At the foot of the Swartberg Mountain Range and in the heart of the Klein Karoo lies a story waiting to be told to anyone willing to stop for a while, for a coffee, a glass of wine or simply for a smile. Named after Queen Victoria’s companion, the town is steeped in royal history and has seen more than 250 years of stories roaming its streets, frequenting its establishments, finding love, and raising families.
Today, the town has become renowned for their storytellers intertwining their colourful stories from different angles with anecdotal devices and incredible talent, to paint a storyline that is enticing and utterly irresistible. Even magical.
One of the most beloved weavers of tales is undoubtedly ‘Outa Lappies’, also known as The Patchwork Man. An outsider at first, he plied his trade with discarded pieces of glass and tin. His motto, “make something out of nothing everyday” is still the same, and today his art not only fills the walls of the PArt Gallery on the main street of Prince Albert, but also decorates houses of hundreds of international visitors – enamoured by the talent, enthralled by the story.
But even if you speak to nobody, just walking through the main street of this quaint town has a way of silently telling a story of its own, and will tell you volumes if you are willing to listen. If you find yourself wandering into the Showroom Theatre, you will find yourself transported to the era where everything was chromed or brylcreemed, and Elvis and Marilyn hogged the headlines. The theatre hosts incredible artists live, and even have movie mornings for the little tykes.
Stop over for a coffee or lunch at the Prince Albert Hotel and walk through the corridors of history and escape to a world where chivalry was still the norm and respect and decorum ruled everyday conversation. If you are however interested in possibly meeting up with some of the more ancient residents of this sleepy town, the Story Weaver of Prince Albert herself, Ailsa Tudhope, will take you on a ghost walk through the village after dark. Trained in drama and history, the walk is sure to enlighten you with much more than a few creepy ghost stories.
The town story is rich with vineyards and orchards flowing with the most wonderful produce, and the annual Olive Festival is a great tourist attraction.
With coffee houses, antique shops, B&B’s and more to suit your every whim and fancy, Prince Albert is sure worth a visit. Sit down for a cup of tea in a fine porcelain cup and ponder your own story, delicately weaved into the tapestry of the rich heritage of this jewel of the Karoo.