Monday, March 1, 2010

I Love Joburg! An inner city public bus tour of the Joburg CBD

A couple of months ago- Myself and one of my most awesome friends Tania came up with the idea of running a "Tour of the Month". Basically we get creative, design a totally unique tour and then run it on a particular weekend of a particular month. All these tours are aimed at locals but of course anyone can join.

We started running these tours in November last year and they have been really awesome so far. Our first tour was "I Love joburg" which was super successful.I thought I would tell everyone a little about the tour since we are running it again on the the 13th of March.

On a sunny day in November 2009, 18 adventurous joburgers met outside the old city hall on Rissik Street. After a general meet and greet- our journey began.

Our 1st stop was the Rissik street triangle-which is made up of three of Joburgs older buildings. The Post Office, the old City Hall and then my personal favourite The Barbican (Johannesburg's first building based on the skyscrapers of New York and Chicago) which is being lovingly restored at the moment- its absolutely beautiful!

Next up we jumped on the Rea Vaya(our new bus system)and travelled a couple of blocks to the Carlton Eastbound stop. Getting off the bus was like entering another world! This area is packed with busy Saturday morning shoppers and is a total sensory overload! One of the most unique features is that most of the shops have a guy outside with microphone and boom box rapping about the shop and its specials (very different to shopping at Sandton or Rosebank that's for sure!). But no time for shopping today! Next Stop- The Top Of Africa (Carlton Centre).

The Carlton Centre is Africa's tallest building at 50 floors and is on my list of top attractions in Gauteng. The 50th floor house a viewing deck which definitely offers the best views in Johannesburg. Here I gave a tour on the layout of the city and some of its most interesting areas and buildings and then time was given to take pics and share any other fun facts and info.

We then jumped back on the Rea Vaya and travelled to one of Joburgs Gems- The Johannesburg Art Gallery. Here we learnt more about the architecture of this building and its art. What surprised many on the tour is the Degas, Monet's and Van Goghs on show. Not to mention the works of the South African greats- Irma Stern, Pierneef and soooo much more. Joburgers are really lucky to have such an amazing art gallery! After such a busy morning everyone was ready for lunch- a Delicious picnic in the sculpture garden!

After having a group photo taken by one of Joubert parks famous photographers we boarded the Rea Vaya and travelled to Joburgs oldest pub-the Guildhall where our adventure ended with a cold beer overlooking our beautiful city!

It really was an amazing day out and we could not have asked for a better group of people. We are running this tour again on the 13th of March and it will cost R170. Its a really unique way to experience your city and it would be great to have you along for the journey.