This week’s photo comes from our visit to Coimbra last year, which did not last too long as it was already becoming dark by the time we arrived. However I did manage this great shot of the city with the Mondego river meandering its way through the city. Next time I am Portugal I definitely want to see more of this beautiful city.
Our construction site is a mere 370 Km from Joburg which means a site visit is an entire day event that starts at around 5am and ends at around 6pm. Usually I do the drive with or accompany a colleague but this week I did a solo trip and in order to keep myself entertained I decided I would Instagram parts of the trip as it is quite a nice drive (if you are awake not grumpy about being awake at that time!). Enjoy! Continue reading
Before going on holiday Raquel and I had spoken about perhaps travelling around Portugal and seeing some other places which I hadn’t visited on other trips. That was the plan. I used the past tense because in fact we did very little of that. On my part I know it was sheer laziness as my objective for the holiday (after arrival) was to do as little as possible. Yes. I became a sloth in Portugal.
This is the first time that I have lived through Jozi’s summer months and one thing I was not expecting was the summer showers. Almost everyday, the clouds start gathering mid afternoon and by the time you need to go home, its pours down heavily for a couple of hours by the next morning the sun is out again. Despite the glum look of the city for a couple of hours, I’d happily keep this over the constant drizzle in London that started in the 18th century and hasn’t stopped since.
I love football (soccer for the Americans in the audience) and have “my” teams I support in Portugal and England, however my knowledge on the local football scene is limited to the Soweto derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. The argument can be made that the lower quality of soccer in South Africa has dissuaded a lot of people to follow the local game, but the national should still be followed and supported, however that is not the case as not too many white folks can name players of the national. Unfortunately I am guilty of that as well but it is something which I intend to slowly put right. Continue reading
Raquel and I spent the past weekend at my parents house back in Limpopo. As I hadn’t seen my brother since before Christmas, he and my sister in law gave Raquel and I our Christmas gifts. The photo shows pretty clearly what I got: Lego! I love Lego! I always have since a very young age; who know maybe it was these toy building blocks which planted the seed which lead me to the construction industry. It not’s the first Lego model of the Architecture series I’ve received, but its an awesome addition to my collection which already contains the White House (Washington, US), Burj Khalifa (Dubai, UAE), Empire State Building (New York, US) and now the Tower of Pisa (Pisa, Italy). Needless to say I decided play around with the model and take some photos. Enjoy!
I don’t have a bucket list written down anywhere, it’s more a mental list I keep of things I want to do and places I want to go to and invariably this list just keeps getting longer as life goes on, but there are always some things that stay on the upper echelons of the list. In my case one of these is a helicopter ride. When I say going on a helicopter ride I mean being a passenger not flying one, so this really isn’t one of those WOW-factor items, but hey, I’m a simple guy! Continue reading
A couple of months ago, Raquel, myself and some friends went to watch Bafana Bafana (South Africa’s soccer team) versus Spain, which in itself was a good experience and will have a post of its own soon. However, besides the soccer, there was something at the game which left me feeling really happy inside. It was three friends who were sitting together waiting for the soccer, but what made the image more interesting was that the each of the boys were of a different race; One black, one white and one “Indian” (which in South Africa could mean anyone from South Asian heritage). Now in Joburg this is not an unusual image but where I grew up, this would be considered unthinkable before apartheid. Even though it is usual in Joburg, it still makes me happy to see young people from different backgrounds spending time together socially as it is a testament to Nelson Mandela’s famous quote below:
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
It seems hard to believe, but today this blog has been online for four years now. I look back at when I started this blog and always find it funny that the ‘desire’ to start was borne out of laziness; I wanted to keep people informed on life in Libya without having to write numerous emails. It was this accidental beginning that created my online alter ego, Travelling Tonito who shared his experiences about living in Libya, a former pariah state turn good guy. Continue reading
Cape Town and its surrounding areas has so much to offer tourists that one weekend is just not enough to fit it all in. On our first trip to the mother city for our wedding anniversary, we had two days to start our initial exploration of the area, but it was our wedding anniversary after all, so we didn’t really exert ourselves, and stuck mainly to the Cape Town, Cape Point and Simons Town.
There was going to be a public holiday two weeks after our first trip to Cape Town, however the exorbitant air fares had us give up on the idea to travel there again. However it seems like lady fortune had some different ideas: Raquel had to travel to Durban for work, but on arrival at the airport she discovered that South African airways had made a mess of her reservation and as an apologetic gesture, they offered her a free return flight to any city in South Africa. I also had some air miles on South African Airways and cash them in and only ended up paying 30% of what a flight on that weekend would cost me.
That moment of good fortune mean that Raquel and I had another opportunity to visit the mother city and we immediately decided that we would spend a day wine tasting along the Cape’s famous Wine Routes.
It is at this point that good fortune makes a swift departure from this post and it is replaced by stupidity and well a little bit of luck. The morning following our late night arrival in Cape Town, the weather seemed fine and despite being cloudy, the forecast for the weekend indicated that it would be the best day to travel and explore the wine route.
