Table mountain: a place I have seen time and time again as the backdrop to countless test matches. Because of all those test matches watched, Table Mountain a place that I have always wanted to go.
I'm now standing upon it looking out over Cape Town.
And it's about to be shrouded in fog.
At least the view was amazing whilst it lasted. The cable car ride up is incredible. The car rotates 360 degrees with open windows to give you a better appreciation for the vertical ascent. I'd love to hike up it one day. It'd be hard work but satisfying.
While I'm up top I spy a plaque for the New7Wonders of Nature. It seems that Table Mountain has one some award for sustained resistance to erosion. Other New7Wonders winners are the Amazon Rainforest, Jeju Island, Halong Bay, Iguazú, Puerto Princesa Underground River and the Komodo Island.
Most of those winners are victims of erosion so I'm not totally off with my quip. The winners were decided by internet and telephone voting where one could vote as many times as they liked. It's like a popularity contest but one where anyone with sufficient time or money can easily generate enough duplicate votes to ensure their entrant wins. So it's similar to an election.
Another important part of staying in the running is ensuring you spend enough money on the pomp of the competition. Failing to do so might get you eliminated.
Indonesia's Vice-Minister for Tourism said the company running the New7Wonders campaign used underhanded tactics, threatening to remove Indonesia's Komodo National Park from the list if Indonesia refused to host a declaration ceremony for $35m. [Wikipedia]
They did a New7Wonders of the world before this particular award. The pyramids got an honorary mention. Only Last year, they release New7Wonders Cities and these awards are starting to sound like expansion packs for a board game. I don't know how you determine one city as being more wondrous that another.
Wait. Sorry. I know how. It's unchecked voting again. I guess that explains how Durban manages to get into the top 7 most wondrous cities in the world. Kuala Lumper also scores. I mean KL is nice but the only time you wonder is where is the nearest mega-mall to escape this swaddling heat.
The answer: never far.
It all sounds like a bit of a scam. Never fear: the New7Wonders is a not-for-profit. The company New Open World Corporation which accepts the licensing fees on behalf of the New7Wonders brand for-profit.
But who cares about shady business deals and made up lists designed to encourage tourism. This is normal in our world.
I want to know what is coming next? Will it be an even narrower, more subjective niche?
New7Wonders Streets? I know Rundle mall in Adelaide is pretty good. Satay street in Singapore is also popular. Are they top 7 worthy? Comment below and we'll find out!