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Old 08-17-2003, 12:26 PM   #1
Melephelwen
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: the Middle of Nowhere
Posts: 295
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Tolkien Bloemfontein - birthplace of Tolkien

(Don't know where to post it, but N&N seemed the most suitable place)

This summer I went on summer holidays to South Africa, and of course I went to Bloemfontein - when you go to the other end of the world, you have to see Tolkien's birthplace!
They have 'arranged' this 'Tolkien Trail' where you can see all the Tolkien-related places etc. I went, but I must admit it wasn't that impressive:
"On this corner were once a building where Arthur Tolkien (J.R.R.'s father) worked. It's not there anymore, now there's a shop instead"
"This gravestone we put up 3 years ago, because the old one couldn't be read anymore, but originally this was Arthur Tolkien's grave"
"This guesthouse is on the list too, though it has nothing to do with Tolkien, except that it's named something with Hobbit's and the owner is a fan" (Didn't meet him, but the girl who worked there was really nice, and told me a lot of interesting stuff about Tolkien's three years in the town)
and a few other locations, which I didn't have time to check out.

So, I was wondering if anybody else has been there, and perhaps noticed something I haven't mentioned?

I think it's cool they bother make the brochures (and have Tolkien mentioned in their local museum) but I would have maybe liked to have a bit more to 'look at'. The guy only spent his first three years there and never returned as far as I'm concerned, so I'm not sure if it's really worth making such a concept out of. (The guesthouse-girl told me the only thing he ever used in his works from South Africa were the spiders.)
What they really need is a souvenir-store! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
Anyways, I would like to hear some opinions on the subject.

Just to make sure nobody gets confused, the quotations are not from the brochure, they are simply my dad's sum-up, after I dragged him to the opposite end of town for the third time for something he couldn't see the point of... [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 08-21-2003, 12:21 PM   #2
Tarien Ithil
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Join Date: May 2003
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Tarien Ithil has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

Yes, I know The Evenstar is from South Africa. She's been to Bloemfontein before. I hear it's very interesting to discover Tolkien's history.
I've been to Johannesburg, but not as far south as Bloemfontein. But I'd still love to go there.

Best,
Tarien
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