Joburg and Pretoria

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October 15th 2014
Published: October 28th 2014
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Jozi / Joburg / Johannesburg:

Arrived at Joburg on 16th of October, we had to under go a temperature check before entering South Africa (for Ebola)! At the airport we were picked up by the chauffeur of Thea and Jan and treated as princesses for the whole day. They arranged for us to sleep some days at the Hilton hotel in the north of Joburg, in Sandton. From there we started our first days in Joburg. We visited Mandela square and nothern shopping mall were we discoverd many white people. In contrary to our sightseeing tour with the hop-on hop-off bus, that brought us in the center of Jozi, where we were the only white people in the whole shopping mall. We even played a little game that consisted in finding the first white person... Neither of us ever won. Even a little girl around the age of 7 approached Hélène and touched her because of her whiteness. Just above this mall the Carlton hotel is situated, which is the highest building in Africa and gave us a beautiful 360 view of Joburg. To add a little bit of history to our tour, we decided to visit the Apartheid museum where we received random tickets to enter the museum like a white or like a black person. It was a really interesting and enriching visit. In the big city were everybody was well dressed, Hélène with her Jesusshoes and Florence with her flip-flops made a lot of people laugh.

Johannesburg, known as one of the most dangerous cities, we noticed that even the local people rushed (the african way 😉) home before it was getting dark.

First impression of Hélène: crazy how civilisated Jozi is. I would have imagined more township style. Lot of "American" looking malls.

After our safari we went to Ghandi backpackers hostel, where we met a lot of nice people! A german couple (Annica, Niklas), an American guy (Mike) and a german guy Lukas with who we are travelling for the moment. We went to the 'Neigbourhood market' with them, that is located next to the University, so there were mainly students. It is a foodmarket were you can eat a lot of different kind of meals from all over the world with a roof top were you can drink all kind of delicious cocktails. We had fresh mojitos with melon, they were very good!! Afterwards, we went back to the hostel in one of the local taxis... It was a funny experience as we were the only white people who actually took that kind of taxi and quite an adventure to find the right taxi!


With the Gautrain, which was a secured train, we went to Pretoria. We had our first 35 minutes walk with the backpack in the hot midday. We visited the Union building and had the chance to withness a wedding. As we heared a lot of stories about stealing backpacks, we decided before leaving the dorm to lock our bags together. We could not unlock it anymore! After a lot of laughter, crying, yelling and patience we needed to ask the security guy to break our lock open to save our bags.

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