Swellendam: A Weekend Getaway

This past weekend proved that you don’t need to go to a sought-after destination to have a picture-perfect holiday. Our short weekend getaway to Swellendam this past weekend proved to be quaint, picturesque and just the right amount of adventure-and-chill. Swellendam, for those who don’t know, is a small, sleepy town a mere 2.5 hours out of Cape Town. It’s likely a town you have driven through many a time on your way to and from more popular destinations like Plettenberg Bay or Knysna.

It seems to be the golden thread in our holiday-planning: they are dictated more by price than destination. Afterall, the reason we went to India this December passed was because it answered the question “Where are the cheapest airline tickets going to right now?”.

But enough about the how and why the why. Let’s talk about the where and what. We stayed at Arumvale, a self-catering country house situated on a farm. We hired out their idyllic “rustic cottage” for the duration of our two-day stay.

I need a total of 0 fingers to count how many times I have woken up to a more perfect view. Yes, those are cows in the background of the above image. All with their very own nametags.

Saturday was our only full day, and we spent it exploring the tiny town. There are some delightful locations at which to spend your time and money. Shops such as a bric-a-brac store filled to the brim with the most incredible antiques: working typewriters, old suitcases (pictured in my head as a series of stacked suitcases of different sizes, perfect as an ottoman or a bed-end table, especially when topped with books), prams, bird-cages, tea containers… the list is endless.

JW’s Beekeeping Honey & Equipment was a treat: an institution with an ongoing commitment to environmental awareness, and raising the awareness of the importance of bees to mankind. From their store, you could buy any honey-related product from lip balm, to shampoo and conditioner, to raw honey. In the back, there were real bees and tons of mind-blowing information about the species. Did you know that each worker bee only makes about one 12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime? Or that if bees need a new Queen, they grow one by feeding a baby bee Royal Jelly? Me neither!

Mid-exploration we stopped for tea at La Belle Alliance where I satisfied by scones craving with mountains of cream, jam and cheese. And not to forget the tea. Calvin, on the other hand, was a mini Castle Lite advert in the background.

The town’s buildings, as is evident, are extraordinarily beautiful and exquisitively old. The towering, aged church was, quite frankly, breath-taking.

Back at our accommodation in the evening, and a tad of Sunday, we were personally introduced to some very beautiful faces. The cows, specifically Stargz and Lola, and little Hannah, the Staffie of Arumvale

Sometimes the best type of holiday is the one that turns you into a tourist in your own country. Thanks Swellendam and Arumvale for sharing your beauty and extraordinary character with us. We’ll be back.