Yesterday, Paul and I left a little late and I had to settle for photos from Miradouro. With no time to arrive at Clube Marítimo, from where we would have a front row seat to watch the demolition of the Four Seasons hotel, we rushed to the best available place.
Despite far, we had a complete view of the highest building on the Costa do Sol area. To our surprise, the streets were full of people who, just like us, left their houses early to see such unusual happening around here.
I stayed in a place while Paul had to be far due to the car parking, just to give you an idea of how crowded. I found myself and my faithful camera in the middle of a German speaking group. Everybody around me was a little excited. To understand why, you had to live a couple of years here and feel the odd of a building 100 meters high, never completed or occupied, erected in the middle of a flat area, without constructions with more than two floors.
During the few minutes I had to wait for the demolition, I was wondering how many people around me knew why the name of the building was Four Seasons or even why it wasn’t finished at all. The building was almost completed during the seventies, most of its furniture and decoration was even imported and lately sold to locals. This fact explains, for instance, why so many people had the same type of curtains at home – a fact I observed for years before discovering a satisfactory answer. It was the never opened Four Seasons. The building was conceived to be a hotel similar to the ones existing on Marine Parade in Durban. At the time it made sense because Mozambique was experiencing a spectacular tourism growth. The name Four Seasons corresponds to a local weather feature: Maputo is said to have four seasons in the same day, a way to show how it changes.
In less than 5 minutes what once was a visible concrete shadow became a persistent grey cloud. In the afternoon, not even the cloud existed. Only a pile of rubble to be removed. It was a good job led by a team from which I have to stand out Eric Charas’ name, someone we know well. When we went to the site in the afternoon, we were surprised because the buildings near were spot clean, namely the Casino, Marítimo and Mercado do Peixe.
I don’t know if someone is going to miss such singular presence in our landscape. At least I already discovered one. While driving back home, Paul told me with a touch of regret in his voice: “I’ll miss it when the boat is returning from Inhaca. It used to help a lot as a landmark. Costa do Sol is now all flat!”