Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tour of Johannesburg

On September 20, we took a tour of Johannesburg, along with President and Sister Dunn, three other missonary couples, our tour guide (Pierre) and two of his friends. Pierre is the Dunns' neighbor and was born and raised in this area. It was nice to have someone in our party that knew so much about Johannesburg.
We traveled from Roodepoort, where we reside, to the community of Rosebank, which is roughly 11 miles away. There, we boarded the Gautrain, which is a high-speed train system constructed about four years ago in preparation for the World Cup, which Johannesburg hosted. The train travels at a speed of just under 100 mph; very quiet and comfortable.
When we arrived at our destination, we boarded a double-decker tour bus which took us on the tour of the city. We got off the bus at two points and did a little walking tour. At one of those stops (Braamfontein) we were near a college campus and there was a lot going on. We walked to an area similar to a huge food court, and were amazed at the number of unique culinary offerings. We purchased two types of crepes, which were excellent, one savory and the other sweet. There was so much foot traffic that it was difficult to even find a place to stand while we ate.
We enjoyed lunch at a little outdoor restaurant before boarding the tour bus again and continuing our tour.
We began our activity at 9:00 a.m. and returned to Roodepoort at about 5:30 p.m. What a wonderful day it was!
Here are a few pictures of our tour:

Hand striped lines.

The Gautrain station in Rosebank

Our tour group in the Gautrain station

The Gautrain arriving...

Our tour bus

Preparing to board the bus

A beautiful flower in the heart of Johannesburg!
Found this handsome dude on the bus. Think I'll keep him!

A popular town square

Got bananas? Not in Joburg, but in Benoni, I saw a sign that said "bananas, 2 kg for 5.99 Rand."
That equates to 4.4 pounds for 60 cents (U.S.)

We just can't get away from the golden arches -

or from the crown

The city overlooks were taken from atop a 50-story building. Unfortunately, the air was hazy from pollution

Notice the building painted to simulate the South African flag

This was taken at the Gold Reef City Theme Park and Hotel.

Look closely at the tree - a novel idea for landscaping...

The huge food court in Braamfontein; crowded would be an understatement

Two satisfied customers

One of many food preparation stations in the dining area; too bad they couldn't find any large cookware 

This is what we each had for lunch in Braamfontein - delicious!

Chambers for the South African constitutional court; similar to our supreme court

The architecture around Joburg is spectacular!

street markets were on every block.

Some happy workers entertaining us at a robot (traffic light)

These markets were side by side everywhere.
As you can see, there is still a lot of life in this big city!
Our tour group; Dunns, Hansens, Thompsons, Burtons (the mission doctor) Allreds
During Apartheid much violence happened. The destruction is still evident today. There is still much in the way of repair and revitalization to be done through much of the city, but slowly it is happening.

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