Blue Train’ n ‘Golf Cape Town

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The Blue Train

Imagine yourself sitting in the lap of luxury. Now take that image and improve upon it. What you get is South Africa’s Blue Train. Nice eh? But you and I can make it even better if you are a golfer. Would you like to turn this image into the real thing? Follow me.

From the airport or your overnight hotel accommodations (depending on the time you arrive) you are wisked to Pretoria and the Blue Train. You will recognize it easily. It is blue and it oozes class, comfort and luxury. But I am getting ahead of myself here. The luxury starts at the Blue Train Lounge where you go first. Then to the Train! We are catching it to Cape Town – a one day, one night trip of 994 miles (1,600 kilometers) through farmland and mining country and Karoo (a sort of semi desert with sage brush-type growth) and Mountains.

Let’s take a little tour of the train. Your suite may be one of two classes – Luxury or Deluxe. Deluxe offers a choice of twin beds with a shower or a double bed suite with a three quarter size bath. Luxury class also offers choice of twins or a double bed and the bathroom is a full sized bath with a hand shower. There is a phone right beside your bed just in case you want to talk to the Train Manager or your butler or make an external call. The suites are air-conditioned when it’s hot and heated if the temperature is chilly. Luxury suites have CD and video players.

Blue Train n Golf Cape Town

Let’s check out the lounges. Each train has two of them – a Main Lounge and a Club Lounge. The Club Car sort of congers up the earlier days of rail transport when gentlemen retired to this lounge for an after dinner drink and a fine cigar. Indeed, this is the only public room on the train where smoking is allowed.

The Main Lounge, on the other hand, congers up the same period. But the one where the ladies, in their finest attire, chat over high tea and high tea is indeed a part of the afternoon’s offerings. Can’t you just taste those scones and real cream?

And here – the Dining Area. Eat real African fare cooked by the creative and excellent chefs. Among other things you could sample oysters from Knysna, lamb from the Karoo or how about impala? Vegetarians need not worry. This country produces some of the finest fruits and vegetables anywhere. (Just let us know ahead of time. Kosher and Halaal meals are also available with prior notice). Wine anyone? South Africa produces some of the finest wines around and the Blue Train picks out the very best to offer you. This is all served up on very fine china, and cut crystal glass and silver cutlery.

Shopping anyone? Let’s saunter down to the Blue Train Boutique. We can pick up some lovely jewellry, fine carvings and mementoes of the Blue Train. They have golf shirts and caps!

If you are mixing business and pleasure – not a problem. There is a Conference Room. And you won’t have to bring your own video machines, projectors, CD Machines or any of that sort of thing. Everything has been arranged. Just bring yourselves and your agenda. The train will even cater your meeting.

The Service is extraordinarily great. Butlers -available 24 hours a day who keep your room and personal wants looked after including on-board laundry and valet service. Phone service and fax and mail service are all available. Want to see the route from the engineer’s viewpoint? There is a closed circuit camera on top of the train that feeds right into your room so you can watch in comfort.

The trip itself is not at all boring. The train stops at Kimberly in diamond country. Included in the fare is a side tour to the Kimberly Mine Museum and The Big Hole – the largest hand excavated hole in the world. You can try your hand at finding a diamond here also. Check out the town too. The De Beers office, pictured here, is on Stockdale Street. You may also see Kimberly’s first car – a 1901 Panhard et Levassor, The Boxing Academy which was run by Barney Barato, a real life character of the area and a man who became one of the richest men in the world at the time and a fabulous Fountain which is a tribute to the diggers. This just scratches the surface of the history here – there is a lot of Boer War history as well – so you are bound to discover things I have not included.

Back on board after this excursion and head for the Great Karoo. Try not to miss the sunset. Here in South Africa it is not a gradual thing. In fact, if you are from the Northern Hemisphere, it may seem to you that the sun justs falls right out of the sky. When you awaken in the morning, you will find yourself in vineyard and orchard country. And mountain country through to Cape Town. You can’t miss Table Mountain – it’s flat and when covered with mist looks like a table with tablecloth.
You probably won’t want to get off the train but, alas, you must. Head off to the accommodationyou have chosen and the golf courses you have chosen.