Striated Skies No. 49 – Where is Jan Dissels?

49. Where is Jan Dissels?Clanwilliam is a town, nestled at the foot of the Cederberg mountains, 230km north of Cape Town. The first residents arrived in approximately 1662 although the permanent settlement, Jan Disselsvalleij, was only established in 1725. Sir John Cradock renamed the town after his father-in-law, the Earl of Clanwilliam in 1814.

Clanwilliam is a picturesque town of white Cape Dutch homesteads. It is centrally situated with a variety of attractions around it to satisfy nature-lovers, adventurers, flower-viewers and watersports enthusiasts alike.  The town is the centre of the Rooibos tea industry, in the Cederberg, with factory visits and rooibos products on offer. The Clanwilliam Dam is renowned as the best in the Western Cape for water skiing and is also popular with anglers. 

At present a R2bn project is underway to increase the Full Supply Level (FSL) of the dam by raising the dam wall by 13 m, providing an additional 70 million cubic metres of water a year to downstream farmers. The dam was originally built in 1935 with the wall being raised in 1964. The project is aimed for completion in 2020. As part of the project the realigning of a portion of the N7 road is taking place as the current road will be flooded once the dams capacity is increased. Find out more information here and here.

The Dutch Reformed Church is one of the beautiful buildings that grace the streets of Clanwilliam. Others include the Jan Dissels original home, the St John’s Church, the old gaol, the magistrates court and many more. The Dutch Reformed Church depicted above was designed by Carl Otto Hager and was built in 1864, in the same gothic style as used in his Piketberg Church. The St John’s Anglican Church, shown below, was designed by Sophie Gray and was built in 1866. Sophie Gray was the wife of Bishop Robert Gray. When they arrived in the Cape in 1847 there were 10 Anglican churches and upon the Bishops death, 25 years later, there were 63. Sophie Gray designed 40 of the churches [this could be a future striated skies project 😉 ]

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I need to go back to the Cederberg to stay and explore more. I would suggest that you do the same. Check out the links below for more information.

 

 

 

Striated Skies No. 48 – Is it the Spirit of Cape Town?

48. Is it the Spirit of Cape Town?

Taken on a beautiful day in Cape Town, the picture that inspired this striated sky shows a CMACGM container ship leaving the harbour as smaller vessels sail about. The picture is taken on Haul Rd looking North East towards Bloubergstrand.  This blog is divided into three parts: Cape Town Harbour, CMACGM and the Dolosse

Cape Town Harbour

The Cape Town Harbour sees a large majority of Fruit and Fish exports out of South Africa. It is by no means the largest harbour and other harbours are planned to overtake it in terms of yearly tonnage. For a detailed breakdown of the South African harbours and Transnet’s future planning check out this document. Cape Town Harbour has grown over the years, starting with the Victoria and Alfred basin (now home to the V&A waterfront) and expansion to its current location, there are plans to continue its expansion.

CMACGM

The Story of CMACGM is quite an inspiring one. The company is the result of a merger when state owned CGM was privatised. Jacques Saadé started CMA in 1978 with one ship operating between Beirut, Lattakia, Marseille, and Livorno. There were 4 employees. The company continued to grow and in 1996 the CMA industrial plan was selected by the French government and Saadé turned CGM around in under a year. In 1999 the companies merged to form the 12th largest shipping company in the world. In 2000 they were voted best shipping company in the world and are currently the 3rd largest with a capacity of 13 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit i.e. no. of containers) a year. One of their 470 vessels (with a combined capacity of 1,880,000 TEUs) is named “Spirit of Cape Town”.

Dolosse

On the right hand side of the picture you can see some dolosse protecting the coast from erosion. The reason I have decided to write a little bit about the dolosse is that they are a South African invention. The Dolos was invented in 1963 by East London harbour engineer Eric Merrifield (possibly together with Aubrey Kruger) after a storm ripped off 60% of East London harbour’s armour. The design is an H shape with one leg turned 90 degrees. The dolosse fit together forming a porous wall that allows the dissipation of energy when waves hit it. Dolosse are used on coastlines around the world. The Dolos Breakwater Block Memorial, can be seen at the East London Harbour.

