May 14, 2010

Interview with South Africa traveler and blogger: Museum Chick

You might think we planned this interview just in time for travelers heading to South Africa for the World Cup. Well, we didn't. I was just lucky to have met a traveler who fell in love with South Africa and agreed to share her tips here at our Blog. Introducing Danee from the Lonely Planet Featured Blog Museum Chick. Danee's latest post over at Museum Chick is etitled: "The Perfect Date Place in Paris...For a Rat."

'The "Sewers of Paris Museum" sounds much nicer when you say it in French..."Musée Des Egouts de Paris", but that can't detract from the fact that this museum is in the actual sewer!'

 I sent Danee the questions focused around the idea of 3 tips in each category for travel in South Africa. Here are her answers!

Danee of Museum Chick in Cape Town

Q. What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would give visitors to South Africa?
A.
1. Go with an adventurous spirt
2. Don't be a scaredy-cat and do a Great White Shark cage dive (a highlight of my life).
3. Try the biltong (my favorite S.A. specialty), if you're not a vegetarian!

 The Great White Sharks (not Greg Norman)

Q. What are the top 3 places to visit if you just had 7 days?
A.
1. Cape Town
2. Kruger Park
3. The waters of Dyer Island for a Great White Shark Dive. I used Brian McFarlane's company ( http://www.sharkcagediving.net/ ) (these are really the only 3 places in SA I've been)



Q. Name 3 hidden South African treasures?

A.
1. I'm always a sucker for museums and art galleries. My favorite “hidden” treasure is the South African National Gallery. I say “hidden” because I don't think most people think of art galleries or museums when they think of South Africa.
2. My favorite local South African artist, Xolile Mtakatya. His work can be found at the Cape Gallery and the South African National Gallery. He does vibrant portraits of locals.  http://www.capegallery.co.za/xolile_mtakatya1.htm
3. In Cape Town on the V&A Waterfront, there is a great sculpture always tugs on my heart strings. The "Knotted Gun" sculpture to promote non-violence, was created by Swedish artist, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd and can be seen in many countries around the globe including S.A.




Q. What about 3 hidden food or drinking joints you’d recommend?
A.
Biltong stand on the V&A Waterfront. Wish I could remember the name!
Bread Milk and Honey on Spin St. in Cape Town- a small, family run cafe with the best S.A. coffee, Origins
Had my favorite meal at the restaurant, Addis in Cape Town. Ethiopian food that is best when eaten with your hands!

Q. What are the 3 most dangerous places?
A.
Maybe it's naïve of me, but I didn't feel it was dangerous anywhere that I visited. I don't have three to name but one would be in the water. I saw a lot of sharks!

Q. Can you name 3 other good South Africa blogs to read?
A.
Caroline Collie's “From Africa, with Love” for a great expat 's view of S.A. http://www.carolinecollie.com/
South Africa Blog, for everything S.A.- http://www.southafricablog.co.za/
Mushy Peas on Toast- Because she is funny, cool and doesn't hold anything back. http://mushypeasontoast.blogspot.com/

Q. What about 3 must-bring items?
A.
Your best camera and many lenses. There is a Kodak moment every few seconds in S.A.
Comfortable hiking/walking shoes
Bug spray

Q. Anything...in 3s: give us your list of 3 things?

A. Here are my 3 regrets about my visit to South Africa:
1.  Not staying longer. I was there 3 weeks and could have stayed 3 more.
2. Not visiting wine country. I hear that it's beautiful.
3. Not staying longer...you get the point.

Q. Weirdest thing that ever happened to you in South Africa?
A. My husband and the flight crew thought it was weird that I was crying on the plane because I didn't want to leave S.A. I'm a cry-baby but, yes, South Africa was that amazing.



Thank you Danee! While I have overcome quite a few fears in the past five years, I don't know if I could overcome my fear of sharks. Perhaps. Maybe. I would love to visit South Africa, though, especially for the World Cup. And I really understand the tears in the plane. It happened to me too. If you want to read more about the hot date place for rats "After reading about it in an article about the world's weirdest museums and realizing it's just a five minute walk from my apartment, I had to see what this museum was all about. Haven't you ever wanted to pay to go into a sewer (sarcasm insert)?! Well, at only 4.50€ it was actually worth checking out. This is proof that the French can make anything a museum, and a good one!"

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