Day eighteen - Bloemfontein,
20th October 2007

Up at 5am for the early flight to Bloemfontein.

The sunny day made for some great pics of Cape Town, the sea and the way across the Karoo to Bloemfontein, as you will see below.

When I arrived in Bloemfontein I booked into my four  star guest house - Bayswater Lodge is a disappointment and the star rating is a bit "sus" based on what I have seen elsewhere.

Image right: One of the grand old buildings in Bloemfontein

Having said that I had a great day ahead. I picked up my 200 copies of "Children of the Mist" from Fascination Books in the Mimosa Mall before exploring the historic part of Bloemfontein based around Pres Brand street (haven't renamed it Thabo Mbeki just yet!). The old buildings and history was quite amazing with the small river that was once the life blood of this early Boer settlement now being captured in a cement causeway that crosses the middle of the historic Brand Street.

In this street you find the first and fourth Raad buildings - the first dating back to 1849 when the Griqua still technically owned this land. That building would have been there when Adam Kok III was humiliated by Sir Harry Smith in this town.

There is also the grand Court of Appeal building and several other magnificent epitaphs of the past Boer glory. A must for any visitor to this historic town.

In the early evening I went to the "Dros Restaurant and Winery" to have a meal and join the locals as they watched the Springboks take on the English in an epic game - the Boks winning 15 - 6... this is the heart of Boer country and the pics below capture the moment as the South African team took back the cup they last won in 1995. The atmosphere in front of the bg screen was electric.



Cape Town

On the way

to Bloemfontein

Coming in

to Bloemfontein

World soccer



Bloemfontein today

Rugby enthusiasts

Bayswater Lodge

That's NOT a tree!

President Brand Str

The monuments and

buildings in Brand St

The captured river

The First Raad Building

The grounds of the
First Raad

Contemporary clothing

Inside the First Raad

The wagon house

The original 1849
First Raad Building

The boere and the

women prepare for the game

Capturing the moment

at the Dros

The final moments as

the Springboks win

Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour