As part of my trip back home to Durban I desperately wanted to go to the Drakensberg, so I planned a road trip with two of my most special old friends that I grew up with and hadn't seen for a long time. On the way to and from the Drakenberg we drove through the Midlands Meander, a lovely stretch of gentle hills with little shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries, farms, spas and golf courses between Pietermaritzburg and the Drakensberg.
Our first stop was the Mandela capture site, which has a huge instalment of Mandela's face and a museum. The sculpture is a huge instalment of 50 tall steel columns that slowly come into focus as you approach the sculpture and they all line up. The 50 columns represent 50 years since Mandela's capture. If you go and struggle to see it, try looking through your camera... for some reason I think your eyes play tricks and see right through it and your camera flattens what you see. At least mine did anyway until someone explained it to me.
Next we stopped at Piggly Wiggly for breakfast and some shopping. I had bacon, banana and berry french toast and a red chai (there are all sorts of red drinks in South Africa, red chai, red cappuccino, red late... they are all made with a shot of strong rooibos tea!). The shops were great too... I bought a Christmas decoration, a wire bird ornament, some cushion covers and some Simonsig Wine.
We stopped Ardmore, a gallery and shop with the most fascinating pottery. Each piece is a unique piece of art (we actually studied it at school!) and costs about £2000! When we went they were all away on holiday, so we could still look around, but you can usually visit the workshop and see the artists making the pottery too.
On the way to Drakensberg we stopped at Bierfasl, a traditional German pub and restaurant serving very tasty German food and beer. On the way back we stopped at Blueberry Hill for lunch... it is up on a hill, has large glass windows looking out at the fields of Nguni cattle and plants everywhere. The menu is full of blueberry flavours. I had blueberry lemonade, bunny chow with a blueberry chutney and we shared a blueberry cheesecake after... it was such a stunning place.