Pessimists no balled
BY all accounts, the first sporting event in Cape Town’s new stadium went off like a well-oiled clock. I am positive the remaining trials will be even slicker. Naturally there are concerns to be addressed but I am sure the successful event has now put egg on the faces of most of the pessimists who said the city would never be ready as a World Cup host.
Meanwhile, we are still facing huge traffic congestion as we battle to get to grips with roads that are in turmoil. Again, although the delays and detours, which often take you by surprise, are causing concern, credit must be given to the planners and engineers who have been able to work around the traffic flow.
It is quite amazing how they have been able to juggle the lanes. It is like living and working in a huge high-rise building while it is still being built.
In preparation for the big event, Cape Town has suddenly acquired a host of new hotels, guest houses, apartments and other accommodation across all price ranges.
The big question is whether we will get the expected numbers of visitors.
In the past few months I have seen top-class hotels such as the Taj at the top of St George’s Mall open, offering a fivestar springboard into the historical areas of our great city, as well as the Coral International at the top of Wale Street and, late last year, the One&Only in the V&A Waterfront.
Then there are myriad others scattered throughout the peninsula, as well as most of the older establishments either refurbishing or upgrading many of their services and, in many instances, offering more upmarket services.
Restaurants, bistros, coffee bars and l ounges have appeared on every street corner.
The hope is that visitors arrive in large enough numbers to take up all the additional beds and our hospitality industry keeps the prices of its services at a reasonable level.
Already there are many conflicting reports about how many beds have been booked and whether the establishments are really going to be full.
On a recent visit to Switzerland, we had the opportunity to interview the man who headed the organisation for the World Cup in Switzerland.
Although he reported that all went according to plan, he also conceded that the numbers expected did not fully materialise. Even at the past Olympics in China, Beijing was not full to capacity.
After all the preparations and the battle the world is having in a massive recession, what we do not need is for the hospitality industry and shopkeepers to get greedy and spoil our golden opportunity to attract millions of visitors in the years following the World Cup.
After we published the article on Putsonderwater, the ghost village in the Northern Cape, we received many emails from people who lived happily in the village many years ago.
They have also sent us interesting accounts of what life was like.
Unfortunately all the photographs were of a low resolution, but we are working on it and will soon publish a look at life in Putsonderwater. CONGRATULATIONS to Sheila Marchant-Webb for her photograph of children tobogganing on the beach at Worthing, England. Sheila wins dinner for two at CinCin, where food and life are celebrated with superb views of the Cape Town city skyline, Table Mountain, and its pièce de résistance, a 3m genuine Swarovski crystal chandelier.
CinCin is synonymous with elegance and ambience. The menu changes with the seasons, including a number of themes: the vegetable garden, the sea, the farm, the veld and fynbos.
From the mountains to the sea, the colourf ul dishes reflect l ocal f l avours; sweet, sun drenched, earthy, rich in taste and aroma. Visit CinCin at the Protea Hotel Colosseum in Century City and allow its team to reveal the true essence of CinCin. Whatever language you speak, may it be a celebration.
Our runners-up are Ruth Romburgh for her photograph of a sunset; and Derek Watters for his photograph of a peacock t aken i n t he Saasveld district near George.
Travel2010 will continue to publish the popular readers’ photographic competition, with a prize of a dinner for two for the winners each week.