And here's the much-talked about lobby of THE PALACE OF THE LOST CITY HOTEL located here at SUN CITY.... The moment I arrived here, I was spellbound by the lovely lobby and the large collection of antiques, plush furnishings, beautiful animal rugs... Well, everything about this place is mega-fabulous!! It's really worth every penny that you pay for staying here. Oh, and the Manager of the hotel, Lucas was exceptional too...
Thank you Lucas for the wonderful service accorded to us. ;-)
The train's the easiest way by far to Soccer City!
I was at the Germany vs Ghana game at Soccer City yesterday evening and was left speechless by the stadium. Approaching in the dark, it looks like a space ship that has just happened to touch down, and inside, it is almost better - not so much a calabash, but a cauldron of anticipation. There is an amazing feeling of intimacy - despite the fact that there were over 85,000 people there - and you feel very close to the pitch and players: almost like watching it live in your lounge, but with more company! However, it's vital to wrap up warmly to properly enjoy the experience, as although the seating in the stadium is pretty sheltered, the temperature by the end of the game wasn't far above zero.
I took a colleague's advice and travelled by train from Park Station in Braamfontein, which turned out to be a wonderful arrangement. The train takes you directly to Nasrec station, which is just over the road from the entrance to Soccer City, and from there, it is only about a 1km walk (allow at least 15 minutes as you need to clear security). Everything about the logistics was well handled, and the staff were friendly and pretty efficient, which added to the amazingly friendly and laid back atmosphere. A couple of very minor quibbles: signage is pretty well non-existent (just follow the crowd!) and there was some delay in exiting the stadium precinct due to pressure of numbers, but I suppose that will happen anywhere when 85,000 people decide to leave at once! The train back was pretty crowded, but again, that is unavoidable, and if it's any consolation, the park-and-ride buses didn't look any better!
The journey by rail from Park Station takes about 30 minutes on a basic-but-adequate train, and there are plenty of trains, although I wouldn't advise getting there later than about 18:45 for a 20:30 game, due to increasing pressure of numbers as kick off time approaches. We left at 17:50 and were in the stadium by 18:45, which gave us plenty of time to explore and drink in the atmosphere,and unfortunately also the beer: Budweiser - the official beer of the tournament, and thus the only alcoholic offering on sale - must be the vilest beer on earth, and even as an enthusiastic beer drinker, I can nurse a single bottle for an entire game! There is a reasonable amount of parking around Park Station, and we found the security guards very helpful in directing us to car parks in the area. It is not unusually advisable to wander around Braamfontein after dark, but after a game, there are so many people that I wouldn't be concerned - just be viligent, exercise common sense and take sensible precautions, and you should be fine.
Best of all, the train (as opposed to the 'park and ride' arrangements, for which you need to book in advance and pay) is absolutely free if you have match tickets! Bargain!!!
Next stop Bloemfontein and the English ... let the game begin! Thermal underwear, hats, gloves and earplugs to block out the worst of the deafening cacophony of vuvuzelas!
Just a block away from Sandton City
Its a small but nice a shopping centre , cattering for your all your needs if you living at the Balalaika Hotel or Hilton ,its a nice place to go shopping as its situated right between those hotels. Its just down the raod from Sandton City and they have a large selection of restauarants , clothing stores and grocery stores. Anything as they have a whole lot of different stores
Gautrain between OR Tambo and Sandton now running!
As of 05:30 this morning (8 June 2010), the Gautrain rapid transit rail link between OR Tambo International airport and Sandton is now up and running! This is the first link of its kind in the whole of Africa, so we are feeling pretty proud!
Things seem to have gone pretty smoothly, with the only reported glitches concerning people's confusion around the ticketing arrangements. Passengers need to purchase a Gautrain Gold Card and load money onto it in order to access both the train and its associated bus and parking services. The cost of the service is R100 one way (no discount for children), and the journey takes only 15 minutes (as opposed to a minimum of 45 minutes by road).
What with all the inbound passengers for the World Cup and all the Jo'burgers just wanting to ride it for the experience, it's going to be busy but fun!
Let the games begin!
Spur Steak Ranch - friendly steak restaurant
It was our first day, and after an overnight flight and then the excitement of the 'dog incident' we were ravenous. We headed to the Greenstone shopping centre, in Edenvale, in search of some lunch, and the first place we came across was a cheerful steakhouse chain called Spur.
We were given a friendly greeting and handed the large glossy menu filled with pictures of the food options. The restaurant was colourfully decorated - obviously catering towards families, and there is apparently a large play area as well (though we didn't try this out!). To eat I had the 200g Rump steak, and Alex had the 500g T-bone. The steaks came with a choice of potato, vegetables or salad. We took the potato option, and then shared a side order of "two hot veg", which turned out to be a Spinach puree type thing and a pumpkin mush.
Not the best food ever, but entirely edible, and a bargain compared to London prices!