The excitement of downtown

I could start this post with ‘I can’t believe I didn’t write in December 2017’ but that would be so¬†last year!

December came and went with its exciting fabulous flurry. The city emptied a little less than usual with more Joziburgers realising that this city is actually quite amazing when you take away the crazy traffic, rage, queues and intensity. I had more glimpses of the city and its history with a walk downtown to see arcades, the revamped Gandhi square and some fantastic revamped buildings.

I am ashamed to admit that I knew nothing about the 10 year revamp going on downtown. My days of getting the number 19 bus from Berea to visit my sister who worked in town are but distant memories. Yet, there they were stirred up and gloriously bringing tears to my eyes when the brilliant light of the summer sun shone

down on me on the old Vanderbijl Square. I was ready to embark on another adventure exploring my own back yard on foot. What a pleasant surprise and happy experience. We were treated to witnessing the unfolding of history.

 

 

 

I am no history buff and I really can’t remember detail but I will never forget walking down

the steps on the old United Building society to the unlit skeletons of days gone by. What a privilege to bear witness to almost unhandled relics of a century gone by.

 

We walked a short distance towards the tallest building in Africa, the Carlton Centre and all around me, I could feel energy, pulsing and happy. It may have been my own, or the expectancy of the holiday season approaching but I felt like a kid in a candy store. Clean, well managed buildings and streets with people greeting us happily as we walked on by without purchase.

 

 

The tour ended spectacularly 18 floors up above the city, with the unmatched view of life every direction I looked. Remnants of gold mines reminded me of why I was actually standing there, a century later and appreciating a view that none of the original miners would ever dream of being able to see. What a fabulous day!

What a glorious city. Heart Jozi!

My local touring continues

In recent years, I became adventurous. I think mostly due to the fact that I am less afraid. Is it age? Is it life experience? I’m not sure, but I do know that my younger years of traveling was kind of wasted on my youth. My TV outside broadcasting job took me over the length and breadth of South Africa but my chronic anxiety prevented me, unknowingly, to fully appreciate the opportunity.

The good news is, that is never too late. I breathe- therefore I am!

I was shown the exact mechanism to reignite my sense of adventure in the form of tourism in my city- the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation. A brilliant start to develop my love affair with buildings.

Yesterday I explored the footsteps of Gandhi. Who knew? My history knowledge is abysmal but I am loving this awakening of discovering my heritage. Plus the added insight and delight of the architects creations in our very young city. 13 decades. Only 13 decades of construction and creation.

The natural beauty is also intriguing. 3000 years of rock. This beautiful Witswatersrand ridge cuts through the otherwise flat landscape creating spectacular views and left behind a deep vein of gold. Crumbs from nature which resulted in this modern city. A vast canopy of trees blankets the wide horizon and standing on the ridge I realised that I wasn’t looking at the city in 360 degrees, I was opening my skull to future adventures.

Bring it on!