Saturday, January 13, 2018
We decided we were thirsty for maitais, but when we asked for them, we were told the couldn’t be served while we were in port in Durban. We asked several people why this was, even searched the internet for a reason, to no avail. Finally, we found a bartender who could give us an answer. The open bottles all had to be sealed and counted for tax purposes. Once we left the port, they could be opened up again. We haven’t encountered this in any other port, so it must be pertinent only to this area.
A friend sent me the following message the other day. I think it’s only right to pass it on. I wish I knew who to credit for it as I really don’t want to commit plagiarism.
“MY TRAVEL PLANS FOR 2018
I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Kahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Kahoots with someone.
I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.
I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my children, friends, family and my retired military family.
I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.
I have also been in Doubt. It is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.
I’ve been in Flexible, but it was very important to stand up right and firm
Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.
One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! This place really gets the adrenaline flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!
I may have been in Continent, but I don’t remember what country I was in. It’s an age thing. They tell me it is very wet and damp there.”
I’d like to skip Continent for sure.
We took a bus tour of Durban this morning. My newest resolution is to never take another bus tour if I can help it. If you can see out the window, you generally miss the building/park/statue/whatever that the tour guide is pointing out to you. If you’re seated anywhere except in the front, you’ll be lucky to hear the monologue. When you have 15 minutes to get out of the bus for a photo op, it will take 10 minutes for the passengers in front of you to disembark. Then, one of your fellow travelers might ask the guide to take a poll of the group because she isn’t interested in one of the stops, and, if she isn’t interested, surely nobody else is either. Seriously!? OK, that’s enough whining for today.
Although not as large a port as Richards Bay, Durban handles 65% of all of the cargo that is shipped in and out of South Africa. Durban’s local hero is Dick King, who saved the town in 1842 during the Boer Wars. The town was under siege, and King rode 600 miles to Grahams Town for help. Most of the black people living in this region are Zulu. In fact, this region is called KwaZulu-Natal, or “a place of the Zulus in Natal.” The original name was Natal, Portuguese for Christmas, because they first landed here on Christmas Day, 1497.
Our first stop was at the Victoria Street Market, an indoor market with over 170 stalls where vendors sell spices, trinkets, clothing, arts and crafts, fish, etc. Open air markets were first establish in the 1870’s by the Indian population here. We had 30 minutes to experience the market, not nearly enough time to even see what was offered there. I loved the spice kiosks, with so many types of spice blends, including several hot ones named “Mother in Law.” Before getting off the bus, we were warned to stay away from the outside kiosks because of pickpockets on the streets. Really, that’s true almost anywhere, and this market did have a security presence.
Back on the bus, and our next stop was at Durban City Hall, a beautiful neo-Baroque style building built in the early 1900’s. Five minutes to take a photo and be sure to hang on tight to your camera. Also, there was a statue of Queen Victoria on the grounds commemorating the 60th year of her reign (it was a mere shadow of her normal self.)
Next stop was Durban Botanical Gardens, a lovely garden where we were allowed 60 minutes, still not enough. The gardens were developed in 1849 and are free to the public. We saw several groups meeting there, including a yoga class. We enjoyed the orchid house, the cycad garden, the ferns, the water lily display and all of the other lovely trees and plants there. By the way, this was the stop that the poll requesting traveler wanted to skip.
We then took a driving tour of the city, with a stop at the soccer and rugby stadiums, which are located next to each other. Kings Park Stadium was built for rugby; the Moses Mabhida Stadium, for soccer, is far more impressive, especially from a distance. The soccer stadium was built for the 2010 World Cup. It’s possible to take a rail car ride to the top for some amazing views of the area. Unfortunately, it wasn’t operating today, not that we would have had time in the 15 minutes that was allocated.
More driving around the town, but by this time, we were both feeling drowsy and had stopped paying attention. NO MORE BUS TOURS! (Oops, I did it again! Whine, that is.)