Tuesday, July 1, 2008

On our way....

We left home around 6am and poor Dottie was still rubbing sleepy dust out of her eyes. It wasn’t long before her eyes were as large as saucers. She could not believe the vastness that is South Africa or how within a few kilometers, the terrain can change so much. We went from densely populated towns, to crop farms, to cattle farms to wide open spaces. It was quite a long trip from Benoni to Kimberley, which is situated approximately in the middle of SA on the border of the Northern Cape and the Free State. I think Dottie found it very interesting and rather different!

Just a bit about Kimberley – This town sprang up virtually overnight with the discovery of diamonds at the Colesburg Kopje (hillock) in 1871. The news spread like wild fire and within a few months some 50 000 diggers were swarming the hill. They just kept digging in their quest for riches and so it became the largest hand-dug hole in the world. It’s known as the Big Hole. There was no real town planning so it grew around the diggings. We of course had to go and have a good look!
We started at the City Hall where we caught a vintage electric tram (built in 1910) which runs regularly to the museum.
Dottie jumped on sooo quickly, she's the blurrrr at the back ;)

This is the Oldest Surviving House. It was moved to the Big Hole Open Mine Museum and is just sooo quaint with its delightful façade made entirely of wood and iron. They have re-constructed this area to look as it did all those years ago.

Pawnbroker’s shop! I guess every town needs one ! 'Shame' said Dottie, 'His back must be really sore and stiff from sitting in one position for so long!' She had us laughing long and hard! She's quite the comic!

Turn-of-the-Century Theme Museum - A whole cobbled-street dating from the early days has been reconstructed and preserved. Down this street is a pub called Digger's Rest which was one of 128 pubs that did a roaring trade at that time. It still has its honky tonk piano!

In 1882 Kimberley became the first town in the southern hemisphere to enjoy electric street lighting!!!!

Next, we were off to see the Big Hole!!!!!!

‘Oh my word’ said Dottie. ‘It’s huge. How on earth did the diggers get down there and back up?’ We then explained that they used ropes, buckets, scaffolding and wooden platforms. It was not an easy operation! It must have been back breaking.

Dottie was totally fascinated and wanted to try her hand at sifting for diamonds, ‘like they used to’. It’s quite a process and took her a while but look what she found!

Lucky girl, don’t you think?

At this stage, we decided to call it a day and head to our hotel for some much needed rest and refreshment!

Hugs to all
D & D

P.S. DD and Dottie refuelled and were off again to meet new friends for coffee and a movie! Oh that I should have the stamina of the youth! Catch you all again tomorrow!


Chriss Rollins said...

sooooo very interesting DnD you sound as though you had a great time..THE HOLE is so beautiful must look up just how deep it is..i am hungry for more.
take care and have fun you girls.
love chriss x
Hey wasnt Dottie lucky to get that beautiful diamond.

Denise said...

That she was Chriss! With something that size she is now The most eligible spinster around??? hehehe

Jaqi said...

Fantastic, How interesting, this looks like a great place to visit. Of course Dottie is very lucky and it doesnt surprise me one little bit that she would find a diamond that size. Have Fun , Jaqi x

Susan said...

WHat a fabulous day you all had and how lucky for Dottie to make such a find! I can't wait to see how she will incorporate the new necklace into her wardrobe...what spectacular scenery too, Denise. SA is an interesting place alright.

Glad Dottie is busy making new friends with your DD.