Not so far from where we live, there is a very special place. We have been planning for years to spend the hot month of January there but somehow we never executed it. The place is known as Graskop (Grassy Hill) and it is a touristic attraction mixing mountain, art, crafts and more.
We left a little late and unaware of the situation at the border. It’s enough to say it was crowded and unpleasant because I intend to write about that particular experience later. After the border test and the lowveld sun, we finally “attacked” the road to the mountains.
Even though I have done this same journey at least in six different occasions, I’ve never felt what I felt this time. Imagine what would be a travel from Switzerland to the north of Italy without people or buildings and under a tropical sunset. I could witness the reds and oranges on the horizon, the metallic blue of the moon reflecting on the surface of lakes, dams and rivers and, above all, I could watch the end of the day written in white, black and red, in the sky, between the mountains, as if passages of a fairy tale that I know.
Despite all the incredible photos I could have taken, I had no arguments to stop because the night was approaching fast and driving on mountain roads is not easy.
We stayed for the third time at the Graskop Hotel, a historic building once used to accommodate gold diggers and European adventurers of all kinds, now transformed in a “hotel-exhibition gallery”. It is simple, very central and, as far as I know, the best place to stay.
I really like the idea beneath the hotel-art gallery. For once it is a good way to support artists and for us, clients, it is really appealing and informative. In the case of Graskop Hotel, usually opened as B&B expect for excursions interested in dinning or lunching at the hotel, they employ one or two art dealers covering around ten African countries where they select the best produced by local artists. The result of that selection is displayed a little everywhere, inside the hotel or gardens, as well as at the shop.
In Graskop it’s possible to find fast food and gourmet restaurants usually managed by German couples. We know two with exceptional quality, one of them is 17kg of risky road far from where we stayed.
We had only the option of trout in the second German place that we know when someone from the hotel mentioned a new Portuguese-Mozambican restaurant opened less than 6 months ago. We went there and enjoyed a nice meal. It wasn’t a memorable meal but we find a couple of things worth to mention, such as the cut and quality of the meat and a pesto to die for.
Before I forget, in Graskop there are also nice cafés where pancakes with sugar and cinnamon are the main attraction.