 

Striated Skies No. 40 – Thesen Turbine

40. Thesen Turbines

Thesen Islands Turbine Hotel was established in 2010. The hotel is housed in the refurbished power station that was in operation on the island from 1939 to 2001 when the power station was decommissioned.

Thesen islands is named after Charles William Thesen who bought the island (it was called Paarden island at the time) in 1922 in order to process timber. The Thesen family had moved from Norway to Knysna in 1870 and founded numerous business entities in the town. The wood processing plant resulted in waste. This was used as fuel to power the turbines for electricity generation.

In 1974 Barlows, purchased the logging operations. The operations on the islands were decommissioned in early 1980 due to the adverse environment impact they caused. Barlow sold the islands for re-development and CMAI went on to develop the Islands into the internationally acclaimed marina development it is today, housing the Thesen Harbour Town with its shops, restaurants and hotels, together with 596 residential houses and apartments, 19 interlinked islands and numerous canals.

A museum concept for the old power station never materialized and the site was sold to the current Hotel owner and operators, Geoff Engel and Dandre Lerm, in September 2007. Rezoning, approvals and building of the site took almost 3 years and the full operation commenced trading on 12 August 2010.

I have did not stay at the hotel so I cannot comment on it. The hotel website gives the following description. The Turbine Hotel & Spa comprises 24 bedrooms and suites, an Amani African Spa, the 90 seater Island Café, The Turbine Tapas Bar, together with Conference facilities, pool deck, jetty for motorized pontoon cruises and a host of modern facilities which tastefully complement the refurbished facilities and equipment which have been bought back to life around the property. The original wood boiler, four electricity generators and much of the equipment have been fully restored and blend in with the hotel’s décor themes. Each bedroom has been individually decorated and is themed and named to reflect the rich cultural, historical and geographic diversity of Knysna.

turbinehotel

Knysna is a great tourist destination and part of the Garden Route which is a must for any savy traveller. It is known for its many festivals, which you can check put here. Make sure you take a trip through the garden route and spend time in Knysna.

For more information visit:

 

 

Striated Skies No 39 – Early Morning Coffee

39. Early Morning Coffee

When you start your day with an early morning meeting in Cape Town and you have to travel down the N1 to get there. When you hate sitting in traffic and therefore leave before sunrise to miss it. These were prerequisites for the photo that inspired this early morning coffee picture. I am not a fan of traffic and given that at the V&A there is a 24hr McDonalds you can have a cup of coffee before your meeting, prepare and look at the amazing view.

The view includes the construction of the Zeitz MOCAA. I have spoken about this in a previous blog, although looking back I did not write much about it. I remember that it was because there is not that much information freely available on the net. There is an update on the Siloblog, which gives some pictures and a completion date of the end of 2016. Until the museum opens, the Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion is open with free admission. The pavillion can be found near Bascule Bridge at the V&A and is open from 12 – 8 PM, every Wednesday to Sunday.

The museum is going to provide a cultural boost to the area which should have a positive effect economically for the CBD. The development in this part of the V&A are providing a link to the CBD.

Do not wait until 2016 to visit Cape Town for this awesome new museum, come to Cape Town this Summer and then again next year. I can tell you right now that there is more than enough to do here and it would take years of trips to get it all done.

Striated Skies

Striated Skies No. 18 – Construction

Striated Skies

There is something that I love about construction. The cranes, the dirt and the building that rises out of the foundations. Cape Town is a city that continues to develop and Century City is one of the main development centers. This weeks striated sky is of the Century City Urban Square development which comprises  of a conference centre, offices and residential apartments. The development is worth over R1 Billion, designed by Vivid Architects and developed by Rabie.

The buildings use green technologies and will give Cape Town more opportunities for business. For me this picture is absolutely beautiful.