Friday, October 20, 2017

Campanile view - Looking west towards Central

Yesterday I posted a picture of the view looking north from the Campanile observation floor.  It means I have three more directions and what's the use of showing you only one?  So here is the view to the west.  The Settlers Freeway is at the bottom and slightly to the left of the centre of the picture is Market Square and the historic Public Library in the city centre.  Above on the hill is the Donkin Reserve, lighthouse and pyramid with the Great Flag (65m high pole and 15m x 10m flag) next to it.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Campanile view - Looking north along the Settlers Freeway

There are four viewing windows at the top of the Campanile.  The new full-length viewing window looks out to the east over the Port Elizabeth Harbour.  The view south is towards the beachfront, west across the city centre towards the Donkin Reserve and then north along the Settlers Freeway.  Looking at the picture the Settlers Freeway (M4) is on the left and the railway lines on the right.  The roof at the bottom of the picture is the Port Elizabeth Station building.  Into the distance Algoa Bay is on the right-hand side and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is the white building roughly in the middle of the picture while the mountains on the horizon are the mountains beyond Uitenhage.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Campanile's new viewing window

One of the new features of the recently refurbished Campanile is a full-length viewing window on the harbour side of the tower.  The window has caused some ruptions with historic purists but personally I think its a great addition.  The window really gives the best view of the adjacent Port Elizabeth Harbour and all its activities.

Friday, October 13, 2017

A tour of the Campanile

It's very easy to do a self-guided walk around Route 67 but if you really want to get the just of it then you have to do it on a guided tour.  There are a number of guides who do the walk and more information is available from the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism info centre at the Donkin Lighthouse building.  When I visited the Campanile the other day there was a guide and intern based at the entrance who were available to guide visitors for free up the tower and tell them more about the history and recently completed renovations.  I'm not sure how long the guides would be available to do these free tours, but while they are there I would highly recommend making use of them.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Step 67 of 204 going up the Campanile

The Campanile is actually seen as the starting point of Route 67 going up the hill and ending at the Donkin Reserve.  With the refurbishment and re-opening of the Campanile recently, it is now fully part of Route 67 and one of the novel bits that was added to the Campanile was marking step number 67 as you climb up the tower's 204 steps.

Just for those unfamiliar with what Route 67 is, it consists of 67 public art pieces symbolising Nelson Mandela's 67 years of work dedicated to the Freedom of South Africa.  The artworks were all designed by local artists from the Eastern Cape and the route is a proud celebration of our city's heritage and history. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Renovated Campanile

Have you been to visit the newly renovated Campanile yet?  After extensive renovations which included the removal, renovation and return of the bells, total overhaul of the bell structure, installation of  a lift (if only they can get it to work properly), the installation of a big full length viewing window on the harbourside, a viewing hatch to see the bells and a number of new smaller features, the Campanile - originally opened in 1923 - reopened to the public about six weeks ago.  Since reopenening I have been up three times already and I really want to urge everybody to go and do it.  Parking is at the PE Station, there is security around and, most importantly, there is no entrance fee.  There is so much I want to show you about the Campanile so stayed tuned.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

I'mmmmm baaaaack

When I started blogging in 2008 I didn't do it because I wanted to be a blogger.  I did it because I enjoyed traveling (even if it was just around my own city) and taking photos, and wanted to share everything I got to see with others.  Over the years I've done over 3000 posts on Port Elizabeth Daily Photo and close to 1800 on Firefly the Travel Guy, shared pictures and information of many places and things, discovered so much more than I ever realised I would, made numerous friends and followers, built up a brand and changed my blogging style yet kept to being myself.  There have also been struggles blogging burnout turned out to be the biggest one of them.  

