From the coast we went inland to explore the area, where the 1820 settlers were granted land to strengthen the border against the Xhosa. 4000 men, women and children from all over Great Britain arrived here in 1820, many with no knowledge in farming, but they had to make a living in this foreign country.
The settlers struggled to successfully grow crops until they began planting pineapples. In the 1980s they decided to honour the fruit and the sweet earnings it brought by erecting a massive building in its shape. It is the world largest pineapple building 😉
We stopped at a market in Bathurst, held in front of an art gallery. From coffee and sweets, bread, vegetables to hand crafts, everything was on offer. We were curious what Koeksisters are, so we tried some: fried dough in the form of a plait which is afterwards soaked in sirup. Very delicious!
Bathurst is a little village with many art and handcraft shops. In its centre stands the oldest continuously licensed pub in South Africa, the Historic Pig & Whistle Inn, founded in 1832!
From Bathurst we continued to Grahamstown, nowadays Makhanda, as it was renamed in memory of a Xhosa warrior and prophet Makhanda ka Nxele. It was founded in 1812 as a military base and after 1820 many of the settlers came to Grahmastown to work in their trades instead of farming.
Sadly all the museums were closed on Sunday as well as all the shops, but we loved the old houses and churches.
From Grahamstown we have to go back to Port Elizabeth now to pick up my new glasses I had ordered. Afterwards we will take the Garden Route to the west. More on our next post!