What a lovely place Bethlehem was. It is the first time I have actually visited there, although I have driven through it on a number of occasions.
The original settlers found that wheat flourished in the area and called the town Bethlehem, which means house of bread! It is nestled in the heart of the Maluti Mountains. It is such a pretty place. The town itself has a number of sand stones buildings, the most magnificent of which is the Dutch Reformed “Klip Kerk” (Stone Church) which is in the middle of the town.
Dutch Reformed Church built from sandstone called the Klip Kerk (Stone Church) in the main road in Bethlehem - the bells made a magnificent sound!
I had really forgotten how well the Free Staters entertain. They pay so much attention to detail! From the moment we arrived on Friday night, until we left on Sunday, we were made to feel so welcome and NOTHING was too much trouble! At the function on Friday night, one of the ladies had taken small Coke - a - Cola bottles and put Gerbras in them - how effective they looked with their little pearl centres and shiny ribbons!
We met some colorful characters, and I enjoyed listening to stories told of how old soldiers, at the end of the Anglo-Boer war, trekked (travelled) from the Cape to the Free State, bought pieces of ground and set up home. One particular old man told how his grandfather built his farm house and sent for his new wife who took MONTHS to get there on an ox wagon. Theirs is now a 4th generation farm, still being worked, with the grandparents living in the original old farm house. We will HAVE to schedule a special trip there, to meet the old folks, and listen to some of their tales! (And to take more photographs - P forgot to charge his batteries and left the charger at home! Hmmmm! Mighty forgetful of late!)
It was a memorable and special week-end, one where we made lots of new friends and re-kindled old friendships.