This year has been a busy one both personally and at work and I started running out of pictures, especially for the Port Elizabeth Daily Photo blog.  I felt pressured by myself to keep producing posts and started to lose my blogging mojo.  One morning I got up and felt like I just lost interest.  After chatting to a good friend about it his advise to just make a clean break and take some time off.  Which I did.  It's been 6 weeks and the main thing I have realised is that I should dictate to my blog and not allow the blog and other people to dictate to me.  So here I am and I'm back, but under my own terms without making myself feel guilty if I don't blog every day.  I know this blog is called PE Daily Photo, but rather than change the brand I decided to keep it as is for now, even if I only end up doing four or five posts a week depending on how much material I have.

Before I end off I just want to thank those people who emailed and messaged me to find out why I suddenly stopped posting and if anything was wrong.  I really appreciate your support and I'm really sorry if your daily Friendly City fix suddenly disappeared.  I am back again and I hope you continue to enjoy everything I share with you.  

My comeback picture is a selfie reflection taken on the observation level of the newly refurbed Campanile looking through the see-through trapdoor at the bells above. Lots of Campanile photos and info to come in the next few weeks.

Love you all!
Firefly

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

PE historic icons

The Donkin Lighthouse (actually called The Hill Lighthouse built in 1861) and the Pyramid (actually called the Donkin Memorial built in 1820), two of Port Elizabeth's most iconic historic landmarks.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Retha's Trail in Schoenies

One of Port Elizabeth's little gems that very few people seem to know of is Rheta's Trail in Schoenmakerskop.  Rheta's Trail stretches behind the houses (from #24 to #40) in Schoenies on Marine Drive between  and can be accessed between numbers 22 and 24.  The trail is always open and was created by local resident Retha Taylor along with a couple of workers.  The trail starts by the labyrinth on the eastern side and is more about what you'll find along the way than the trail itself as it's not really a hiking trail in the sense of the word due to its length.  Or in this case "shortness".  Along the way there are literally hundreds of items that act as conversation pieces, some representing something significant in people's lives and others just because.  Or as we say in Afrikaans, "Sommer maar net."  Next time you're in the area do drop by as I promise you you will love it.


Friday, August 25, 2017

A beachfront New Year timelapse

The past two weeks have been hectic.  I've been to the SATSA conference in Stellenbosch and a Karoo Heartland meeting in Jansenville, spent way too much time catching up (and I'm not even there yet) and in the process of all of this missed a few posts in the last week.  I even thought about just taking a break for a few weeks but then realised that somewhere I'll have to catch up again. Anyhow, it's Video Friday and today's video is a time lapse by Chris Wright of the beachfront starting on New Yaer's eve 31 December 2014 and ending on 2 January 2015.  I just loved the whole scene passing by.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Uitenhage Boer War concentration camp site

 Last week I did a post about the Uitenhage Concentration Camp Memorial and this week I just want to share another of the pictures I took.  This one just a bit closer.  The back wall is divided up into nine sections, each representing one of the 9 people who died in the concentration camp.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Zola Nqini Statue in Uitenhage

A few weeks ago we took part in the NG Kerk Uitenhage Oos' Amazing Race around Uitenhage.  One of the clues sent us to a picture of a statue which I didn't recognise.  After asking a few people we ended up at the Market Square in front of the Uitenhage Townhall at the statue which turned out to be that of anti-apartheid activist Zola Nqini.

Nqini was the former supreme commander of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), the then armed wing of the ANC.  He was detained a few times and also spent some time on Robben Island.  Although Nqini was from Uitenhage, he was banished to the outskirts of Queenstown when he was released from prison.  He was later killed by SA Defence Force special forces operatives during an attack on ANC houses in Maseru, Lesotho along with 29 South Africans and 12 Lesotho nationals. The statue was unveiled in December 2015, on the 33rd anniversary of his death.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Humewood Skyline

The Humewood skyline with Shark Rock Pier in the foreground as seen from Pollok Beach

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

North End Defense Force Memorial

One of the things I discovered while in North End Cemetery is a Defense Force Memorial remembering soldiers who died in service of their country during the first and second World Wars.  According to the main plaque the memorial stones commemorate soldiers that were buried elsewhere but who's glory won't be forgotten.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Jewish Cemetery at North End

One of the things that really interested me when I visited the North End Cemetery the other day was the walled off Jewish Cemetery.  I didn't get to explore it though as the sign by the entrance says, "Code of Conduct. Please note that all visitors to the cemetery must wear appropriate dress. Men and women must cover their heads".  Turned out I didn't even have a cap in my car so I went no further than the door.  I did do a bit of a search on the net for more info and found some interesting info.  

