I have not been fitness-conscious in many years, but in preparation for my Camino walk, I decided to invest in a FitBit, a watch that not only tells the date and time, but also provides information about one’s activity in terms of steps and kilometers covered, calories burned, and one’s heart rate. All the measures are tracked daily and weekly, from the time that one startswearing the FitBit. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Emirates, for its flight from London to Dubai, on Sunday 1 July. At the check-in I was told to reduce 5 kg of weight of my suitcase, luckily having bought a hand-luggage suitcase into which I could transfer items of that weight, and having to check it in too, to avoid paying extra. My son had left my check-in too late, so I was allocated a poor seat. I asked the check-in lady if she could find me a window seat, but she told me that the fight was full, and that all such seats were taken already. She said that she would continue to try to find me a window sat, and that I should ask again at the boarding gate desk. Lo and behold, there it was, in the second row from the front, in the company of a Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the British Airways cabin crew, and Jenny North in particular, who looked after fellow-passenger Dr Wouter Hanekom and I with the greatest of friendliness on the flight between Cape Town and London on Monday. Nothing was too much trouble, and she had a friendly smile. We teased her about a review of the dinner, and she took it all in her stride!
* The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reacted to the additional Immigration Regulations introduced on Monday, requesting our government ‘to act in the best interests of the country and review‚ modify‚ and if necessary‚ rescind‚ the new measures if they do not have the desired effect and if they act as a handbrake on travel‚ tourism and economic growth‚ not just for South Africa — which is experiencing its weakest GDP performance in decades — but for the entire region. From a commercial and economic perspective‚ the industry is concerned that the harsh and onerous requirements South Africa has prescribed for travellers will negatively impact on the sustainability of air services‚ travel‚ trade and tourism to‚ from and via South Africa‘!
* The inaugural Cabernet Franc Carnival will be held at Avontuur on 20 June, with thirteen producers presenting their wines to taste, including Ridgeback Wines, Avontuur, Lynx Wines, Hermanuspietersfontein, Camberley Wines, Cape Chamonix, CK Wines, Doolhof Wine Estate, Druk-My-Niet Wine Estate, Mont du Toit, Ormonde Vineyards, Raats Family Wines, and Nelson Family Vineyards. Entrance R120.
* The cost of the devastating fires to the Table Mountain National Park early this month is estimated at R6 million, not only for the fire-fighting costs, but also for facilities damaged or destroyed, and lost income in having to close the Silvermine and Tokai recreation areas for the next 6 – 24 months.
* Sun International is to buy the Peermont Group, consisting of nine casino resorts in our country and in Botswana, for R9,4 billion.
* The second season of the ‘Clover Little Big Cook Off‘ will be aired from 28 June on SABC3, with judges and hosts Continue reading →
* SA Tourism is going on another India Road Show this year, visiting Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and New Dehli in February. Franschhoek Wine Valley and Paarl & Wellington Tourism are some of the local Road Show participants. India Country Manager for SA Tourism Hanneli Slabber said that some 24000 tourists from India visited our country between January and March last year.
* ‘Rear seat kickers’ are the worst type of passengers on an airplane, an Expedia Airplane Etiquette Study has found! Other annoying passengers are inattentive parents, ‘aromatic passenger’, ‘audio insensitive’, and ‘boozer’!
* The Nobel Peace Summit, which was due to be held in Cape Town on 13 – 15 October, has been called off and moved to Rome, a major shame for our city, given the valuable international media coverage it would have generated for our city. Now it is associated with negative headlines. Nobel laureates were due to meet in the city, but started cancelling their attendance when the Dalai Lama was refused a visa by our Department of Home Affairs! Past President FW de Klerk, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Mayor Patricia de Lille have slammed the government’s decision.
* Noble is the donation of the R250 million penalty plus interest which Mark Shuttleworth has been refunded by the Reserve Bank, after winning a court case about an exit levy Shuttleworth had to pay when he moved his monies abroad after selling his verification company Thawte. The Court found the levy to be unconstitutional. The monies will be put into a trust to pay for South Africans who face the government in Constitutional Court cases, and are unable to afford to do so!
* British Airways is adding a third daily flight between London and Cape Town from 2 – 10 January (received via e-mail from Continue reading →
* British Airways has been fined R21,7 million by the South African Competition Tribunal for fuel surcharge price-fixing with Virgin Atlantic between 2004 – 2006, on the SA and UK routes.
* Cape Town and Camps Bay have been featured in the Indian dance show ‘Dare2Dance‘, SA Tourism Country Manager for India Hanneli Slabber having sent links of two videos. The Camps Bay dance scene with a blindfolded dancer on a platform dangling above the ocean, with Camps Bay in the background, is breathtaking, and sure to create huge interest in the suburb.
* In 2013 3 billion passengers and 48 million tonnes of cargo were transported on 100000 flights per day, a World Air Transport Statistics survey by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed. One-third of the flights are in the Asia-Pacific region, and one quarter each in the USA and Europe. Only 2% of flights are in Africa.
* SAA and Boeing are teaming up to develop jet fuel made from tobacco, to improve the airline’s carbon footprint. The Solaris tobacco plant will be the source of the jet fuel, made by SkyNRG. The biofuels are expected to be developed in the next few years. Similar test projects for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways are underway.
* To promote film-making in our country, Rob Davies, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has announced the drastic lowering of the domestic film expenditure threshold Continue reading →
* The Eat Out Gala Dinner, at which the country’s Top 10 Restaurants will be announced, will be held at Thunder City on 16 November. Mercedes-Benz is the new title sponsor of the Awards.
* The charity ‘Chefs who Share’ dinner, to be held in the City Hall on 11 September, will have seven pairs of top local chefs cooking for guests, each team paired with a local sommelier as well as an international Michelin star chef. The international chefs are Gerd Kastenmeier from Kastenmeier Dresden, Alfred Miller from Wirtshaus Schöneck Innsbruck, Andreas Meyer from Schloss Prielau, Christoph Geschwendtner from Schlosshotel Fiss, Anton Schmaus from Restaurant Storstad, Bernard Reiser from Restaurant Würzburg, and Christian Grainer from Christian’s Restaurant. (received via media release from Amplicon PR)
* Table Bay Boulevard is to be named after former President FW de Klerk, it has been recommended by the City of Cape Town’s Naming Committee, subject to a public participation process. The recommendation has been supported by Premier Helen Zille and former Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
* Huffington Post’s Travel Blog interviewed Chef Luke Dale-Roberts of Eat Out top restaurant Continue reading →