Friday, August 20, 2010

Jozi- Two Weeks of Fun

I have been so busy the last couple of weeks I haven't had any time to write. Just thought i would take some time out to blog about the fun events I have been lucky enough to be part of recently...maybe it will inspire someone to venture out into the city and try some of them.

Westcliff Heritage walk- Citadels of Commerce
Two Saturdays ago I joined Westcliff Heritage on a fun walk through the city. It focused on old department store type shops that used to be in the inner city. I was pretty tired as I had worked at my "other job" bar tending at Tokyo Star Greenside the night before and only got home at 4h00. I then got up at 7h00 to do one of my shopping tours in the inner city which was really fun but I was starting to feel the ZZZZ coming on by the time the Westcliff Tour started. It was really interesting though, very different to what i do as the tour focused mainly on architecture which i do to a lesser extent. I like the past, present and future of the city with a focus on city rejuvenation. I also like the exciting juicy gossipy accounts of history...always very interesting. An awesome part of the experience was that their were a lot of older Joburgers on the tour, some of whom even remembered some of the shops and old hotels. I love people's first hand accounts of history. I would also just like to mention that Westcliff Heritage does some awesome work in the city. They really try and look after some beautiful and important parts of our history when no one else does. I am in awes of the heritage work they do!

Party, Party, Party!!
After the Westcliff walk, I went to my best friend Kezhia's house for her sister Perdi's birthday party. Everyone had to bring a different bottle of booze for cocktails. Cocktails are always really dangerous as they taste so sweet that I never think their is an alcohol in them and so drink way to much. I also kept adding vodka to every drink I had! It was really fun but definitely got a little ridiculous! What I also really like about going to Kezhia's house is that their is such a mixed race group of people...its great! Although the next day was pretty bad...I have definitely felt better.

My first Gautrain Experience
Finally went on the was awesome. My boyfriend Justin's parents live in Kempton so we took the Gautrain to Rhodesfield station. They picked us up and we had a braai with them. We then got dropped off at the station and went back to Sandton. It looks fantastic...its like being in London on the Underground. It was also surprising, that their were so many locals using it to get from Kempton to Sandton for a day of shopping.

Bafana Bafana VS Ghana at Soccer City
What a fantastic Experience! We went to the match for my uncle's birthday and it was so much fun. We parked at Park Station and then got the Metro train to the stadium. Their is a prophetic car guard at the station who told us Bafana would win 1-0. And he was totally right. Park station is looking fantastic and we even had dinner their. The train ride to the match was full of "gees" and it was so much easier than going in the car. The match was fantastic- loads of Vuvuzelas and flags. I finally supported a team that won which was a first.

MTV Squared
I have recently found an awesome bar in Dobsonville Soweto. Its a family run bar and just has such an awesome feel. It is in a converted garage in true Soweto Style. Its called MTV Squared and is just off Elias Motsoaledi Road. The drinks are cheap, the food good and the surrounding community is so welcoming...cant wait to go back!

Vilakazi Street Public Art
I am a huge fan of public art and Vilakazi street in Soweto has some fairly new art that is just really stunning. Great for all those photographers out their. My favourite one is of the sign language hands spelling out the name of the street. For any foreigners reading this blog Vilakazi Street is the only street in the world that has been home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners- Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu.

Regina Mundi Church
I have been spending quite a lot of time in Soweto recently, so just thought I would mention my favourite place to visit in Soweto- Regina Mundi. This church isn't just a tourist attraction but rather it is also a working church that plays a huge role in the surrounding community. Regina Mundi (which means Mother of the World in Latin) played a huge role in the 1976 student uprising and the anti-apartheid struggle in general. Danny the caretaker/guide at the church is my favourite site guide and is totally legendary.

Lekgotla- Africa's Dining Room
An archaeologist friend from Canada (Jane) stayed with us a couple of nights this last week and wanted to take us out for dinner. We wanted to try something different and we never go to Sandton so we decided to try out Lekgotla (Tswana for meeting place) on Sandton Square which i have been dying to go to. It was so stunning- lovely decoration, ambiance and the food was totally out of this world. I had a meze type platter with Ethiopian flat bread, hummus, marmalade, roast veg and babaganoush..yum! Thanks Jane...cant wait to go back!

Write again soon...The Joburg Tour Guide