After breakfast we got into our little rental and started our drive towards Stellenbosch, but we weren’t even 10 minutes on the road when skies opened up and rain started pouring down. If it was a quick shower storm it would have been okay, but unfortunately it rained for the remainder of the morning, which made wine tasting and exploring the wineries pretty hard.
It was already past lunch when we headed towards winery we had read about, Vergelegen. We decided to go in and the moment we parked the car the rain stopped and the clouds opened up. Our exploration of the winery started with some wine tasting. As Raquel likes red wines and I prefer white, we tried four glasses of each.
Our lack of wine knowledge didn’t stop us from enjoying some fantastic wines and spent a good while really savouring each of the wines on offer to us.
After sampling those divine wines and we set off exploring the grounds. Both Raquel and I love cape Dutch architecture so exploring the quaint Cape Dutch houses and out buildings. The houses on their own were worth a visit already, but the immaculate gardens on the winery was simply exquisite and having rained earlier in the day, the grounds had that amazing smell of nature which I can’t really put into words.
Having spend a good two hours exploring the grounds we got ready to leave to explore another wine farm and then head to Franschhoek, but the weather turned again and it rained for the rest of the day leaving our wine route day cut short and we decided to head back towards Cape Town.
Despite the weather not playing along, the only farm we visited was top notch and we really enjoyed the amazing setting while the weather allowed it.
One of my objectives for the new year is taking more photos. I’ve neglected photography for a while now because I’ve simply been too busy to really dedicate much time to it, however that will change as I really want to improve my photography over the next year. One area I really want to work on is night time photography which I love and really want to work on. One of the things that I never caught was a decent photo of the moon, and I thought I might give it a try today! Here is my first attempt at photographing the moon!
In 2012 I wrote a post on the funny search terms that lead to people finding my blog. At the time there seemed to be a real interest in mistresses and prostitutes in either Abu Dhabi or Tripoli, with the search terms of “abu dhabi prostitutes” or “abu dhabi mistress” or “tripoli mistress” leading the way in search terms. I would love to see the disappointment in the faces of those poor souls when the stumbled onto my blog and there was no price list or tips on finding these types of, ahem, girls in Abu Dhabi and Tripoli. Continue reading
Every year I try and do a review of the year and despite the lack of activity on the blog, I wanted to create a video for 2013 as well. 2010 I used a photo slide show; 2011 I used I stick images for something different and in 2012 I made a video using photos. Continue reading
Last Christmas was spent by the pool and in the sun the way I like it and have been used to spending it for most of my life. This year we are spending it in Portugal with Raquel’s family the way they like it and have been used to spending it by a fireplace! I should have a photo of something but I have entered my extreme point of laziness, doing nothing, not even taking photos. Raquel has been taking some photos using the iPhone and it is one of her photos I put up. Have a merry Christmas and a great new year!
Over three years ago I wrote a post on Nelson Mandela’s birthday after finishing his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. The book left me with an even greater sense of respect for him, especially as I kept thinking that I would never be able to forgive like he did. A week ago, Raquel and I watched the movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and I was once again reminded of the great man he was and what he did for South Africa.
Lephalale is place that in South Africa has become synonymous of mismanagement and disorder. Why? Because of the construction of one of the biggest coal fired power stations in the world. The other day driving away from this site I took this photo of the power station in construction and its twin stacks, the constant reminder of South Africa’s power shortage.
In September a former colleague of mine from London came through South Africa on his 6 month sabbatical from work. He had a few things planned out and wanted to visit Soweto. Considering Raquel and I had yet to visit the birth place of two Nobel laureates we decided to take him to Vilakazi Street and to the Hector Pieterson Museum. The photo below is of the two iconic cooling towers of the decommissioned Orlando Power Station. Enjoy.
I realise I have been absent from the blog for a while but I’ve had to put the blog on the back burner for some time while I concentrate on work which has pretty much taken over most of my free time during the week. I’m hoping to start posting regularly towards the end of the year when we leave for our long awaited holiday. This post doesn’t mark a change from the current work dominated phase of the year I’m in, however I did want to share something quite special to us: Last week we received our wedding video which has been in the making for a year. Continue reading
Last weekend we returned to Cape Town for slightly longer this time and set about exploring what we did not see last time, including Table mountain which eluded us on our last trip. The mountain was quite visible from the city, however we decided to drive out towards Blouberg to get this amazing view of the mountain. Enjoy!
Last weekend, Raquel and I, together with some friends of ours attended the Holi Festival of Colours in Joburg’s Mary Fitzgerald Square. Initially before I booked the tickets I assumed it would something more Hindu, but in the end it was more like an electronic music festival where you could throw coloured powder. However, the Hindu festival of Holi is regarded as a celebration of the Colors of Unity & Brotherhood – an opportunity to forget all differences and indulge in unadulterated fun, so in that sense this festival wasn’t too far off, despite being celebrated at the wrong time of year. Despite it not being the festival I was expecting it was a good day out which we all enjoyed!