Saturday, May 30, 2009

Onward to Pretoria

The Gautrain project is advancing by the day. This bridge, looking North, straddles the Olifantsfontain road in Midrand. The Gautrain is a rapid rail link that will service the two major cities:- Pretoria and Johannesburg which are only 50 kilometers apart. The region between the cities has grown rapidly over the past decade and the they have practically joined. Industry has flourished in this region resulting in a substatial increase in traffic volumes. Everyday the roads and highways are clogged.

Many South Africans use mini bus taxi's to commute. The rapid rail network will help alleviate the burden and traffic congestion. The Gautrain project will ultimately expand to service many areas within this busy metropolis that has a growing population.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rugby Fever

Loftus Versfeld is a hive of activity after the Blue Bulls won their semi final match on Saturday. The Blue Bulls are the regions' Rugby team and enjoy a passionate and enthusiastic support from their fans. The Super 14 tournament comprises of provincial Rugby teams from Ausralia, New Zealand and South Africa. It takes place between February and May and the teams play a round robin with the top 4 qualifying for the semi final playoffs. This year the Blue Bulls won their semi final and will play the New Zealand team known as the Chiefs on Saturday 30 May. This Saturday afternoon the stadium will be packed to capacity during the final.

This scene from Loftus will be the venue for the Final. The stadium will also be utilised during the FIFA soccer world cup, to be hosted by South Africa in 2010. The stadium, has gone through extensive upgrades in preparation for the games next year. Many stadiums in major centers such as Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and a number of others have undergone extensive construction and upgrades to be ready for this major sporting event.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Market Day

The Irene Flea Market is a big attraction that draws many visitors on a Saturday morning. Stall participants sell anything from flowers to furniture. The busy market takes place in the Smut's museum grounds.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mosaic Intrigue

This interesting and colourful mosaic form graces the Irene village mall. There are many restaurants where one can relax and enjoy the pleasant surroundings. This shopping mall is one of many that have been built with the phenomenal growth in the Centurion area (just South of Pretoria) over the past few years.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

In the shadow of the storm

Late afternoon sunset and in the shadow of the storm passing over. There has just been a strong down pour. Storms in Pretoria are rare during Autumn as we enter the dry season. Winters a short here, generally lasting about 3 months.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Russian Orthodox Church

This Russian orthodox church is located in Midrand just south of Pretoria. The architecture is interesting and refreshing to see the different cultures and religions that make their home here. The late afternoon autumn sunlight glints against the gold domes.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Inquisitive Rhino's

These inquisitive Rhinoceroses were amazed at our sudden appearance in their world. This shot was taken in a game reserve north of Pretoria. There are many fine game parks in South Africa with the Kruger National park being the most famous.
This group appeared to be calm and did not mind our presence. One has to be cautious as these animals can be dangerous, particularly if they feel threatened or one approaches too closely in they have calves. It's really a case of respecting their territory.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Union Buildings

The seat of the South African government. Designed by the famous architect, Sir Herbert Baker, it was completed in 1910 for the then Union of South Africa. This magnificent building comprises of two symetrical wings. This will be the setting for the inauguration of the next president of the country in a few days time. These emtpty lawns will be filled with thousands of people during the inauguration celebrations.