Saturday, 1 May 2010

Grahamstown, City of Saints, pt. 1

So we went to visit friends in Grahamstown last week. It was a very nice little city, churches in every corner, hence the nickname "city of saints", and quaint houses in between. As well as a remarkably young population of university students. It was nice to be able to walk around for a change, not only getting in and out of cars, and curious to see most of the city in just about an hour's stroll. Pretty much as the small town back home in Sweden where I grew up actually. Except that there aren't that many churches in my hometown, or young people. Or a university. Well, apart from the size of the city centre I guess the similarities stop.

I really enjoyed our stay, and did my best to be a good tourist and take pics of the city now that I actually have a camera for the first time in years. I need to practise taking pics of the people I spend time with though, not just houses and animals and pretty peculiarities that catch my eye. But I do have a thing for houses and churches, I just can't help it. I don't photograph cars and motorcycles as much anymore at least, but I sure notice them as much as I ever did. Just down the street where we live there's a car shop that specializes in custom made vintage cars. I've seen a few, and they all look completely amazing. I wish I had the guts to go over there and ask if I could take some pics one day.

There were a lot of coffee shops in Grahamstown, this little cute back yard is one of them. I don't know if it's cos I haven't had that much of vacation experience since I was a kid, or if work just somehow wears me out more these days, but I find it very easy to immediately get into a vacation mood nowadays, even if it's just a long weekend and a short drive away. It just slows time down a bit, relaxes me a lot more than usual, and just makes me sort of float along, far away from must-do's and what-not's. Guess it also could have something to do with the small town pace, or countryside climate, or wherever it is I'm visiting. I like it a lot just the same.

I prefer visiting friends over going on hotel holidays, I don't really know why. Maybe it's just that I'm not a big fan of the anynomity of hotels, or the forced familiarity of B&B's. With friends you're just yourself, and there's always the big advantage of home cooked meals, and late nite drinks and talks in the garden under the stars. We were treated to some exceptionally good home cooking in Grahamstown, it made me feel really spoilt to have friends like that. A long, lazy Sunday lunch with home made tagliatelle and gnocchi and wine: sign me up for that every week please! It would be easier living in the same city though, but one day maybe. One day, I'll get my Sunday lunch routine. And my own lion drinking fountain in the garden, next to a lemon tree and some raspberry bushes. Just you wait and see. Then come visit.

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