The first interesting tidbit I discovered was that the cemetery was referred to as the Creek Jewish Cemetery.  Looking at an early layout diagram of the cemetery the creek next to it is quite prominently indicated.  Now I'm wondering, was the North End Cemetery not perhaps referred to as the Creek Cemetery in the early days?  Something to look into a bit more.

Land for the North End Cemetery was set aside in 1861 and the cemetery was laid out in 1863.  As early as 31 July 1861 the Council received a letter of application for a piece of land in the newly granted North End Cemetery.  At that stage the Jewish community had to go to great expense to convey bodies to Grahamstown for burial in the Jewish Cemetery there.  

A report in the "Eastern Province Herald" dated 31 July 1863 states: "The Jewish Burial Ground at Creek has been used for the first time on the occasion of the burial of the child of Mr. E.H. Solomon on Wednesday, 29 July 1863." The grave of this child, Aaron Solomon aged 8 years, is to be found in Row 4 of Section A. The other graves in that row cover the period up to 1871 and include one for 1903. This indicates that burials did not take place in a specific order and that they seem to have worked from the "center" out which is usual for all cemeteries of that period. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Wave Action

Standing at the rock below Something Good (the one with the hole through which the waves crash) and looking back towards Hobie Beach, Bird Rock is quite a prominent landmark in front of you.  This photo was taken on a rough day with waves smashing over Bird Rock on the right.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Uitenhage Concentration Camp site

A few weeks ago we took part in an Amazing Race in and around Uitenhage, organised by one of the local churches as a fundraiser.  The race started at the old festival grounds on the outskirts of town.  While waiting for everybody to arrive I took a walk over to the Concentration Camp Memorial with my camera.

Not a lot of people know that Uitenhage had a concentration camp right on their doorstep during the Anglo-Boer War between 1899 and 1902.  The concentration camp used to be situated on 10 hectares of land on the outskirts of town where the festival grounds can be found.  During the war a large number of women and children were dying in a Bloemfontein camp because of extreme temperatures.  It was decided to establish a new camp which had to be somewhere near water and a train line.  Uitenhage was ideal for that and a camp was built for 2000 people, although only 1800 stayed there.  At first the residents looked down on the people in the camp but then realised that they were their own people.  The locals started to go to the camp to talk to those held there and even played records for the women and children.  All the houses were built of zinc and wood as opposed to the tents of the other camps. Today, only the house that is believed to have been the commander’s stand on the site. The rest of the houses were broken down and rebuilt in Port Elizabeth’s Red Location.  In front of the house visitors will find a memorial statue as well as a monument made out of high cement walls and pillars in memory of the eight adults and children who died in the camp.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The history of North End Cemetery

Over the years my interest in cemeteries has taken me to most of the cemeteries around town with the notable exception being the North End Cemetery.  Not because I didn't want to but rather a case of never really being in that part of town with time to go.  A week or two ago I found myself there though in search of information I needed as part of a Geocache multi cache put together by Commaille.  I was really surprised at how well maintained and neat the cemetery is plus I didn't feel unsafe at all.  My quest for the necessary information took me, among others, to the pauper section of the cemetery.  A section that stands in stark contrast to the rest of the cemetery.

