H is for Hermanus

Can I complete the whole of Round 9 of ABC Wednesday based on our four week stay in South Africa in February? Click on the photos to enlarge.

South African CoastHermanus was the first stop on our trip along the southern tip of Africa. We had left the main N2 to take the coastal road around the Hottentots-Holland Mountain and the views were quite stunning as you can see from the photo on the left.

We arrived in Hermanus around lunch time for a brief visit and to sample some of the excellent local seafood.

The town was originally known as Hermanuspietersfontein, but the name has been mercifully shortened. It was a once a base for whale hunting, but is now a centre for whale watching in their winter months.

South Africa played its part in both world wars and you find monuments to the fallen featuring prominently wherever you go and Hermanus was no exception.

Hermanus War MemorialThe memorial on the right overlooks the sea and one of the names remembered there is significant.

At the base of the monument is a plaque dedicated to Roger Bushell whose parents were residents of the town. He was the officer who organised ‘The Great Escape‘.

Bushell’s parents were English, but had emigrated to South Africa where Roger was born in 1910. Educated in the UK, he joined the 601 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force in 1932.

Roger Bushell MemorialAt the outbreak of war, he was given command of 92 Squadron and was shot down during the Battle of Britain and captured as a prisoner of war.

After several escape attempts, he was transferred to Stalag Luft III at Sagan (now Żagań in Poland) where he masterminded The Great Escape in 1943.

He and his escape partner were captured and murdered by the Gestapo three days later.

The character of Roger Bartlett in the film, played by Richard Attenborough, was based on Roger Bushell and you can read more about him on Wikipedia.

De Wet's Huis Photo MuseumOur stay in Hermanus was all too brief which meant I didn’t have time to visit De Wet’s Huis Photo Museum pictured right.

The historic former schoolhouse contains a collection of black and white photos and furniture from the town’s booming fishing days. Maybe next time!

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

11 comments… Add yours
  • Roger Green 7th September 2011

    Too bad they shortened it. Wanted to see how often you could type Hermanuspietersfontein before your fingers fell off! 😉
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  • Yorkshire Pudding 7th September 2011

    The more I read about your South African trip the more I realise you packed in and clearly “buzzed” with all the new sights and experiences. Did Mother Parrots feel the same or would she have preferred a couple of weeks lounging on a beach? Are you planning a new foreign adventure? I think you should.

  • rhymeswithplague 7th September 2011

    You have an “1832” typo in there that should be 1932, I think. My editor’s hat is never off. Your Wednesday posts about South Africa are very, very enjoyable.

  • Mr Parrot 7th September 2011

    YP: SA is a fantastic place and the month went very quickly. Mrs P did indeed enjoy the travelling around and credit has to go to our daughter who organised the itinerary for our road trip.

    As for other trips, we’re hoping to visit friends in Las Vegas before the end of the year and haven’t ruled out a return to SA in 2012.

    Mr Plague: Thank you for picking up on the typo which I’ve corrected and thank you for the kind comment on my SA travelogue.

  • Carver 7th September 2011

    Sounds like a fascinating place to visit. Interesting information and shots.

  • Helen Mac 7th September 2011

    Your task of completing a round of ABC from your South Africa trip has been most helpful in overcoming my lack of knowledge about SA. Thank you!
    ABC Team

  • Joy 7th September 2011

    The mountains almost look like a painted backdrop, stunning. I remember the scene in the film when they were captured, nice to hear about the real person.

  • Mildred 7th September 2011

    Very interesting poste about a wonderful place to visit!
    It is sad you couldn’t visit the photo museum! There must be fantastic shots to see there.
    Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment;o)

    ¤ Have a nice and happy day ¤

    Ps: I don’t have a telephoto lens! Those cows are really peaceful and you can come very close and I guess even touch them;o)

  • Rajesh 8th September 2011

    Beautiful place.
    I have seen that movie and I loved it.

  • Francisca 8th September 2011

    Another Heavenly stop on your South Africa Holiday. You Hooked me with this History of Hermanus. 😉

  • Meryl 8th September 2011

    Your trip sounded wonderful…too short, but wonderful. I would have liked to see those photos and the schoolhouse as well.


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