Sunday, September 20, 2009

A tentative UNESCO world heritage site in South Africa.

Everyone is really enjoying the Cape Winelands immensely......

Oops Sita, I forgot to mention that The Cape Winelands Cultural Landscape
is on UNESCO's tentative list of world heritage sites....

Our next stop is the picturesque town of Paarl, cradled between the Paarl Mountain with its magnificent 50 million year old granite boulders and the towering Du Toitskloof Mountain Range.

The huge granite rock is formed by three rounded outcrops that make up Paarl Mountain and is the second largest granite outcrop in the world!

The town takes its name from the granite domes of Paarl Mountain, which looms above the town – Paarl is dutch for Pearl.
No, we are not going to hike in the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve to see more fynbos and have a picnic.

Nor are we going to the Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm that has over 1000 cr
ocodiles and sells crocodile leather and meat

No, guys we are not going to play golf nor are we going to a spa nor are we going to sample the wide range of cheeses, including cheddar, camembert, brie, blue- cheese, and goats milk cheese.

We are going to see the Afrikaans Language Monument which is the world's only monument dedicated to a language!!

The town of Paarl really has a unique character, not least because vineyards still grow in between residential neighbourhoods maintaining a country feel to a town virtually the size of a small city, but also because it is here that the struggle to gain recognition for Afrikaans as a written language was achieved.

Known simply as the Taal monument or Afrikaans l
anguage monument, the most famous Afrikaans icon, die Afrikaanse Taalmonument, sits on Paarl rock, erected in 1975 to commemorate the semi centenary of Afrikaans as an official language, separate from Dutch, overlooking the farmlands of Stellenbosch and Paarl.

Designed by architect Jan van Wijk, the monument, shaped in a number of tall obelisk style columns, takes its inspiration from the surrounding environment of granite rock and the words of NP van Wyk Louw, who wrote "Afrikaans stands with one leg in Africa and with the other in the west" and CJ Langenhoven who said "Afrikaans is a rapidly ascending curve".

The monument is not without some controversy.
The British magazine, Wallpaper, ran a story that described Afrikaans as the ugliest language in the world in September 2005!!

As a direct response, billionaire Johann Rupert withdrew advertising for brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill.

Did you know that Afrikaans is one of the youngest languages in the world??

Its roots spread over three continents - Africa, Asia and Europe - and its mother tongue speakers range across different races, creeds and cultures - it is the first language of approximately 60% of South Africa's Whites and over 80% of the Coloured population.

It originated from the 17th century Dutch language, and became known as 'Cape Dutch', a pejorative term that was remedied when the language was recognised as a distinct language in 1925.

Main Street Paarl is a colourful collection of beautifully restored Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings and includes the oldest Dutch Reform
ed Church in the country – the Strooidak Church - and the Paarl Museum, housed in a u-shaped Cape Dutch house and home to an in-depth look at the town's history, starting with early man and dealing with European colonisation and slavery.

Marti has just found an interesting bottle '100% Worcester' wine....yes , it is the world's first Braille wine bottle!

All '100% Worcester' wines carry a Braille message with a portion of sales being donated to hearing and sight impaired communities....pretty cool don't' you think??

Nopi wants to know how come she gets tipsy from just one glass of wine yet her male friends can drink a whole darn bottle without it affecting them??

Good question Nopi....

Well, the answer is really quite simple.

Some of the reasons are as follows:

First, women are smaller on average than men, so there's less of us all round to absorb the alcohol. A smaller liver will mean that it takes longer to metabolize or break down the alcohol consumed.

Second, women have on average 10% more fat than men (hence the feminine curves). This means there's less body fluid to dilute alcohol, so it travels around women's bodies in more concentrated form and causes more harm.

Thirdly, women's livers produce less of the substance the body uses to break alcohol down (an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase). This means women not only get drunk quicker but the effects last longer.

Lastly, premenstrual hormonal changes causes women to become drunk even quicker during the days before a female gets her period. Birth control pills and any medication with estrogen will increase alcohol levels.

So don't challenge a man of your size to a drinking are bound to lose :-(

A large variety of grapes are grown in Paarl, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc and the Paarl Wine Route is also known as the 'Red Route' because of this.

Over 25 wine cellars include Backsberg Estate, KWV, Nederburg, Nelsons Creek, Simonsvlei and Avondale that make up the popular wine route.

So guess what we are going to do next........yippee...we are going let's roll up our jeans and give those legs a really good work out girls!!!! This is so much fun!!!

Nopi already has a glass of wine in her hand.......Opa!!!

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