I found the following about the history of the cemetery. With the exception of the individually walled and accessed Jewish and Muslim sections at North End, only interior carriageways separated the various Christian denominations.  Subsequent extensions to the North End Cemetery made provision for the members of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Chinese community in the early twentieth century, as members of the two groups migrated to the town. The arrival of the Indian community, late in the nineteenth century, necessitated comparatively little adjustment, as the majority were Hindus. A crematorium for their use was duly built at North End on the seashore. The unused Moslem section of the cemetery was then adopted as the site for scattering ashes. Indian members of the Christian and Moslem faiths joined their co-religionists in death. A special isolation cemetery was laid out at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in the 1890s and named after the bubonic plague outbreak of 1901.  These days the crematorium is no more with only foundations and a concrete slab remaining.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Waves over Bird Rock

A couple of weeks ago the sea was slightly angry one morning and as I was driving down Marine Drive I noticed that the waves out Pollok Beach way looking quite impressive.  Grabbed my camera and headed over to Lovers' Lane, snapping the waves smashing right over Bird Rock.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Empty highway

Some abandoned highway somewhere after the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse?  Nope, the N2 just past Coega, taken from the overpass at just the right time to show an empty road.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Cruising along the Port Elizabeth beachfront

While looking for a video to share for this week's Video Friday post, I found this one by YouTuber David Everard cruising along the PE beachfront on his skateboard.  

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Giraffe at Kragga Kamma

Addo Elephant National Park, as with all National Parks, has a policy to only have animals that occurred there naturally.  Giraffes didn't thus you won't find them in the park.  The best place to see them though is at the Kragga Kamma Game Park just outside Port Elizabeth.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Port Elizabeth Vibes

Videographer Jan Jordaan spent a few days in Port Elizabeth recently to attend a wedding and did some sightseeing with his camera and drone.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The oldest tennis club in South Africa

Did you know that the Port Elizabeth Lawn Tennis Club in St Georges Park was founded on 1 September 1879, making it the oldest active tennis club in South Africa?  The club hosted the first South African Lawn Tennis Championship in 1891 and today the club is still situated on its original site.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

5 to 12 at City Hall

The Port Elizabeth City Hall really is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in Port Elizabeth.  Did you know City Hall was originally built between 1858 and 1862 with the clock tower being added in 1883.

Friday, July 21, 2017

So many activities to do around Addo


When you mention Addo, most people think elephants.  They wouldn't be wrong though BUT, these days Addo is so much more than just elephants.  Crisscross Adventures is a tour and adventure activity company based in the Sundays River Valley and they offer a wide range of activities from tours to the Addo Elephant National Park to quad biking, canoe safaris on the Sundays River and sand boarding.  Check out their new promotional video and tell me you don't want to go and explore and experience the valley after seeing it. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Port Elizabeth Concentration Camp Memorial


Today's post basically is a report of a post I did in 2014.  It's one of those little pieces of Port Elizabeth information that very few know about and is worth reposting.

When you mention the word concentration camp most people would probably associate it with the Germans during the second World War.  Few know that concentration camps were first implemented in South Africa by the British to hold Boer women and children during the Anglo Boer War (1899 and 1902).

There were two concentrations camps in what is today known as Nelson Mandela Bay.  One in Uitenhage and one at Kemsley Park in Port Elizabeth.  The concentration camp in Port Elizabeth operated from December 1900 until approximately November 1902.  It held an average of 230 children and 86 women housed in corrugated iron huts encircled by a high barbed wire fence.  There was also a separately fenced camp for 32 men in tents.  There were very few deaths in this so-called "model camp" compared to the thousands that died in the other camps.  Only 12 deaths were recorded over the period it was in existence.  This camp housed mainly Boers from the Free State from Jagersfontein and Fauresmith, among them General, and later Prime Minister, JBM Hertzog 's mother, wife, three sisters in-law and their children.  The camp was closed in November 1902, and subsequently, a monument was erected at the Kemsley Park site.  A monument and plaque at North End Cemetery have the names of the 14 people who died in the camp on it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Queen Victoria and the library


