is capable of having.

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Talk about a swing with a view! :)

Here are the rest of the photos that I happily snapped on what turned out to be a very pleasant, sunny Winter’s day out with my girls: