Hello friends & family,|
Not much to talk about today, just wanted to let you know I have arrived safely. Friday the 13th wasn't unlucky for me. I safely traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa from Dubai. Dubai was 8 hours ahead of the east coast, we are only 6 hours ahead here in South Africa. It was an uneventful 8 hour flight here from Dubai. Had lunch and then a snack later in the flight. The food was delicious. I watched 2 movies and took a little nap. The eight hours went by in a flash, I was surprised when they said we were landing. I had arranged a car to take me to my hotel. Since I did my own air arrangements I was told I would have to get to the hotel on my own. But the plane carrying the rest of the group from Dulles arrived just after I did so I let my driver go and went with the group. The tour director seems like a very nice man. As usual I think I am the youngest member of the group. By the time we got to the hotel it was dark so there were no activities planned for today. I didn't take any pictures today. I didn't have a window seat on the plane and arrived here to late to do anything. So I'll just include a picture of my hotel room here at the Southern Sun Hyde Park in Johannesburg and write more about my African adventures later.
It was a beautiful day here, sunny and about 70 degrees. After breakfast at the hotel we headed out for the day. Our first stop of the day was Pretoria which is one of the three capitals of the country. Pretoria is the legislative capital. We stopped at Church Square in downtown.
Below is a statue of Paul Kruger. He was an avid hunter but feared that all the amimals would become extinct if they weren't protected. He was responsible for creating sanctuaries and areas of the country where hunting would not be allowed. Kruger National Park, that we will visit next week, was named after him.
Pretoria isn't far from Johannesburg. About half the country's population of around 40 million people live within a few miles of Johannesburg. We passed city hall which is pictured below.
The picture below is of the Pretoria skyline from the government buildings.
Looking the other direction from the picture above are the government buildings.
Our next stop was in Soweto. This is where all the black people were forced to live during Apartheid.
We had lunch in Soweto on the same street where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tu Tu lived. We couldn't see much of Tu Tu's house, it was hidden behind a stone wall. But Mandela's house is now a museum and we walked through it. Below is Nelson Mendela's home.
There were some local children singing and dancing on the street corner.
We didn't spend any time in Johannesburg itself. But we did pass through on the motorway. I snapped a quick picture from the bus window.
This evening we had the official tour briefing followed by the welcome dinner. We are leaving Johannesburg tomorrow and flying to Botswana. It's an early flight so I better get to bed.
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