It's really sad that the magnificent historic Public Library in the city centre is still closed with no indication on when the necessary work will be done or at what stage budget will be available to do it.  The building was built in 1901 with the fa├žade constructed in England and shipped to Port Elizabeth in numbered blocks to be reassembled in front of the building.  The statue of Queen Victoria was added in 1903 to celebrate the queen's Diamond Jubilee that took place in 1897. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sunrise on the N2

I had to go to East London for a SA Tourism workshop today and hit the road before sunrise and only returning well after sunset.  Which means that I enjoyed both whiles on the road today with the sun rising as I was barrelling down the N2 this morning.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Geocaching family

This morning I attended a Geocaching event to kick off the Friend League challenge over the next few weeks.  The challenge is pirate themed and involved finding the Lost Treasure of Mary Hyde.  We're not really sure ourselves how exactly the challenge is going to go, but the reason for this post is to show you my Geocaching family.  Now this is a really special bunch of people.  Young and old, singles and families, students and retired people, some more well off than others, but none of this matters when we're Geocaching.  I love these guys. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

2018 70.3 Ironman World Champs host city video

On the 1st and 2nd of September 2018, Nelson Mandela Bay is playing host to the 70.3 Ironman World Championship here in Port Elizabeth. Check out this stunning host city video that has just been posted by Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism.  Not just is Port Elizabeth one of the best Ironman venues in the world, it also boasts fantastic scenery, history, culture, wildlife and food for visiting competitors and their families and supporters.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Russell Road Cemetery

The Russell Road Cemetery is another of Port Elizabeth's historic grave yards dating back to the early days of Port Elizabeth.  As the town grew the increased demands on the St Mary's Cemetery next to the Baakens River became too much and a solution had to be found, not just for another cemetery but also to accommodate the different religious affiliations.  Small pieces of land was allocated to the various Christian denominations on the town margins in the late 1830's and 1840's with the Wesleyan Methodists, Catholics and Congregationalists each getting their own burial grounds to the north west of the settlement in what became known as Burial Kloof.  This kloof, a rocky area which created a natural stream when it rained, is the kloof down which Russell Road runs today.  Back then the three cemeteries were adjacent to one another and were separated by walls with each church having their own entrance.

Today there isn't much left in the Russell Road Cemetery.  The cemetery became very run down many years ago, and most of the graves were badly vandalised.  In an effort to preserve as much of the remaining stones as they can, the municipality laid them flat and cemented them to the ground.

One grave stands out from the rest.  The white grave in the centre of the cemetery belongs to James Langley Dalton who was a survivor of the Battle of Rorkes Drift and the recipient of a Victoria Cross. Unfortunately Dalton dies while visiting a friend in Port Elizabeth and was buried in this cemetery.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Lollipop beacon

In 1829 two stone beacons were erected near the beach that had to be aligned by ships sailing into Algoa Bay from the west so that they could avoid the very dangerous Roman Rock.  In 1858 they were replaced by two new stone beacons.  These were painted red and white with a black ball on top.  The one beacon is located in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve near the lighthouse while the other one, usually referred to as the Lolipop Beacon, stands on the corner of Marine Drive and Admiralty Way.  The beacon was called the Admiralty Beacon, and hence the name of the road.     

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Rest-a-While on Kragga Kamma Road

When was the last time you drove down Kragga Kamma Road to Coleen Glen? Been a while?  Have you ever noticed the little building on the right hand side not far from Cow's Corner?  Well that little building has a new tenant, a new jacket and a new purpose.  Rest-a-While (Pebble Springs) is the biggest little farm stall around.  Not so much a farm stall as in the traditional sense of the word, but who knows what it can develop into in future.  Currently open on Saturdays and Sundays, Rest-a-While sells collectors items as well as some home made breads and jams and they support their local community by displaying their wares.  Do take a drive out that way and drop by if you're curious.  I just noticed it as I drove past and had to stop.  

