Knysna ticks all of my happy boxes.

Mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, lagoons and, of course, the sea.  I love this part of the country – it’s gorgeous.  If Nick and I had to decide to take the let’s-travel-around-Africa-for-a-while route… then I’d definitely like to spend a month or three in Knysna – and specifically, Belvidere – which is possibly one of the most beautiful and idyllic little villages I’ve come across!

We discovered Belvidere quite by accident.  I was following a road sign that signalled that a monument was up ahead (Belvidere has a very old church built in 1855)… and suddenly, I felt as though I had driven into an English village!  Complete with stone-walled church… ancient graveyard… narrow roads with cute names… exquisite old homes… green parks… huge trees – and, of course, the Knysna lagoon.  It’s utterly gorgeous.  If I were in a “settling” mode – I’d be very happy to settle right there!

The kids and I drove around and oooh’d and aaaaah’d at everything – including the little church, it’s beautiful gardens and it’s old graves.

I really like how they just leave the doors of the church unlocked and open for anyone to come in and pray… or just have a squiz inside (which, of course, we did).

Here’s some photos of Belvidere’s Holy Trinity Church:

Belvidere

belvidere 4

belvidere 3

Belvidere 2Afterwards, the kids and I sat on the jetty… overlooking the lagoon and munching on dried apricots.  There was a lovely breeze coming off the water and the kids paddled and collected interesting bits of flotsam and jetsam from the tideline.

Joah took this photo....

Joah took this photo….

belvidere 5

We actually did a few things in Knysna that day…

We visited the Knysna Quays were people moor their yachts and boats and do a bit of shopping… or eating… or sleeping (there’s lots of little apartments on the waterfront).  We enjoyed some breakfast and the kids watched with fascination as all the boaty people fiddled around with their boats… washing decks… hosing stuff off… fixing stuff… fiddling with sails…

This, of course, prompted a long conversation on all things “boat” and, thankfully, since my dad’s a qualified boat-builder and since I have grown up around ski-boats… I didn’t feel TOO stupid answering the kids’ many questions (although my knowledge of sailing leaves much to be desired)…

Morgan enjoying the view...

Morgan enjoying the view…

Joah enjoying the compass... which gives the distance (in kilometres) between Knysna and various international cities...

Joah enjoying the compass… which gives the distance (in kilometres) between Knysna and various international cities…

quays 1

Afterwards, we visited the Old Gaol Museum which is – obviously – an old jail which is now home to an angler’s museum, a small maritime museum, a room containing information and a display about the Titanic, another room containing information and a display about Knysna elephants, an art gallery, a children’s art studio and a coffee shop (with free wifi).  Oh – and a friendly cat!

It’s an interesting (albeit odd) mish-mash of stuff to see and do.  We definitely enjoyed it though… (and it’s free!).

This used to be the area where prisoners were allowed to chat with outside visitors...

This used to be the area where prisoners were allowed to chat with outside visitors…

Lots and lots of old fishing reels at the angler's museum...

Lots and lots of old fishing reels at the angler’s museum…

... and another coelacanth (the last one we saw was at the East London museum)...

… and another coelacanth (the last one we saw was at the East London museum)…

angler

Inspecting models of old ships... and bits and pieces belonging to old ships... at the maritime museum...

Inspecting models of old ships… and bits and pieces belonging to old ships… at the maritime museum…

Across from the Old Gaol Museum – is the oh-so-beautiful St. Georges Church.  The property houses two beautiful churches… the original church (built in 1855) which is really tiny – and which they obviously outgrew…

Morgan & Joah off to explore the "old" church...

Morgan & Joah off to explore the “old” church…

It’s beautifully preserved and the door is open, so that curious people (like me) can roam around and admire the stained glass windows, the beautiful beams on the roof… and the smooth, stone walls.

Also on the property is the (much bigger) newer (but still old) church which was built in 1926.

Morgan running towards the "big" church...

Morgan running towards the “big” church…

Inside the "big" St. George's church (I LOVED the beams!)...

Inside the “big” St. George’s church (I LOVED the beams!)…

There was also an old bell (which I desperately wanted to ring!).  I have a thing for old bells, old bell towers, old graveyards and old wells… and ruins… and turrets!  (I love turrets!).

It was a lovely day… and – before I go – I just want to slot in two more photos of my children enjoying Knysna…

This was taken at a river-side restaurant, just outside of Knysna (where we shared a piece of cake and thoroughly enjoyed our surroundings)...

This was taken at a river-side restaurant, just outside of Knysna (where we shared a piece of cake and thoroughly enjoyed our surroundings)…

I love this photo of my beetle...

I love this photo of my beetle…

Thanks for reading!