Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Durban Snapshot – by Gary


Durban is a big, bustling modern city.  First and foremost it is a sea, rail and road port, handling astonishing amounts of traffic, with a monster container terminal, bulk loading facilities and a car export/import terminal.

The ship traffic is continuous – 24 hours a day

Just part of the huge container terminal.

But what was this???  We think maybe it was some new cranes being delivered.

Durban is also a very popular summer holiday destination, with long white sand beaches, promenades, restaurants and swimming pools.  The locals are also into sand sculpturing!

Could be any Sydney beach, but for the skin colour.  The surf is often large and dangerous.

A busy promenade connects all the city beaches, which have a wide
array of restaurants and safe, free pools for the kids

the locals are in to sand sculpture!

The city has some fine examples of colonial architecture.  A real gem is the richly ornate Victorian era town hall, which I was very pleased to see undergoing extensive renovation.

The town hall – its interior is somewhat disappointing.  

But the richly decorous exterior is a ripper!

There are a number of visitor attractions, including a small but very fine maritime museum, a natural history museum with a beautifully presented bird collection, and the kids’ favorite, a theme park called Ushaka Marine World.

Ushaka is a combination attraction with performing seal, dolphin and penguin shows, a marine aquarium and an aquatic fun park.  I didn’t much care for the seal or the dolphin shows – they included lots of loud music and, in the case of the dolphins, a thoroughly romanticized misrepresentation of these ‘pack wolves of the sea’.  However their speed, agility and intelligence makes for an exuberant spectacle.

 Our kids in rapt attention at the seal show

Their speed, agility and intelligence makes them stunning animals to observe despite the them doing it to blaring disco music.

They had some monster sharks!

Apart from the obligatory sharks and rays the aquarium had some very impressive exhibits including live corals from a wide range of habitats, some exotic crustaceans and a range of exquisitely presented jellyfish.

Of course the kids favourite was the aquatic fun park, including the slide on the far left which is advertised as 6-storeys high and taking 2 seconds to descend – both Zeke and I did it!

On the dark side, Durban has large populations of the homeless, destitute, drug addicted and AIDs infected and is reckoned to be a thoroughly dangerous, violent city.  It is said murder can be committed just to steal 10 rands (one dollar) while a mobile phone is gold. Judging from the attention to security paid by those with assets worth stealing, this perception can’t be too wrong.  However we have found it a most interesting place to visit and never felt threatened – thank goodness.

_ _ _

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work. Hotel in frankfurt-Oder