I want to take you back 16 years (yoh I’m getting old) to 2002, the year I was no longer an only child or special. The year of Nelly’s “Hot in herre”, Avril’s “Complicated” and velour tracksuits thanks to J.Lo. This was a great year because I finally hit double digits (let’s take a moment to laugh at our impatience to get older). Even though we had good music and amazing fashion trends, another thing that sticks out for me was a Sunday family trip to the Flea Market. If you’re from Durban, you would know that THE only place to be was the Flea Market behind the Exhibition Centre (it stretched over to The Workshop) on a Sunday. I remember waking up super early, having breakfast, getting dressed and spending most of the day walking around and trying to convince my mother that I needed a 50th pair of that tattoo choker necklace, you know this one lol:
It was the entire experience that was so enjoyable for me, the amazing food, the slightly cheaper clothes and all that junk you convinced yourself that you needed to be cool. Going to the Flea Market was a big part of my childhood and over the years, I kind of forgot about that feeling.
UNTIL… I visited the Route 44 Market in Stellenbosch with my own family. It was a +-45 minute drive (I live in the North) and long overdue! I’m always looking for a family friendly activity/event and have been reading great online reviews about this place. We planned a trip previously but got sidetracked by the Strawberry Farm just across the road, so trust me when I say that I was so excited!
The market itself was split into 3 sections, the first section as you walk in has arts and crafts, jewelry, and clothes. It was all really nostalgic and I just walked along really slowly as I watched my kid go completely bonkers at the sight of all the toys. The next section was obviously my favorite – FOOD! My human either feeds me before we leave home, as soon as we get to the place or has me carry snacks. I know, he’s a remarkably smart man. We walked in and were greeted with a medley of smells ranging from waffles and fruit to coffee beans and pizza. Pizza is my first love and when I came across a stall selling it in a cone, I almost threw all of my money on him. ALMOST.
That is when I saw it. The sight almost brought tears to my eyes. In that moment, it was just me and that beautiful plate, everyone else just faded away (you know that moment in Titanic when Rose is being lowered in the life boat and she looks up at Jack and just sees him – yeah just like that). I quite literally ran over to the stall named Saville Spices, abandoning my own flesh just to utter these words : “I want all the Puri Patha please.” To which the owner, Sadhana, laughed but understood that I was serious. To anyone else, this might sound overly dramatic but I had not eaten Puri Patha in almost two years. You know the saying “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”, yeah I felt that in my soul when I moved to Cape Town. I asked if I could take a few photos of her food (for this blog post and my insta account), and we got to talking about blogging. She then mentioned Dhanusha (from Miss Dhanusha the blog) and said that was actually her son’s girlfriend – how tiny is this world! Anyway, after devouring all the Puri Patha, I posted on insta to let Dhanusha know just how lucky she was to have that kind of amazing food in her life lol. You can view the post here and maybe give me a follow? (nudge nudge, wink wink) All I can say is if you want really good Indian food, please go and check them out.
Next up were some of the prettiest (and tastiest) fruit juices. Unfortunately I don’t have a long story about this one, I bought them, we drank them, they were amazing.
I forgot to mention that they have a World of Adventure fun park, which was amazing because we could just let the kid have some fun for a few hours (was about R100), while we made our way to the 3rd section of the market – Homeware and Decor! They had amazing pieces that looked so authentic and unique – definitely a place to check out if you’re redecorating or just want a piece or two to pull together a look.
After we bought a few items, we sat down to enjoy our juices and had a quick bite while listening to some live music. These two men (not sure about the name of the band) played a few old songs and it was such a nice vibe. There were families everywhere just enjoying each others company. It was a complete experience for me. I can’t wait to go back.
Here’s the address of the market :
R44 & Cnr Annandale Road
Saturday and Saturday from 10:00 – 16:00.
Here are some more photos that I took:
Drop me some suggestions of nice places to visit.
Until next time