A weekend trip to the Free State is the gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s a day trip to enjoy the antique stores in Parys or camping along the Vaal, it’s always a fun, easy trip outside Jozi. This time we really put foot and headed down to Clarens for a weekend. A picturesque small town with a busy town square, tasty homely restaurants and a great views. (I feel like I don’t want use the word “picturesque” but it actually does look like a one of those landscape pictures your mom has in the lounge).
Small town love
The weather on the weekend we went down was not quite sure what it wanted to do. It went from rainy and chilly to clear and warm and then wintry cold. Even so, this didn’t stop us exploring as it turns out that there’s an activity for each scenario. We took a walk around the town centre which is all around the town square.
The town square (that’s what I called it, could be something else as it’s more of a roundabout) is right in the middle of Market Street and quite busy with activity. People were playing soccer, throwing frisbees and just hanging out. It was all good but we went with shopping. Good deals were made.
Almost like a version of “Stars Hollow.”
Highland Coffee Roastery
I love a good cup of coffee and the trip advisor reviews of Highland coffee did not lie. The coffee was great and so were the custard pastries and croissants. We almost missed it because was short way down a dusty road. Really more like 50 m which is not a lot of the greater scheme of the weekend but it was my pre-coffee hour and so seemed more dramatic.
Scenic Drive in Golden Gate Nature Reserve
The Golden Gate nature reserve is one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. It’s also the only school camp destination that was not accompanied by a horrendous experience. So even back then I could tell it was special. We took a meandering, scenic drive through the reserve stopping along the way to let the cows pass. Quite stubborn cows, I might add.
The Basotho Cultural Village is inside the nature reserve. It showcases the history and culture of the Basotho people. Rather than a traditional museum, a guide takes you through a traditional village where actors depict what life in a village was like. It takes you through the changes in the structure of the home, traditional clothing and practices as they are influenced by modernity.
An afternoon stroll
Whenever I visit a small town, I always wonder if my city slicker self could actually live in a place like this. I look at pictures like this and think, “this is lovely…I could do this”.
Not Yet Though!