Domestic travel writing road is there, but it leads to nowhere
Small towns are trying to rewrite their own histories, but it is difficult, writes Lucy Reyburn
Two years ago, I started research on an article, A tale of two Drostdys, which was to entice currency-hammered fellow South Africans into exploring Swellendam and Graaff-Reinet, respectively the third and fourth magistracies the Dutch had established. I even wrote the piece. Here is the opening paragraph: "It’s time for South Africans to explore two heritage towns long rated by discerning foreign tourists. Although Swellendam (1745) and Graaff-Reinet (1786) are separated by about 40 years and 500km, they have much in common – their Drostdy (Dutch magistracy) origins, extensive museum complexes, world-class accommodation, fine dining and magnificent natural surroundings." And so on. I had fun visiting the two towns, staying at the refurbished Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet, visiting the Hester Rupert Art Museum there, marvelling once again at the serene white rooms furnished with plain Cape Dutch furniture in Swellendam’s Drostdy Museum, and enjoying the cuisine at La Sosta in Swelle...