South Africa is home to many ethnic and racial groups, many of them migrant communities. These groups have all contributed to the rich cultural mix of the country. Johannesburg being one of the largest urbanized cities has also maintained its natural attractions and indeed has so much to offer: there are parks, gardens, wonderful restaurants, relaxed cafes, busy shopping malls, nature reserves, casinos, nightclubs, and more…
Johannesburg’s entertainment and leisure options are vast and varied and during my 6 days stay here I tried my best to see and explore but reserved just one day to relax and laze around.
Not far from Johannesburg, in little under an hour’s drive Glenburn Lodge is situated near the Zwartkops Mountains, on the banks of the Crocodile River. It not only offers guests spectacular scenery and absolute peace but also stylish accommodation, fine dining and exclusive tours and activities – all included when you book your stay.
This was an ideal option for a carnivore like me. With its braai (barbeque) facility it was very easy for me to do steaks and other meat I bought from pick & pay. Moreover, a lovely patio overlooking the river was adding to the leisure, I enjoyed the whole day self-catering. The kitchen was equipped with a two plate stove, fridge and microwave oven. A well furnished lounge has a fireplace, ideal for winter nights.
The natural scenic beauty of Glenburn Lodge makes it an excellent place to host a romantic wedding and other celebratory occasions, or simply relax and enjoy some pampering. One can also explore this place on a guided game drive, bush walks or simply staying by the river side.
Expect a very delightful welcome as the staff here is very polite and always at your service. All in all it is one of the finest places if you want to spend some relaxing moments in the lap of Mother Nature.
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Europe in December may be chilly but the reception is very warm. The aroma of hot Glühwein and other delicacies with the Christmas lights glittering get everyone into the holiday spirit at these European style Christmas markets.
Beginning in mid November these markets promise unforgettable events, mouthwatering food and a variety of seasonal gifts. I witnessed this age-old tradition in Vienna during a short stay. Walking towards the City Hall (Rathaus) I saw several Christmas markets with festively decorated stalls offering traditional hand made goods, Christmas decorations and souvenirs.
It is altogether a very romantic affair; streets bustling with people in high spirits, city beautifully decorated with Christmas lights, artisans showcasing their craft in wooden stalls and that amazing smell of roasting sausages.
This is how Christmas celebration should be.
Food, drinks, music or shopping whatever your reason is, visiting a Christmas market anywhere in Europe is definitely worth it. Few of the best Christmas markets can be found in Germany, Austria, Sweden and France. So, choose a market which best suites your mood and have fun!
For Fried Prawns:
20 Prawns (clean, deveined & tails intact)
20 Pastry sheets (9 x 9 cm)
4T. Lime juice
2T. Soy sauce
1 egg (whisked)
Oil (for frying)
For Sweet Chili Sauce:
½ C. Vinegar
½ C. White sugar
¼ C. Water
3T. Fish sauce
1 Thai red chili (chopped)
1T. Dried red chili (crushed)
1 ½ T Corn flour, dissolved in 20 ml cold water.
3 Garlic cloves (minced)
Mix the lime juice and soy sauce and leave the prawns to marinate in mixture for 1 hour.
Once marinated, discard the marinating fluid and place each prawn on an individual pastry sheet. Brush the edges of pastry sheet with egg, and then wrap pastry around prawn leaving the tail to stick out. Brush egg over the pastry as well.
Deep fry the prawns until golden brown. Leave to dry on kitchen roll, and then serve with sweet chili sauce.
To prepare sweet chili sauce, boil all the ingredients except corn flour – water mixture in a pan. Continue boiling until the mixture is reduced to half. Add the corn flour water mixture and stir.
Remove from heat, taste; add more sugar or chili if required.