South Africa

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    • Day 19

      Crime in Durban

      February 19, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

      Of all the places we have visited in our many travels, Durban has the dubious distinction of being the place where the most people we know were mugged!

      A trio of friends went for a stroll around 10 a.m. They didn’t get far before a couple of men ran up and attempted to steal one guy’s fanny pack.

      As he struggled with his assailants, some locals came up and helped chase the attackers off.

      None of the victims were walking alone, at night, or in areas that seemed “dodgy.” One attack occurred within sight of the ship, very close to the dock.

      No one was hurt, at least, although one criminal put his hands around a woman’s neck as if to choke her. Scary!

      Meanwhile at the beach, a woman had her cellphone snatched from her hands and she relaxed in the sun.

      These are just a few of the muggings we heard about. All of them were in broad daylight!

      We took the ship’s tour today, and they only let us off the bus once. Along the way, we passed sign after sign for “armed response” security companies.

      Barbed wire and electric fences were on the perimeter of every apartment and house. Many had guards sitting at the entrance.

      As we drove through the downtown, our guide said, “This is a bad part of town. Don’t go walking here.”

      After all the stories I heard today, I certainly believe her!
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    • Day 19

      Rough Seas & Broken Bones

      February 19, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ 🌙 79 °F

      Seas were rough on the way from Durban to Elizabethtown (or Gqerbah, as it seems to be called on the maps!)

      Simply walking around the ship was a challenge as it pitched and rolled, but Larry and I didn’t mind, nor do we get seasick as some folks do.

      For some reason, our dock wasn’t ready when we arrived in Elizabethtown, so they sent us to a different dock.

      Three ambulances met the ship to cart off four injured people. One was a member of the kitchen staff who broke his arm during the rocky transit.

      Two more passengers were injured by the rocky ship, but the fourth had a medical emergency of some other kind.

      Unfortunately, our photo safari was cancelled because the tour buses were at the dock where we were originally supposed to be.

      We opted to stay on the ship today. We’ve heard so many tales of crimes from other passengers in South Africa, that it’s less than inviting to go for a stroll. We might get more of an adventure than we bargained for!

      Instead, we had a relaxing day on the ship, swimming and playing Scrabble. While we play Scrabble, I edit photos and write blog posts.

      The shore excursion folks have shifted us to a different game reserve for tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.

      p.s. The photo here is a Chantilly swan dessert from last night’s dinner. Yum!
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    • Day 91

      Durban, Südafrika

      January 24, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ 🌬 30 °C

      Südafrika, die nächste Reiseerfahrung. Und dann als erstes Durban, eine der gefährlichsten Städte. Gut, ich bin auch nicht in die Stadt direkt wie andere (von denen tatsächlich einige ausgeraubt wurden), sondern ganz entspannt an der Standpromenade entlang.Read more

    • Day 97

      Brauerei geht immer

      January 24, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ 🌬 30 °C

      Ein bisschen wollen wir aber trotzdem raus. Dann bleiben wir halt am Hafen 😅 welch ein Glück, dass direkt gegenüber eine Brauerei ist 🍻

      Nach der flüssigen Stärkung laufen wir aber noch mutig eine Straße weiter. Dort ist nämlich ein Wasserpark und dahinter direkt der Strand. Das erscheint uns relativ sicher und wir werden auch nicht enttäuscht.

      Hier fehlen mir mal wieder Fotos, weil die noch meine Kollegen haben 😅

      Aber abends, als wir Auslaufen macht die Stadt nochmal einen sehr hübschen Eindruck.
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    • Day 85

      Durban, South Africa

      April 9, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

      Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa with 3.4 million people. A main seaport of South Africa and ethnically diverse area with Zulu, White and Indian/Asian people. Durban has a natural harbor, Durban Harbor, which is the busiest port in South Africa and is the 4th busiest in the Southern Hemisphere. With temperatures year-round of 65-85 degrees, it is a popular place to live. Zulu is the first language spoken in Durban followed by Afrikaans and then English.

      We had planned a cultural tour here including the Hare Krishna Temple. Unfortunately, most places were closed, and the tour was changed a few times because it was Easter Sunday. We had our favorite cook, Brian, make us matzo brie which he has mastered! Needless to say we also had lots of chocolate in every form and filling!

      Although this area, often referred to as Little India due to the number of people that immigrated here from India, is not Christian, the holiday was celebrated in most places. Some people went to the Marketplaces to walk around but we decided after leaving the ship for a short time to stay aboard, sit in lounge chairs on the promenade deck and catchup on the blog.

      This was somewhat successful although we did find plenty of other distractions and people to chat with (between meals), including Dottie (a cruise director we know from our trip last year) who came on board for her transition, taking over for Ray. Ray has been a great cruise director, a straight shooter, funny, interesting, and very helpful with Shabbat and Passover events.

      New cruise director, new chef (Farid went on vacation home to France), new matre de (Sasa went home to Serbia and Ana joined us just in time for Passover transition), new waitress (Marina went on vacation home to Serbia), new steward- our 5th room steward due to changes in personnel and new musicians and Entertainment that change often … even the doctor changed. I knew we have been here a long time when we are here longer than the crew!
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    • Day 15


      March 14 in South Africa ⋅ 🌬 22 °C

      We were in Durban for a short day, so we decided to stay aboard.

      We cleared immigration (Departing South Africa), then back onto the ship.

      We went to a really nice Military reception where we got to see the officers again, and get some complimentary glasses of "red."

      Dinner was at Cagney's... Always a good thing.
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    • Day 1

      Walking Around Durban

      April 1 in South Africa ⋅ 🌬 81 °F

      Of all the ports Larry and I have ever visited, Durban has the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous.

      When we visited last year, more guests were mugged here than any other place we’ve been. And I do mean mugged, not just pickpocketed. Many of these crimes happened in broad daylight and within sight of the ship.

      So it was with some trepidation that we decided to hoof it to the local aquarium. In any other city, a ten-minute walk would be no big deal, but in Durban we were on high alert.

      According to my map, the quickest path was a left onto Mahatma Gandhi Boulevard, but we’d only taken a few steps before a security guard stepped out of the shadows and said, “No.”

      “We can’t walk down this street?” I said, incredulous. It looked like the safest option to me. After all, it was a busy street immediately in front of the port and it was named after Gandhi, of all people.

      “No, no. Go there,” said the guard, gesturing us down a two lane street. Only then did we notice guards at every corner along the way.

      I guess that’s how Durban is dealing with its crime wave, using tourist police to shepherd us from the port to the beach and the aquarium.

      Along the way, we passed a canal with an inviting pathway beside it. We stuck to the street, however, because a sign warned that the canal was unguarded and therefore pedestrians strolled there at their own risk.

      We later heard from a guide that unemployment in South Africa reached 65% during the Covid lockdown. To put things in perspective, the unemployment rate was 24% in the USA during the Great Depression. This same guide went on to say that SA’s unemployment rate had dropped to 30%, but that’s still so much higher than other places in the world.

      I don’t claim to know how to cure South Africa’s economic woes, but it’s certainly interesting to visit and observe.
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