sunset on a trig point, Robin Hood's Bed, Peak District
sunset on a trig point, Robin Hood's Bed, Peak District
  • Aftermath
    • 26/10/2017
After landing in Jo'burg, took the Gautrain (the modern, super secure, world cup 2010 local transit) to Pretoria for a couple of nights recovery at an airbnb apartment.
Was told I was braver than most for daring to walk from the station but seemed like a good area. Spent the next day walking around the whole city. First visiting the Voortrekker Monument, a huge monolithic structure commemorating the exodus and trials of the Boers leaving cape town to settle the northern states, as after various bloody run ins with the Zulu natives.
Then walking educational, CBD with some grand if dilapidated buildings and on to the Union Buildings, which being government property can't be entered, but the surrounding park contains a huge statue of Nelson Mandela with arms aloft (fast show thieving jacket not depicted), attracting bus loads of all kinds of tourists, notable since I had seen no other tourists or white people in the entire city.

Onwards to downtown Jo'burg, often cited as the most dangerous city in the world but again I felt walking ten blocks to the hostel in a student part of town in broad daylight couldn't be a problem and it was not.
After asking around, the general consensus being daylight OK, darkness not OK, local metro not ok., everyone uses uber to go anywhere, black or white.

As mentioned previously, I was feeling horribly ignorant of south African history, and had so far only had the glorious ordeal and triumph of the voortrekking Boers for perspective, so I visited Constitution Hill, the site of the jail which once held political prisoners such as Mandela and Ghandi (I never knew how much time Ghandi spent in SA) and now the home of the court of Justice.
Followed up by a tour of Soweto, a township created as the result of the importing of cheap mine labourers from the countryside and then apartheid segregation and exclusion of blacks from the city centre.
Also home to Africa's two biggest football teams, Kaiser Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, who played out a boring nil nil draw at the weekend.
Rounded out my historical tour with s visit to the Apartheid museum, most educational, throwing light on the years of various forms of oppression and exploitation and protest and struggle and cover ups.
On a happier note, finished my stay in the city with an evening at The Orbit, a jazz and soul club across the street where a local band were blasting out some crowd favourites.


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