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The Event

Join us for the latest Bike-About –  a series of guided bicycle tours exploring the culture and history of Cape Town's diverse neighbourhoods. In the Wheatfields and Windmills, local historian Jim Hislop takes us back in time to uncover Observatory’s hidden heritage.

"It’s easy to forget that Observatory in Cape Town, or Obs as residents call it, was once a rural area and home to some of the first free burgher farms in the country. Once there were fields of wheat and barley where today rows of Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses stand".
Jim’s book – Wheatfields & Windmills, The Old Homesteads and farms of Observatory & Surrounds – celebrates the Observatory area’s early architectural heritage, providing information and photographs of the old buildings that survive, and those that are now long gone, plus references to slaves, the indigenous Khoi people and the free burghers who farmed here. On this historical cycle tour, a first for Observatory, he will point out some of the old buildings and sites mentioned in his book and speak a bit about their history, as well as the people who lived there.

The ride begins and ends at The Wild Fig Restaurant ( in Mowbray and follows an easy 10km meandering route through the suburbs (along cycle lanes and quiet neighbourhood roads). This is a social ride and the pace will be slow. At the end of the ride we invite you to join us for drinks and/or luch at The Wild Fig where you will have an opportunity to purchase a signed copy of Jim's book.

Please note bicycle rental is not included. If you do not have a bicycle and need to rent, please contact one of the bike rental service providers listed here ( )

The author:
Jim Hislop (a member of the Vernacular Architecture Society of South Africa), grew up in Mowbray and lived for many years in Observatory, where he developed an interest in the old buildings of his neighbourhood. Wheatfields & Windmills is his first book.
To buy a copy, please call 083 950 9586 or email [email protected] The book will be on sale at the event.
Cost: R290 from the author.


When and where?

The Wild Fig

Sat 18 Feb 2017 at 11:00 AM (SAST)
Sat 18 Feb 2017 at 2:00 PM (SAST)

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