We saw in the distance our destination, Matjiesfontein. We knew that this small village was really a hotel complex, 3,000 feet above sea level. It had no shops, just a bank open for one hour a week and a post office. As we drove off the road I could ...
not believe what I was seeing: the hotel itself was turreted and had three flags flying, two South African and one Union Jack. We turned into the little street with the railway station on the right, and on the left was a large detached house with open garages at the back containing five vintage cars! We knew this was where our landlord, Major Buist, lived. There were twelve old London gas lamps along the street, and everywhere were trees that looked like weeping willows but were really pepper trees; these gave great shade to the parked cars. We parked the car and went into the coffee shop, where the smell of fresh coffee came wafting out of the door. An African girl was turning the handle of a superb old coffee grinder, and hotel guests were enjoying the coffee and eating fresh scones and cream. The whole shop, even the cash register, looked as though it had come from Victorian England. Outside the buildings had tin roofs painted pink and there was a house called 'Olive Schreiner's Cottage'.
Number of pages: 416
Date of publication: 01/03/2009
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