My hubby and I love this place called Clarens.
Nestled in the foothills of the Maluti mountains, in the Free State, the back end of the Drakensburg. Close to Golden Gate with majestic mountain appearances. A place that holds our hearts in its clutch.
With this in mind, when a work colleague decided to tell my hubby that there is indeed another gem to explore, much closer to home, with a shorter traveling distance, and apparently exuberating the same ole Clarens feel, we decided to try something new.
Big expectations lay ahead of us, in a town called Parys.
I wouldn’t quite call it a town, it’s not that small, and probably could be classed more as a small city. But one dedicated street, full of vintage antiques, hidden shops, restaurants and pubs, appeared to define this quaint Paris of Parys.
It took only a couple of seconds before we realised that this one street was not what it endeavored to be. Sadly, it has become a bypass street for heavy laden trucks avoiding major toll roads. Lots of traffic. Lots of noise. Almost too busy for a quaint Paris of Parys. It’s this very street that was supposed to makes us fall in love with the place.
Well, we gave it a chance and booked into our accommodation.
Due to some unwelcomed security issues we also had to make some last minute changes to our accommodation. And so we landed up staying in a beautiful place full of art, antique furniture and vintage gadgets. Right on the main street that makes Parys feel like Paris. It was conveniently located. A great experience. Great room. Fantastic host. Noisy street.
Recently turning towards a vegan lifestyle, we walked the street in search of a nice vegan lunch. Checking out most menus, up and down, in and out, much to our disappointment, we simply could not find any vegan options. That just may give you an idea of how far behind this town is. I mean we struggled to the point of having to settle for a vegetarian dish. I mean that’s like mixing road runners with trail runners. It’s just not done!
On recommendation of our host, we decided to visit a restaurant called O’s, right on the edge of the Vaal river.
Now what would you think about a place called ‘O’s’? Well for me, desperately trying to meet those initial high expectations, my thoughts didn’t hesitate. The experience must truly be orgasmic, right?
A really nice setting, in amongst the trees, cool and quaint. Busy and popular. But boy was the service shocking, to the point where we actually got told that our table was booked and we used the wrong entrance! Wow. We got up and left, otherwise between my hubby and I, one of us would’ve lost it! Even their service appears to be behind the times.
But wait for it…
I guess one of our most favourite moments was at Kiki’s. A photo shoot experience unlike no other. It entailed a quick dress up shoot, with a made-up plot, where I was desperately trying to flirt with my hubby to create some sexy shizz. But all he could do was to give a nervous giggle. I mean it was indeed his time to shine with all his fabulous stories he tells so often with historical passion (Whose that Man?). But no, this time he’s far too nervous and leaves me hanging. Nervous? Well, he finally let me know why – he was secretly keeping an eye on Kiki, certain she was coming onto me! What!?
Surprisingly though, we did manage to visit the original place we had booked for our accommodation. We were invited to have a look for a potential future stay, experience the swimming pool and have an opportunity to fly our drones. We loved it. That fresh air and quiet surroundings, was just what we needed.
And before we knew it, we were back in the car for the drive home. We crossed over the Vaal river. Immediately my body tensed unexpectedly, I turned to my hubby all stiff-necked and called out ‘I’m stressed’!
I guess Partly Paris allowed us to relax a little and have a few good laughs. It was indeed an experience. Not quite Clarens, but uniquely different!