Although today was built-in to our itinerary as a day of leisure, it was packed full of events. Our day began with a 40-minute drive to Stellenbosch, which, as we would soon discover, was stunningly beautiful. It was nice to get out of the bustling, urban Cape Town area. We replaced heavy traffic and the sprawling metropolis for world-renowned vineyards and a laidback atmosphere.
Speaking of vineyards, wine tasting took up a large portion of our day (tough life, this Maymester business). We spent the morning taking a walking tour of Stellenbosch and visited many historic sites including a church that serves as a South African national historic monument. Much to my relief, we finally had a lunch consisting of African food. I wish I could explain what all of it was, I am only certain that it was delicious!
For myself, the most special part of today was our visit to the Burgiss Group, a company I interned for in Hoboken, NJ last summer. I knew they had an outfit in South Africa and, when I learned it was in Stellenbosch, I worked hard to organize chance for our group to stop by on our visit. After some lengthy collaboration between Dr. Turner, Stefan (head of Burgiss Group in South Africa), and myself, our group had a tremendous visit today. I even ran into a coworker from last summer who is spending 4 weeks in Stellenbosch training new local employees. What a coincidence!
After a tour and an outstanding company overview by Stefan, we headed to Dornier Vineyards for some more wine tasting and to take in what has to be some of the most incredible scenery the world has to offer. I took a prodigious amount of pictures but, as I figured would be the case, they don’t even begin to capture the magnificence of Stellenbosch’s natural beauty.
Following our spectacular time at Dornier, we headed to a “real” African dinner. Though there may have been quite a bit of tourist entertainment (such as face painting, dancers, traditional African dress), I enjoyed trying Africa-specific foods such as springbok sausage and impala venison steaks. The impala, in particular, was incredibly good. We stayed at the restaurant and capped a full day with enjoying the dancing and lively atmosphere. I even found myself, alongside several classmates, on stage with the African dancers at one point. Unfortunately for us, I am certain the event was well documented via photos and video! Quite an exhausting day of leisure!
One thing is for certain, Stellenbosch. I will return one day.