I cannot wait until February 2013 when I’ll be able to hop on a City Sightseeing red bus! I am sure to make use of this bus often in order to explore Joburg, even though I am not a tourist. Since Joburg offers so many incredibly diverse experiences, I’ll be keen to be a tourist in my own city, exploring the cityscape for new experiences from the vantage point of an open-top bus.
For my first City Sightseeing trip I am planning to start and finish my day in Braamfontein. A leisurely Saturday is what I have in mind. I’ll head to the city by Gautrain, alighting at Park Station and walking up Wolmerans and Melle streets, then down Juta to the corner of De Beer. Here, at the Neighbourgoods Market I’ll enjoy a gourmet pizza for breakfast, complemented by champagne.
By 10 am I’ll walk over to Double Shot Coffee & Tea for my morning-fix of pour-over coffee. It will only be 20 minutes before the first City Sightseeing bus arrives at The Grove. Once I am on the bus, I’ll remain in my top-deck seat all the way to the Apartheid Museum. It would have been a while since I last visited this remarkable museum. For me it is always an emotional experience. Not only because of the unfairness and brutality of the discriminatory Apartheid system so vividly recounted on video screens, but also because of the miracle story of South Africa overcoming apartheid. Seeing those iconic photos of our first democratic elections and the first cabinet of the New South Africa is always incredibly inspiring.
After two hours inside the museum building with its stark, prison-like architecture, I’ll be glad to enjoy lunch in the adjacent Highveld garden – a beautifully-crafted contemplative space.
By 2 pm I’ll be ready to hop on to the next City Sightseeing bus for a short 30 minute journey back to The Grove in Braamfontein. For the afternoon I’ll head to The Beach at 68 Juta Street – taking in an afternoon of sunshine, beer and reading the weekend papers. I simply love the rooftop space of The Beach - a bland roof space has been transformed into a beach setting complete with sand, recliner chairs and a bar serving fantastic beer!
By 4 pm I’ll be all ‘sunned-out’ and ready to walk back to The Grove. Here I’ll enjoy sundowners at Hotel Lamunu’s delightful bar. Sitting outside on the square, I’ll be sipping away at a Gin & Tonic. Another superb day in Joburg!
Gerald Garner is a passionate Joziburg ambassador having lived in Johannesburg for nearly 18 years already. He resides in a 'countryside' cottage overlooking the Braamfontein Spruit and Delta Park and from here he enjoys frequent forays into the exciting, dynamic and energetic Joburg inner-city. He is the author and publisher of various Joburg books, the latest being Spaces & Places 2.0 – www.joburgplaces.com. Gerald is also an enthusiastic guide for regular walking tours of the inner-city. When not in the inner-city, he enjoys the green spaces of Joburg's northern suburbs as well as its village streets. Look out as you may just encounter Gerald and his son Joshua, together with their three dogs walking next to the Braamfontein Spruit!