Wednesday 2016/12/28

Johannesburg – Pretoria


On 2016/12/27 we first had a connection flight from Hamburg to Frankfurt. The Lufthansa flight to Johannesburg - fully booked - fortunately was during the night and, although we're sitting somehow pinched, we got a bit of sleep that night.

The flights were absolutely on time. At the immigration we had to queue for a while, because we had seat in one of the last rows of the airplane. The advantage was that the luggage already did arrive. From there we went to a money exchange counter.

Turning right at the exit there is a Vodacom shop where we immediately bought a SIM card with data plan.

The car rental companies are opposite the exit of the Airport. There are to sign about 100 form for getting the car. We make the joke about the washing machine, which we most likely will get sent home. The employee looks irritated. We have to explain the joke to her.

We have to get used to the car with the gear shift and of course to the left side traffic. After all, the last time was ten years ago (in New Zealand). But Wolle handles the situation quite well and Brigitte is the traffic supervisor ...

On the highway to Pretoria the rain pours fairly heavy and we see two accidents, probably caused by the rain in some way. At the second accident the highway has even been blocked, but luckily we have to take the exit directly in front of the accident into the direction of our accomodation.

The Brooks Cottage is a very nice and spacious place to stay. Our nice host receives us with the umbrella and the explanation, that this is not the usual weather.

First we have to organize ourselves a bit and after a while the sun comes out. Much better!

Our landlord advises us not to be on foot in the city. The distances are too far and the city itself is not very interesting and, according to their opinion, too dangerous. So we decide for a car trip.

First shopping around the corner. A different assortment than in the supermarkets at home. For example, not much brands of water, but all sorts of soft drinks, most in big bottles.

First sightseeing stop: The Union Buildings, the Parliament with a huge and very beautiful statue of Nelson Mandela in front. Here colored people are the majority.

We continue to the center around the Church Square. It does not invites us to stay: it is quite ugly. And in fact, as our landlady already said, we would be the onliest people with white skin here.

The next attraction is the Voortrekker Monument, a massive granite building on a hill which was raised to commemorate the Voortrekkers. A pompous monument for a certain section of South African history. Here only a single colored couple among the visitors.

Thus the impressions of the first day seem to show the different lifeworlds in South Africa: here the white people, there the black people, little mingling. In an evening conversation our landlady, who has grown up in the South Africa of the apartheid, confirmed this.

After the dinner (probably a lot of meat this vacation) yet a nightcap beer and then off to bed.

And by the way: Zebras and Springboks at the Voortrekker Monument, unusual birdsongs everywhere and shyless lizards on the ground of the Brooks Cottage.

Oh, so don't wanna forget: The young waitress at dinner, which just wrote down a long list of attractions, we can see/visit on our trip the following days - without beeing asked for this favour!