Sunday, July 9, 2017

St Mary's and St Peter's

St Mary's Cemetery at the bottom of the Baakens Valley dates back to as early as 1799 when it was a military cemetery.  This changed with the arrival of the 1820 British Settlers and you can still find graves of some of the original Settlers in the grave yard.  On the hill above the cemetery stands the ruins of the St Peter's Church.  The church was built in 1877 and after the people of South End were forcibly removed in the mid 1960's, the church was demolished to stop the congregation from returning to worship there.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Scottish Cemetery at St George's Park


In the early days of Port Elizabeth the St Mary's Cemetery was used, first by the military based at Fort Frederick, and later for civilians with the cemetery being under the control of St Mary's Church.  As the town grew more burial areas were required by the various Christian denominations and in the 1830's and 1840's the various churches were granted small pieces of land adjacent to each other on the edge of town where Russell Road is today.  A further Nonconformist cemetery, mainly for the Church of Scotland, was also set aside in 1854 on the western edge of town, which was later incorporated into the extensive St George's Park.

Last week I stopped by the Scottish Cemetery to collect some information needed for a Geocache I'm doing and was glad to see that the municipality has cleaned up most of the creeper plants that has been covering a big part of the cemetery.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Done footage of Dolphins on the PE beachfront

I usually stumble on the videos I post here for Video Friday by accident while looking for something to post.  This week is no different but it is a stunning short video taken by Jan Jordaan of the PE beachfront and dolphins cruising along the coast

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sunset over the city

I know I've said it before, but one of my favorite parts of winter is early sunsets which I can catch if I work a little later than usual.  Like I did the other day...

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Shark Rock Pier waves

Although Shark Rock Pier is probably photographed more often from the Hobie Beach side, I still think this angle with the rocks in the foreground and waves crashing over them is better.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Captain Francis Evatt's grave at Fort Frederick

Captain Francis Evatt was born in Ireland in 1770 and arrived in the Cape Colony in 1806 with the 21st Dragoon Guards and served together with his brother for a number of years on the frontier.  In 1817 he was appointed as Commandant of Fort Frederick at a salary of 90 pounds a year (only half the pay he should have been receiving as Captain), a post he occupied until his death.

Captain Evatt played a huge role in the landing of the 1820 British Settlers and his assistance and the concern he showed towards the 4000 British settlers that arrived didn't go unnoticed.  By 1825 Port Elizabeth was fast becoming an area of increasing importance and the Governor decided that a higher official power to be resident was necessary. Captain Evatt was appointed “Government Resident” whose function was to preside over court proceedings.

Captain Evatt was very prominent in the development of Port Elizabeth and always guarded the town's best interests as best he could.  He was also instrumental in ensuring a place of worship was built in the town and laid the foundation stone of St Mary’s Church in 1825.  

After a brief illness Captain Evatt died on the 21st March 1850 and was given a military funeral in the Congregational Cemetery in Russell Road.  His original tombstone can be seen in the porch of St Mary’s Cathedral while his remains were moved to a spot outside the Fort in 1956.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Baakens Valley trail view

Yesterday morning I hit the trails in the Baakens Valley just off Alan Drive with Chaos Boy to go and find a few Geocaches I haven't had a chance to do.  It's been a while since I've been on them and just realised again why the area is so popular with trail runners and mountain bikers.  Here Chaos Boy is enjoying the view of the river below at the one spot on the trail.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Yellow and purple in the Baakens Valley

I took a walk along the trails in the Baakens Valley for the first time in ages this morning.  The veld is very brown and grey due to it being winter, the fact that we're going through a drought and the fire that burned through the valley a few months ago.  There are patches of flowers though like these yellow and purple ones I encountered along the way.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Paddle skiers off the pier

I've always wanted to try paddle skiing but just never had the chance.  Very much like surfing actually.  Something I really need to try.  But back to paddle skiing.  On Sunday while standing on the pier, in perfect conditions, no wind, flat seas and clear waters, three paddle skiers came padding past below.  Looked blissful. All the needed was a pod of dolphins to surround them.