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Flying South

Back in Joburg (3-12/12)

SOUTH AFRICA | Thursday, 12 December 2013 | Views [219]

I’ve not posted anything for a while, mainly due to a combination of not really being up to anything since getting back from Zim followed by lots happening at once. The first few days after getting back were pretty much spent lounging around the house and taking it easy, sorting out all the pics and generally being lazy. I did take a couple of trips out with Amy for lunches/shopping but that was about it. I have seen a little bit of the centre of town but mainly it’s been visiting the various shopping malls that lay on the outskirts of the city. These malls are major centres of activity and, in various flavours, seem to provide the main destinations for going out. Everything from grocery shopping to department stores, chemists, electronics shops, bookstores, restaurants and eating establishments of many varieties are found in these malls. There is even one giant complex called Monte Casino which houses everything you could ever need including entertainment venues such as cinema, theatres, a bowling alley, a casino and even a bird park with daily shows featuring a variety of unusual trained birds including a pelican and a toucan. It’s aimed at kids and it finishes with a very green message but it’s a show I’d recommend anyone catch if they are ever here.

http://www.montecasino.co.za/aboutus/Overview/Pages/default.aspx Monte Casino also houses the restaurant which provided me with the best steak I have had so far in SA, Coco Bongo Steakhouse.

 

Amy and I also took a quick trip into Joburg to visit the Constitution Hill and the Constitutional Court Buildings. Unfortunately we arrived too late in the day for a tour and so it is now on the list to revisit at some point. I have been to a couple of other places within the city itself. The Neighbourgoods Market is a venue for food and drink in what seems to be almost a student area of the city. The location looks like it is the empty floor of a car park and it is filled with stalls cooking food from all over the world and also has a large upstairs seating area where people gather to socialise and enjoy. http://www.neighbourgoodsmarket.co.za/johannesburg  

Another trip out which was very worthwhile was a visit to the Military Museum. Sadly there were (technically) no photos allowed here for any of the inside exhibits so no real photos as such but amongst their many exhibits they do have the only surviving two seater ME262 in the world. This alone made the place well worth the visit!

 

As you can imagine, the death of Mandela has taken over things here a little the last few days and it is pretty much all that you hear about on tv at the moment. Between the controversy over Mr Zuma being booed, President Obama shaking hands with Raul Castro and the issues with bad signing from the official on the stage for the memorial the news here (and around the world) seems to be kept pretty busy right now. I was very privileged to be at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday for the memorial service and I have to say it was a very memorable experience. The atmosphere was definitely more one of celebrating a life than mourning a death and to sit in the middle of the crowd as the singing went on made your hair stand on end, electric. Personally I found the booing of Mr Zuma to be a touch out of place for the occasion but, having had the story behind this explained to me, not necessarily unexpected, given the nature of things here. I also have to say that Barack Obama is an amazing speaker. He towered over all the others on Tuesday and received the largest applause from the crowd. Ban Ki-Moon also gave an excellent speech. Some of the later speakers got a little lost on the day as the crowd was obviously restless and did not seem much inclined for speeches after President Obama had finished. Quite what the Vice-President of China thought as the stadium began emptying very noticeably during his speech I shudder to think.  Still, as I said, an amazing day which I was very glad to be able to be part of, although it must be said that between the rain and the wind chill factor on the day it seemed more like being in the UK than SA!

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