Gauss-Telegraph: World trip from home in 30 days – Bloemfontein
by Lena Heinecke
My impression of Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein (coll, ‘Bloem’) is one of South Africa´s three capitals. With Pretoria being the main capital, Bloemfontein holds the supreme court of appeal and therefore is the judicial capital. It’s located in the province of the Freestate, a state in central South Africa which is predominately inhabited by white people since there used to be a lot of white farmers (“Boere”) living there. That is why the most used language out of the eleven official languages is Afrikaans, usually spoken by white people followed by English.
A famous attraction is Naval Hill. There are several sights and activities around. Naval Hill is a nature reserve which means you drive up the hill in your car and might see giraffes or zebras on the street in front of you. On top of the hill are a Planetarium theatre and a giant statue of former president and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela.
Since the name of the city translates to “flower fountain” in English, Bloemfontein has a big botanical garden with beautiful landscapes and many species of plants always worth a visit.
Best museum in the city
The Vrouemonument (“Women´s Monument”) (Monument Rd, 9301 Generaal De Wet) is an obelisk-shaped memorial monument remembering the suffering of Boere women and children in concentration camps during the war with the British. It’s on the site of the Anglo Boer Museum that features a one-sided view of the treatment of Boeres during the war at the beginning of the 20th century when british forces tried to colonize the Freestate which they were successful with in the end.
Favourite local dish
The many different cultures living in South Africa are also reflected in the country´s cuisine. Very famous in white families is “Braai”. It’s not really a dish but basically South African barbecue. Meat is a huge part of their diet and when they braai there are many different types of steaks and sausages on the grill. A very famous sausage is the Boerewors (“farmers sausage”) made from beef mixed with either lamb or pork which has a rather chunky texture. There are many different side dishes at Braais like salads, potatoes or Pap, a type of dry porridge made from corn that traditionally came from black cultures and is eaten with the right hand. Another very famous dish or snack is Biltong. It’s dried meat, comparable to beef jerky in the US but Biltong is made from all different types of animals like antelopes, zebras, ostriches and many other Bucks like Kudu, Eland, Oryx.