Thursday, July 30, 2009

Castle Corner

Springbok supporters like to be entertained. They arrive early for the match and spend some time at places like Castle Corner where they can have a beer with their boerewors roll (type of hot dog with a sausage) and listen to some music performed by a live band. Of course they also wear their Springbok jerseys and many sport fancy headgear. It all add to the spirit of the occasion. And when their team wins the stadium erupts into delirious euphoria.

This shot shows the Bloemfontein Rugby stadium in the background. It has undergone extensive construction and renovation in preparation for the 2010 FIFA world cup tournament. Some of the matches will be hosted at this stadium.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

all together now

The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team performing the Hakka just before their clash with the Springboks on Saturday. The Hakka probably originated from the Maori's as a chant prior to going into battle to give them strength, courage, inspiration and strike fear into the enemy. The Springboks won the match 28 points to 19. The games between these two fine teams is always a competitive and titanic battle.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sports fan headgear

Rugby fans are getting quite creative with the head gear being used at sporting events. This hat appeared at the clash between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Bloemfontein. Apart from the Rugby match it is quite entertaining observing all the various garments, hats and various items used to enhance the sporting experience. One gets a completely different experience between watching the game on television and being at the match.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blue Bull

A rugby fan poses with the Blue Bulls team mascot. This shot was taken during the rugby game between the Pretoria based Blue Bulls and Western Province (from Cape Town). There is intense rivalry during the Currie cup tournament and many supporters wear the colours of their favourite team. It works on a round robin basis and the teams with the most points play off in a final held in October for the coveted Currie Cup trophy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fort Schanskop

The Schanskop fort a short distance form the center of Pretoria was built in 1897 to defend the city. There are 3 other similar forts located in different parts of the city. With the deteriorating political situation leading up to the Anglo Boer war in 1899 and built on top of a hill, one can see anything that moves for a considerable distance.

For many years after the war it was badly neglected and vandalised. The site was restored and converted into a museum in 1978 and has many relics giving an illustration of life from that era.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Voortrekker Laarger

These sculptured ox wagons encircle the Voortrekker monument and gardens to create the effect of a laarger. Essentially the voortrekkers adopted this formation as a form of protection against wild animals and hostile tribes when they camped. This formed a type of mobile fortress that could be protected from all sides.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Voortrekker Oxwagon

A restored oxwagon on display. These were used by the Voortrekkers in the Great Trek that took place between 1835 and 1852. Drawn by a team of oxen at a rate of 6 miles per day it probably took about 6 months to progress from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria. Today it would require 1 and a half hours to fly the same distance.

These pioneers endured many hard ships and lived off the land as they travelled. All their worldly posessions were under the canvass covering the wagon. Similar vehicles were used in Australia and New Zealand during their voyages of exploration to the interior.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Long Archway

A series of archways creating an interesting image that appears to go on endlessly. It remind me of the days, as a youngster, when I used to visit the local barber shop that had large mirrors on opposite walls. The reflections seemed to go on forever.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Voortrekker Cenotaph

Two people read the plague of the cenotaph inside the Voortrekker Monument. This historical building, not far from the city center, was built between 1937 and 1949 to commemorate the Great Trek. On the 16 th December every year the sun shines through a portal, atop the dome of the building, to cast a ray of sunshine at precisely 12:00 noon onto the cenotaph.

The Voortrekker monument was built to celebrate the Great Trek that began in 1835 and continued to 1852. These pioneers left the region around Port Elizabeth to move northward to the interior and later formed the Boer republics known as the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (Transvaal) and Oranje-Vrijstaat. The flags can be seen in the background with the well known vier kleur (four colours) on the left. These colours depict the Dutch flag with the three horizontal colours and the vertical green bar representing freedom.

It was the Great Trek that led to the founding of cities like the modern day Pretoria and Bloemfontein including many other towns in the South African interior. Younger cities like Johannesburg were founded through the discovery of gold which ultimately lead to the Anglo Boer war between 1899 and 1902 and the demise of the Boer Republics.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Unknown Airman

The grave site of the unknown airman at the Airforce memorial just outside Pretoria. This quiet place of solitude is a fitting place for such a grave.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Delta Shapes

Another picture of the Airforce memorial at Bays Hill just outside Pretoria. I was quite fascinated by the architecture of the building and the consistent use of triangular shapes to resemble delta wings.

The chappel seen at the end of the building has chairs which are also triangular in shape including the lectern.