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So now that qualifying is over…

Argentina coach Diego Maradona, photo courtesy Armando Tovar It’s all over. The 32 teams who will be playing in next year’s FIFA World Cup have qualified and now we wait for them to arrive in their bulletproof vests – or whatever safety precautions their national football bodies have determined for them – to kick off the first ever African World Cup. With all eyes now turned to the future, it’s perhaps worth reflecting a little on what we’ve learnt, already knew, or can infer from the qualification process.

Cape Town Stadium: “visually dramatic”

Cape Town Stadium, photo courtesy Linda Ndela Cape Town Stadium, formerly the Green Point Stadium, was deliberately designed with a sweeping silhouette to “avoid competing with Table Mountain”, according to a FIFA World Cup stadium guide published in The Telegraph, one of the UK’s most established newspapers.

The Cape Floral Kingdom – A Cape Town Tourism photo essay

The Cape Floral Kingdom was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2004. Many of the beautiful indigenous flowers that form part of the kingdom can be seen in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront at night – Flickr pic of the day

This vivid photograph of the V&A Waterfront was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Peter G Hall.

Take your marks, get set … get your entry for the 2010 Two Oceans Marathon

The finish at the Two Oceans Marathon, photo courtesy Hubert January Entries for the 2010 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon opened on November 1 and although there are 10 000 places available, you have to be quick off the mark for a ticket to run in the world’s most beautiful race on April 3, 2010. Entries close on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 – or as soon as the organisers log 10 000 entries. They won’t slip any late entries into the box, so make sure you get yours in before the cut-off date.

Cape Town airport – not just a pretty facelift

Cape Town International Airport has created quite a buzz this November with its new central terminal building, which will soon welcome thousands of travellers for the 2010 World Cup.

Table Mountain panorama – Flickr pic of the day

Table Mountain is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town. This photograph was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Sandra Mallinson. Sandra says: “Less than 30 minutes before this photo was taken, I was sitting in my office hard at work. I love the fact that in Cape Town a beach or mountain path is never far away. Roll on, summer!”

Cape Town Stadium on schedule for 2010

Cape Town Stadium will be complete on schedule by the end of the year, according to a report today in The Guardian, one of the United Kingdom’s most respected newspapers.

Muizenberg Craft M’Art a must for Christmas shoppers

The first Muizenberg Craft M’Art – a quarterly community arts and crafts market – will be held at False Bay College on Saturday, November 28 from 12h00 to 18h00. The Craft M’Art, which carries a “festive gifts” theme, promises a high standard of creative offerings. Christmas shoppers looking for original and unusual presents are advised to get there early to browse the wide spectrum of handmade originals from talented local artists and crafters.

Cape Town gears up for FIFA Final Draw

Fans will gather in Long Street to watch the Final Draw before celebrating on the legendary party street. Photo courtesy jaded one The countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup will soon hit the six-month mark and soccer fans all over the world are eagerly awaiting the kickoff on June 11. On December 4, the FIFA World Cup Final Draw will take place in the Mother City where, as the FIFA website suggests, “the fates of the world’s top 32 teams will be sketched out”.

Cape of Good Hope – Flickr pic of the day

The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point offer spectacular scenery, as captured here by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Steve Proctor aka StProc2009. Steve says, “This photo of Diaz Beach on the Cape Peninsula was taken on a beautiful but windy winter’s day at the end of a fantastic day’s exploration.”

Summer sunsets in the city

Camps Bay sunset, photo courtesy Neil Howard “It was the cooling hour, just when the rounded red sun sinks down behind the azure hill…” Cape Town is a city of such magnificent natural beauty that one would be justified in quoting Lord Byron when speaking of it – more so because this specific poem speaks of a city with a mountain to one side and a deep, calm sea to the other.

Lion’s Head from Signal Hill– Flickr pic of the day

This image of Lion’s Head was taken by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Trevor Exposed. “This shot was taken from Signal Hill,” says Trevor. “I took my boys for ice creams and managed to sneak off a few pics while they were busy. I loved the colours!”

In search of South Africa’s top three tourist spots

Boulders Beach, photo courtesy Damien du Toit Google and South African Tourism are on a search for the top three tourist locations in South Africa this summer. The two organisations have come together to bring images of South Africa’s best attractions to the people using Google’s Street View application, which was launched in South Africa on September 1 this year.

Milnerton pier – Postcard from Paul

Durbanville horses – Flickr pic of the day

It is images such as this that make Capetonians proud to live in such a beautiful place – and everyone else jealous. This scene was captured by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Jo-Ann Stokes aka JStokes2008. Jo-Ann says, “This photo was taken high above Bloemendal Restaurant in Durbanville. You can see for miles up there with stunning views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.”

Baboons in Table Mountain National Park – Flickr pic of the day

Baboons are quite a common sight at Cape Point and in Table Mountain National Park, as captured here by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Patrick Smith aka Globe Trodden. Take a guided walk in the mountains with the organisation Baboon Matters and spend time watching the wild chacma baboons.

