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Free time in Franschhoek

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Free time in Franschhoek

My husband and I will be spending two nights in Franschhoek in March, 2010, as part of a 14 day trip to South Africa. We will be having a private wine tour on one of those days, and one of us is not a wine drinker! What should we do with the other day? We can hire a car and driver, if we find something great in the area.

Thanks for your help.

Judy

Cape Town
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1. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

Most of the other things to do in Franschhoek also link to wine. Maybe the best thing to do is to relax, get a good book and sit in the Garden or by the pool in your guesthouse/hotel. Otherwise a few other ideas.

Lots of good walks quite close to the town and especially going up towards the Franschhoek pass. Your accommodation will give you walking routes.

Horse riding between the Wine Estates a lovely peaceful way to get round the Estates. Look at Mont Rochelle Equestrian Centre. Again you could book through your accommodation.

At L'Ormarins Wine Estate a few miles outside Franschhoek there is a very good Historic Motor Museum owned by Anthony Rupert one of South Africa's oldest business families : http://www.fmm.co.za/

Other than this drive or take a taxi over the mountain to Stellenbosch which is one of the most interesting and historic towns in South Africa with more Classified Historic Monuments than any other. Also many Museums and Galleries to visit and the lovely University Botanic Gardens.

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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2. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

Franschhoek has a number of good galleries - art, quality African artifacts and handcrafts.. you can walk the Main Road and enjoy dropping in and out of the shops and galleries. Also - a small museum explaining the role of the Huguenots from Europe who came here and settled - farming the fertile valley. http://www.museum.co.za/ And if you are driving yourselves, drive past the museum up to the top of the small mountain for your 'postcard' photograph of Franschhoek and the valley.

Dave Patterson - Owner, The Africa Safari

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

I'm in agreement with the previous posters. Sitting around admiring the view is a popular Franschhoek pastime! (Often with a glass of wine in hand!)

If the weathers good maybe a walk (the 5km loop around the backroad is nice). If you don't include them on your tour on day one, wineries like Solms Delta and Boschendal offer much more than wine, and provide an interesting insight into the history of the region. Add them to a lunch at Bread and Wine, or a beer in the pub with the locals after work!

(Sorry if this makes all the winelands enthusiasts sound like potential AA members!)

If you are going further afield you could check out the fairly recent Nelson Mandela statue outside the Drakenstein Prison on the Paarl road, marking where he was released from prison in 1990.

Belfast
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4. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

Franschhoek is a lovely town for a stroll. If you are interested in the history of the area try the Huguenot museum - small but very informative

Phuket, Thailand
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5. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

If your not a wine drinker, then try the great cheeses and breads that come from some of the wine farms in Franschoek, if you like trout try La Petit Ferm, the chef says if you find a bone in the fish other than one that holds the head to the body you can have the meal for free, go through Franschoek to the monument and the road swings to the left, you will find the restaurant about a mile and a half up the mountain on the right side, wonderful views of the whole Franschoek Valley. Trout from the farm.

You could try for an hour and watch how they make real French Champagne in Franschoek (OK. Sparkling Wine)at Pierre Jordaan wine estate, it's still made by hand, wear gum boots otherwise you will be walking in Champagne the whole time.

Gordon

Cape Town.

Johannesburg
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6. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

Hi. Definitely recommend the horse riding. There's trout fishing in a number of places as well. The museum next to the Huguenot Monument is interesting for a short trip. We wanted to walk but actually struggled to find something. We should have walked in one of the vineyards that offers this, but instead we tried to find the hike at the top of the pass which is pretty stiff and we didn't have time. To be honest, the Valley is a nice place to relax and have long, slow lunches.

Rob. Satpack Travel

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

For a nice relaxing and flat walk, turn right off the main drag onto Daniel Hugo. Cross the river and turn right on to Dassenberg Road before the Mt Rochelle security checkpoint.

This road is fairly free of traffic, gets you out in the country and allows nice views of the surrounding hills. Eventually turn first right again onto the Grand Provence road, cross the river again and you'll end up back on the main road. Cross the road and walk down the bike path back into town.

All up about 4 to 5 km, time depends upon whether Mt Rochelle or Grand Provence wineries lure you in!

Selwyn Davidowitz...
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8. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

Igourd,

On your day free you can amongst others do the following:

Take a walk down to the Old Corkscrew antique shop. There is a wonderful surprise awaiting you in this shop which is of world class standard. I highly doubt if you will ever see the hidden secret that the Old corkscrew holds anywhere in the world other than at this antique shop. Not telling what it is as it will spoil the intrigue. (-:)

You could also spend time with David Walters (Roubaix House Gallery) who is a local potter in the village. David is a super friendly man and will tell you as well as show you all you want to know about pottery. Take your wallet with you because David's works are "buy me" type pieces. (-:)

Pay Huguenot Fine Chocolates a visit. This is a quaint Belgian chocolate shop. The company has a fabulous history in terms of how it came into being. If you phone ahead and speak to Denver (one of the two Denvers who own the establishment) (-:) you can book for a decadent lesson in chocolate making and indulge in some fine chocolate tasting during the show. When doing so have Denver tell you the history of the operation. Believe me you will be tempted to continue the chocolate “tasting” long after you have learnt how to make chocolates at this wonderful and decadent house of chocolates.

If you are staying anywhere in the village you can do all of the above by foot. If you are staying outside of Franschhoek car hire will probably be required to do the above.

Another tip is to visit the restaurant Le Bon Vivant for an absolutely wonderful lunch experience. If you cant make lunch then opt for dinner on one of your two nights in this quaint village. Everybody will tell you to go to the big name restauarnts in town. Trust me that as good as these big name restaurants are Le Bon Vivant is equivalent or better and cheaper too.

Heres hoping that you enjoy your two day stay in this womderful little village as well as the rest of your stay in South Africa.

Selwyn Davidowitz

Very proudly part of the wonderful rainbow nation of South Africa

Phuket, Thailand
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9. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

Also a privilege to be a part of "The Rainbow Nation",

well done the Boks, eat your hearts out 'The Blacks"

Capt. Gordon. Phuket.

Selwyn Davidowitz...
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10. Re: Free time in Franschhoek

hotsoxyPhuket

Yup the Boks did us proud not only yesterday but also last week.

Cant wait for Saturday when I will be at Newlands to hopefully see John Smit's men give the Wallabies a lesson in rugby. I suppose I better not be so confident as the Wallabies are a pretty good side this year and with Robbie Deans at their helm surprises can occur.

Apologies for hijacking your thread somewhat Igourd but coming from Michigan you surely recognise via your own State and college football teams that there is nothing that one can do other than scream loudly and proudly when fervour, because of a rugby or for that matter football team, is high. (-:)

Yeah Bokke!

Selwyn Davidowitz

Very proudly part of the wonderful rainbow nation of South Africa