It is a beautiful time of the year to make a country call on Philadelphia! The drive from the edge of the urban sprawl of Durbanville on the M58, past autumn-bronzed vineyards, over lush green hills, takes you there in about 15 minutes.

You could also fast-track the trip by taking the N7 from Cape Town towards Malmesbury, and turning right onto the R304, or the N1 from Cape Town to Paarl and turning left onto the R304. Once there, park near the church and enjoy the rest of your visit on foot.

Dropping in on Philadelphia should always involve time in which to enjoy the tiny village, to wander through the pottery and the craft businesses, Pieter van der Westhuizen's art gallery at the old mill, and to enjoy a light meal at the coffee shop.

No visit is complete, however, without calling in on Magic Minerals, with its large and unique variety of crystals, gems, fossils, gifts, décor items and jewellery.

Magic Minerals is housed in the original General Dealer store of Philadelphia, which was built in 1916. This fascinating shop embodies a life-time interest in rocks and minerals from local residents, Maurice and Aletta Conradie, as well as Aletta's love and background in décor and jewellery-making.

Gem stones are believed by many to have mystical properties. The minerals were a little slow in working their magic when they drew Maurice and Aletta to each other, however. They had both been residents of this tiny village for years, each with a passion for gem stones and gardening, before they "found" each other. The rest is history!

Happily married for the past three years, they have combined their love of crystals and minerals, resulting in one of the widest selections available in any similar shop in Cape Town. Although Magic Minerals stocks stones from around the world, their prices are extremely competitive because they buy direct from source. A recent visit to Namibia resulted in them returning many kilograms heavier, which they laughingly admit is not all in stock for the shop!

You too might find you return from a visit to Magic Minerals, a little heavier – but your heart will be a whole lot lighter for this charming experience!

Find out more at www.capecountrycalls.co.za, or phone Magic Minerals on (021) 972-1139. Their website is www.magicminerals.co.za.