Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Interesting architecture in Aberdeen ...

I want to share some of the varied & interesting housing styles in the little town of Aberdeen.
 
I confess to having a great fondness for Cape Dutch architecture - the elegant & symmetrical gables are so striking that they are easily my favourite house style in South Africa.

My own family history dates back to the Dutch settlers who arrived in The Cape as Dutch East India Company settlers & moved northwards with time.
 
Aberdeen has a long Dutch history

The Early Days

Aberdeen's early history dates from 1675 when Simon van der Stel received overtures from the Inqua Hottentot tribe (Khoisan) asking him to engage in barter, as they had cattle and sheep. Heykon, their chief, persuaded the Cape government to send Ensign Shriver to buy cattle from this new source. The meeting of the two cultures subsequently took place about 30km north west of the present town of Aberdeen in January 1689.

The Dutch influence is still very evident in the many Cape Dutch style houses in the town. The style is marked with gables that rise elegantly in front or to the sides.












 
Many of the homes have long verandas that wrap around them for shelter from the Karoo summers which are scorching hot. They have always been a cool place to sit & enjoy cooler evenings & chats with friends & neighbours.
 
Many Aberdeen homes have metal roofs with interesting details.



 Several homes still have original shutters to keep out the summer heat & the winter chills .


Interesting details on the verandas


 A popular style with curved veranda roof & gates onto the 'stoep'




Wide dusty streets with only the main road tarred





Lovely Victorian details







Modern walls with cacti that are well suited to the hot, dry climate



Old & modern - side by side









Curved roof with interesting details

 











The long, dusty roads lead out of the town towards the fabulous Camdeboo mountains



Windmills are a common sight ...


.... the church is at the heart of the town - its skew steeple is an interesting feature as it is the tallest church steeple in South Africa  


It is an interesting town with an interesting mix of people - some who have spent their whole lives in Aberdeen, others who have escaped the fast pace of modern life to enjoy the laid back lifestyle.

Do you have a favourite style of home from the photos? I hope you have enjoyed this visit with me ...
Dee ~♥~

Monday, 18 August 2014

The vastness of The Karoo & Aberdeen ...

Hello all, another new week to look forward to & enjoy. I am on my summer holidays as I work as a private tutor so this is my time to catch up with things.

Youngest daughter & I spent a month visiting family & friends in South Africa so I hope to share some more of our trip with you.

We were headed from the busy city life of Johannesburg to ....





South Africa is a vast country & we opted to travel from Johannesburg to the Karoo by overnight luxury InterCape bus instead of hiring a car & driving the long roads alone.

My initial hesitation at using the bus was replaced by admiration for a well run service - comfortable seats, refreshments & regular stops. The 1000km, overnight 12 hour trip meant we could get some sleep as well & we were met by my Dad & brother at 3am in Aberdeen in the Karoo.




While visiting, a national newspaper carried this story in their travel section about Aberdeen


This is a view of the stunning Camdeboo mountains from Aberdeen

I confess to not having spent anytime in Aberdeen in the past, so I really enjoyed learning of its long history & spent lots of time walking the dusty streets, doing photos & just enjoying the slower pace of life.










I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to Aberdeen in The Karoo in South Africa.

Please leave a comment so I know you have visited & I can return the visit to your blog, lots more photos to follow of our trip so please stop by again soon,
Dee ~♥~