The last night of our trip we stayed in the Karoo town of Prince Albert. The Karoo is one of my favourite parts of South Africa, it is a pretty dry part of the country, with whole lots of nothing between each little town. Here and there you see trees around a farmhouse in the distance, giving the impression of an oasis in the desert, but otherwise it’s just hills and shrubs, road and dust. I fondly remember childhood visits to my paternal grandmother in one of these old Karoo towns, and Prince Albert refreshed the atmosphere of my memories.
The town is basically one main road, with a couple more running off to the sides. Most of the homes are in the old Victorian or Karoo Victorian style, with a few more modern ones from the fifties. On both sides of the road old irrigation canals run alongside the pavement, still supplying water to the gardens of resident gardens and fruit orchards.
Despite the fact that we saw very few travellers, most places in town were fully booked, luckily we got rooms at this old house that is almost two-hundred years old, with many of the original fixtures still in place.
Prince Albert has become quite a popular destination over recent years, with many of the homes neatly restored and now housing guest houses, restaurants and stores selling locally produced food and wines. Despite the town’s popularity it still seems like a sleepy hamlet, with the residents some of the friendliest people I have encountered in South Africa.
We picked up a lot of the preserves for our wedding here, as well as the leg of lamb we served, at the small and pleasant butchery below, bottom right corner.
We spent a very short amount of time here, arriving late in the afternoon and leaving the next morning, but we did get to take in the local scenery, like the historic Moederkerk or Mother Church.
Some very Karoo details.
And local cats enjoying the warming morning sun.