Hellooo beautiful people!
I’ve got another little adventure to write about and it was quite an unexpected one!
A couple of weeks ago, my sister Gloria and I took a cross-country roadtrip to the city of Gold, Johannesburg!
We took the trip to be able to spend time with our Dad who was in town for the SACCOM 2018 Conference the University of Johannesburg was hosting.
For those of you who might not know, Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city, but it isn’t the capital city (surprise, surprise) – Pretoria is.Pretoria is the executive capital, Bloemfontein is the judicial capital while Cape Town is the legislative capital!
We traveled to Joburg from PE by bus and boooyy lemme tell you, you don’t realise how far it really is till you’re on the open road (we’re talking over 10 whole hours)! Up until this point we’d only ever been to Joburg (and not much outside the airport) via the 1 hour 40 minute flight it takes to get there from PE on our way to Nairobi, Kenya.
So this was all very new!
After a long journey through the night we made it to Jozi the next morning!
Trying to find an Uber on Dad’s phone. Thank God for Uber! Regular taxi cab fares are so unnecessarily outrageous!
Joburg honestly feels like the African equivalent of New York City (I’ve never actually been, so don’t scrutinize my analogy too harshly 😂)! Everything there is so. Much. BIGGER! The buildings, the cars, the restaurants, the malls!
And Joburg is so fast paced, it seems as if everybody there is moving at high speed!
As we were staying at Sun 1, the closest major mall to us and the one we spent the most time in was The Sandton City Mall.
Although PE really tries with Baywest, it doesn’t come close to Sandton City Mall! You can literally spend hours and hours there without ever exhausting every single store and every single restaurant! Together with the nearby Nelson Mandela Square it makes up one of the largest retail complexes in the entire continent of Africa!
I’ve never seen so many luxury stores (helloooo Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and Gucci!) in my entire life, there was an entire floor of them! And every other store was bigger than anything I’d ever seen back home! I mean, how cute does the Pick ‘n’ Pay Clothing store look??!
We got to try and see so many new things! Gloria and I got to see H&M for the first time! It’s crazy to see how many clothing options a single store can hold, window-shopping leaves me droooling for a shopping spree!
And the FOOD!
We had the absolute pleasure of getting to visit Krispy Kreme! I didn’t even know they had Krispy Kreme in South Africa (I know, where have I beeeeen)! It’s literally everywhere in Joburg too! People clearly seem to love it! And it’s not hard to see why. We were so spoilt for choice, there were so many options and everything sounded so good (Rolo, Peanut Butter Crunch, Red Velvet Cake, Milk Tart, Original Glazed, Sugar Coated, Bar One, Cinnamon ring, Chocolate Hazelnut filled and more!).
In the end, Gloria went for a Milkybar chocolate donut while I had the Cookies and Cream donut. I really did plan on taking a good picture of it but once I’d gotten started on eating it, I couldn’t stop till it was all gone, it was so goooood! Not too airy, but the perfect density, soft and moist. The icing was the perfect amount, and not overly sweet. Their prices were so good too! R13 only! I’d actually be screwed if we lived there lol #donutsalldayeveryday 🍩🍩🍩
We got to visit Starbucks for the first time! It was so rad to have our names written on our cups and called out when our drinks were done just like in all the shows/movies, the experience of it was everything! And it was such a great people-watching spot too! You get to see all kinds of people at that mall, and almost everyone is dressed so fabulously! Makes you almost want to try step up your outfit game 😂 Honestly even our cashier, he totally could’ve been a model.
We got to accompany my dad to the SACOMM 2018 conference at the University of Johannesburg for the second night and the last day. UJ has the most stunning campus! And everybody at the conference was so bubbly and friendly and welcoming, and the food was to DIE for (we’re talking vegetarian lasagna, beetroot and crumbed polenta cubes)!
On the 2nd day of our visit, our Dad took us on a trip to Pretoria on the Gautrain!
It was pretty amazing getting to see all kinds of people going about their business at once, swiping their cards and passing through the automatic gates like it was second nature (which it probably is for most, a lot of people use the train between Joburg and Pretoria to beat the crazy traffic).
I thought it was kind of funny seeing just how much of a mad rush everyone was in, all the running people were doing (is everybody chronically late?) till the lady at the ticket booth said our train was leaving in 1 minute and then we were the ones running for our lives! And we just made it too! The ride was great, it honestly felt like an actual aeroplane, I wonder how it is that people get so used to living life at high speed.
Dad having some fun with these street performers…
The gorgeous Nelson Mandela Square at night!
On our very last day in Joburg we had the greatest adventure of all: A visit to Soweto (a township that borders the city’s mining belt). I don’t think I ever realised just how massive Joburg is. I thought Soweto was mostly a township, with the famed Orlando Towers right there and that’s it, but I was definitely wrong! Both the richest of the rich as well as the poor live in Soweto. Both worlds intersect.
I meeaan, it’s not every day you get to see 2 Lamborghinis, a Jaguar and a Mercedes casually parked at an informal roadside car wash…
It was buzzing with so much activity! DROVES of tourists, street performers, buskers-the place was packed, even at this time of year!
We visited Nelson Mandela’s former home in Vilakazi Street. Mandela returned to this house after his release from prison in 1990.
We got to have a tour of the home, and it was just amazing to see where he lived, the rooms, the gorgeous old black and white photographs, and even the bullet holes in the walls where their house had been shot at – it really felt like being transported to another time. That’s the beauty of history. What a privilege it is that we get to step back in time through preserved memories like these!
Dancers in traditional dress! First there was one…
Then there were two…
And then there were 3!
Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
We planned on having lunch at one of the nearby restaurants, but it cost a whopping R208 per person (gotta love the effects of tourism! Lol), so we opted to have lunch back in town at The Sandton City Mall at Mugg and Bean while dad opted for Nandos.
After a mad rush through our last day, we managed to check out and make it back to the station just in time to catch the bus home to PE! We managed to do so much in those three days away! Travel, even domestically, offers such great learning experiences, there really is so much to see and do, wherever it is that you live!
Joburg is also notoriously known for being unsafe so I’m incredibly grateful that we had a safe trip all round too!
Have you ever been to Joburg? Let me know in the comments below! There’s so much more of it I’d love to see in the future if we’re ever lucky enough to go back.