Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Inner City Adventure Continues: Jozi to Cape Town, the Jetsons and Chancellor House

The last few weeks have been absolutely crazy and so I begin this blog with a huge apology for not posting sooner! I was in Cape town for a week and then hit the ground running once back in Jozi with loads of tours, meetings and adventures in the city!

Here is what I have been up to:

A week in Cape Town
Fab building in Cape town

As i have mentioned before, Im doing my Masters at UCT in Conservation of the Built Environment. This means that I get to spend four weeks every year in Cape Town. I have just come back from one of these weeks. I had a fab time staying with friends and experiencing the city. Cape town has some great people, buildings and history (so different to Jozi's history). I went to the Milnerton Market while I was their which was AWESOME! I bought some great stuff at bargain prices including an art deco chrome coffee pot...swoon!

Since I have been back in Jozi, I have also had some awesome inner city adventures:

An Amazing Rea Vaya Experience

The original picture- with a young Edwin in the centre
Edwin Siwedi today
As many of you already know, on most of our tours we try to walk or use public transport. Our most common mode of transport is therefore the Rea Vaya bus system. I was doing a tour on the system a few days ago and had the most amazing experience. We were lucky enough to meet a gentleman called Edwin Siwedi. Edwin who is now a grandfather in his 50's was 18 years old in 1976 and played an important role in the student uprising. He was actually one of the young man in a famous photo of the event. It was an absolute honor to meet him!

A visit to the little that remains of the Top Star Drive-In

Me standing in front of all that is left of the Top Star Drive-In today

A Scene from the Jetsons. The Top Star Drive-in entrance

 could easily fit in well here

I was exploring the city the other day, with a friend and we ended up at what was once the Top Star Drive-In. Opened in the 1960's Top Star was a popular place for Joburgers to watch a film, and offered an unbeatable view of the city. Unfortunately it closed down in 2006 and since then the mine dump that the Drive-In was situated on has be re-mined for gold. It is a tragedy that such an awesome spot in Jozi has been lost. The only part of the Drive-In still there is the arch over the entrance! But it is fab- very 1960's and it really reminds me of the Jetsons Cartoon and its space like design.

An update on Chancellor House
Chancellor House- refurbishment nearly finished

Probably one of the most exciting projects happening in the inner city right now is the refurbishment of Chancellor House. Once the offices of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo's Law firm it has been pretty much an inner city slum for decades that is, until last year when it's refurbishment began. I will keep you updated and write properly on it, when it is completed in the very near future...cant wait!

I am off to Durban next week and Tourism Indaba but will try squeeze a quick blog in before then!