I too was pleased to be the vocalist of the National Rust jazz touring quartet. My last visit to Cape Town was seven years ago and I was interested to see how tourism has fared post-Mandela. I certainly endorsed Bob’s critique of business travel and the price charged, £3500, for a return ticket. To me the whole concept of calling it business class is wrong. Most business people do not want unlimited booze. Their and everyone else’s priorities are surely to travel in maximum comfort and therefore to arrive as fresh as possible. Certain improvements should be implemented to achieve this. The section should be sealed off. I was woken at 3-30 by someone taking something from the bag, stowed away above me. He was not travelling business class. Before landing there was a long queue for the loos as travellers freshened up. Also we were still in the same clothes, pyjamas should have been issued.
The best in-flight entertainment was provided by Bob Tickler. I could hear a commotion behind me. When I looked around there was a half-naked passenger braiding Bob for lowering the glass divide. The German spoke fluent English and was laying into our Bob. At the end of the tirade Bob clicked his heels raised his left arm and replied in excellent German:
“Entschuldigung, Mein Reichsfuhrer”
The steward, another German, rushed to the scene like a referee. “Fritzy …” Bob said “You just run along along and get me a double gin and tonic (Bombay Sapphire) and Fevertree. I will deal with Obersturmgrupppenfuhrer”. If ever they were remaking those Carlsberg adverts about German tourists Bob would star in them.
The organisation at Cape Town arrivals was poor, we had been travelling 24 hours, and there was no travel group signage. The driver of the combie ( people carrier) had no air-con and we were stuck in a traffic jam in 37 degrees. The driver had no water to offer us. The tour operator should understand that this is poor service in terms of greeting and transfer – all the more so as most of the tourists were elderly and this was our first impression.
The Table Bay Hotel on the Waterfront impressed me straightaway. My room was enormous with king-size bed, large bathroom, walk in clothes cupboard and pretty view over the harbour. I have stayed at Lost City and the top South African hoteliers know how to deliver quality in the 5 star range. It’s not just about opulence but little touches such iced water with cucumber on tap as you arrive at the pool. The ever smiling staff are most helpful and attentive which at first made me uncomfortable as they are all black.
As a party girl you may be surpised to learn that I can live without the New Year festivities of carousing and cavorting.
The hotel put on an impressive gala with live band, lone piper at midnight and excellent view as the fireworks exploded like huge chandeliers over the harbour.
The buffet, like most buffets, ended up with a lot of mush on the plate. At the meat section I was offered Impala, crocodile, antelope, ostrich, I wondered if a Uruguayan rugby player was bubbling away in the casserole. Lamby and his missus were the founders of the feast and I soon myself drawn to this fun-loving cricketer though not as drawn as Bob’s squeeze Conchita.
Those Eighties cricketers knew how to enjoy themselves !!!
By 12-30 with the heavy meats lying like fresh concrete on the tummy I was ready for beddy-byes. There are worst places to see in 2016 …