Cape Town at night – Flickr pic of the day

There really is no such thing as a dull moment if you’re in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre – as you can see in this photo by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Andries Steyn aka profpetrof. Andries says, “If you’ve grown up in the Cape Town region, you could easily take this world gem for granted. But as soon as you leave, you realise that there can be only one city.”

Table Mountain supports World Diabetes Day

Table Mountain illuminated, photo courtesy Damien du Toit Cape Town’s Table Mountain, along with other famous landmarks around the world, supports the United Nations’ World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2009. The mountain will be lit up in blue between 20h00 and 22h00 tonight – November 13 – to create awareness of diabetes.

Networking at Rondevlei Nature Reserve

Rondvlei Nature Reserve, photo courtesy Ian Junor Cape Town Tourism Team South, together with a number of Cape Town Tourism members, had a fun-filled, jam-packed networking function on Wednesday, November 11 at Rondevlei Nature Reserve, just 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre. The setting was ideal and although the weather threatened to derail our plans, we were able to go ahead with our activities.

Cape Town Earthwave 2009 – A Cape Town Tourism photo essay

On October 5, 2009, hundreds of surfers of all ages gathered at Muizenberg’s popular beach. It is not uncommon to see numerous surfers here every weekend, as Surfer’s Corner is one of the best beaches for beginner surfers – a fact verified by the string of surf schools that lines the historical buildings across the way from the sandy shore. But on this particular weekend the excitement was palpable, enhanced by the music, tents and stalls set up by the Earthwave team.

Bordeaux or the brogue?

Given the strength of the euro, wine farms should be laughing their way to the bank in 2010 As it stands there are eight European teams and six African teams in with a chance of making next year’s FIFA World Cup before we go into this weekend’s round of qualifying fixtures. For the European hopefuls it’s the first leg of a home-and-away knockout round with the winners over two legs rushing to the capetown.travel site to find out what to do between matches, while the African teams play their final round of qualifying before the three teams that top their respective groups cast their eyes south to see what’s happening on the tip of Africa.

Muizenberg beach huts – Flickr pic of the day

Our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member I love beachhuts captured this image of the popular beach at Muizenberg. She says, “The brightly painted beach huts at Muizenberg often feature in fashion shoots and I can see why. I first encountered the beach huts and Muizenberg in the 1970s when I was fortunate to live there for several years. The beach huts, and Muizenberg, captured my heart and I still have a soft spot for this suburb’s faded beauty with its eclectic collection of residents.”

Cape Town transport system gets an overhaul

Work on Cape Town’s Integrated Rapid Transport system progresses on the edge of Paarden Eiland, alongside the N1 freeway, photo courtesy Warren Rohner The City of Cape Town’s transportation system is getting faster, safer and more convenient, thanks to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. Phase one is to be completed by March, in time for the 2010 World Cup. The BRT system is part of Cape Town’s Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system, which aims to transform the entire transport system by radically improving customer service, according to the City of Cape Town website.

Cape Town wins global Responsible Tourism Award

Cape Town won the 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award in the Best Destination category The City of Cape Town is pleased to announce that Cape Town has won the 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award in the Best Destination category. The award was presented to Executive Deputy Mayor Alderman Ian Neilson, on behalf of the City of Cape Town, at an awards ceremony on World Responsible Tourism Day – November 11 – at the World Travel Market in London.

Festive lights to set the scene for 2010 Final Draw

Adderley Street festive lights, photo courtesy Danie van der Merwe As thousands of soccer dignitaries and journalists prepare to visit Cape Town for the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ on December 4, the City of Cape Town has focused on a soccer theme for this year’s festive lights in the city centre.

Jazz at the V&A Waterfront – Flickr pic of the day

The V&A Waterfront, where this photo of jazz musicians was taken, is situated in the heart of the Mother City’s working harbour and set against the spectacular backdrop of Table Mountain. This shot was captured by our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Gaby Gang aka cosmopolitan photography. The Waterfront’s many buskers – ranging from African performers to jugglers to jazz musicians – add to the vibe of South Africa’s most-visited tourist destination.

Judges trumpet vuvuzela-inspired light

Vuvuzela lighting design by John Edwards A lighting design inspired by South Africa’s iconic vuvuzela has won a top award for John Edwards, a 24-year-old University of Cape Town School of Architecture student. The awards ceremony was held on Thursday, November 5, at the Green Point outlet of Weylandts home store, which will manufacture and sell the winning design.

Long street party venue for Final Draw

The recent success of the Loerie Awards bodes well for December 4. Photo by Anita van Zyl Cape Town Central City will have over 700 000 million international eyes on it later this year when it becomes the venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Draw on 4 December. Festivities for the event, however, will already begin a week earlier with the traditional turning on of the Adderley Street festival lights on Sunday 29 November – this year with a theme appropriate to the year that lies ahead.

Cape Town bids the Citi farewell

The Volkswagen Citi Golf, the iconic hatchback, will say farewell to Cape Town on November 20 after 25 years of providing reliable transportation to thousands of South Africans. The Citi has its origins in the Golf 1, which was introduced to the South African market in 1978. Since the Golf 1’s launch 31 years ago, Volkswagen South Africa has sold more than 500 000 models – of which the Citi, which hit our streets in 1984, accounts for almost 380 000.