Genevieve Vieira
1 minute read
13 Dec 2013
6:00 am

The splendour of Magaliesburg

Genevieve Vieira

I saw a shooting star race across the sky on a beautiful Friday evening in the Magaliesburg mountains, while gazing up at the evening sky, an exciting activity for someone who lives in the city.

SHINING BRIGHT. Panaromic view from the Mount Grace lodge in the evening moonlight. Picture: Supplied.

Quick, I thought, make a wish! Stars are not only dim in the grand metropolis but at times barely even noticeable, the light pollution reducing their visibility to almost zero.

Looking around at the thousands of stars around me and losing track as I attempt to count them, I grasp the magnitude of the splendour that astronomers have celebrated for centuries.

Star-gazing while lying comfortably on a blanket spread across the lush green lawn is just one of the fringe activities guests can indulge in at the Mount Grace Country House and Spa.

I was bewitched by how impressive the night sky was when viewed with nothing more than the naked eye, as if someone had thrown a million diamonds onto a velvet cloth. It was so incredible, I considered purchasing a telescope (before researching the prices of such apparatus changed my mind).

The constellation Orion was clearly visible and the stars in the giant’s belt, The Three Sisters, even more so, but that, sadly, was about all I really knew about what I was looking at. I began squinting, pretending I could see different pictures in the arrangement of stars, feeling like a kid again.

This was not an experience that could be reproduced in a planetarium or accurately depicted in a photograph, but something that was best enjoyed without equipment and which inspired a sense of tranquility.