We arrived in Johannesburg Sunday night where we were dropped unceremoniously at an airport hotel. Fortunately there was an Irish pub there so we got a pint (and Steve got to watch some Wrestlemania) before we located a ride to our b&b in Rosebank. This is one of the northern suburbs of Johannesburg and walking distance to one of the biggest mall complexes I've ever seen. Johannesburg is still hung up on malls and it's where most of the restaurants are located. Our first night we were exhausted and so we ordered in some bunny chow, drank a bottle of pinotage, and called it a night.
We booked a Soweto tour on Monday. We visited Nelson Mandela's house and the Peterson museum in addition to a couple other stops. It was interesting. This is a messed up country but the history isn't so different from our own.
On Tuesday we joined the double decker hop-on hop-off bus with intentions of visiting the Apartheid museum and the SAB world of beer. We also stopped at the "tallest building in Africa" for a 360 view of the city. Joburg has other redeeming qualities but it is not worthy of a 360 view. I think they know that, though as the charge to go up was an apologetic $1.65.
The Apartheid museum was everything you would expect. The design made it difficult to navigate and there was so much information you could spend hours there without realizing it. We had beer to drink, though, so we hopped back on the bus after a couple hours and headed for the SAB world of beer.
Excitedly arriving at the Disneyland of beer, we were denied. In traditionally African style, they just decided not to open up on that Tuesday not withstanding the sign clearly stating they should have been open 10 to 6. The staff at the restaurant downstairs saw our disappointment invited us in to have some beer. Their food was pretty good, but they had nothing on tap so it was disappointing.
Afterwards it was a bit of a race to get back to Rosebank, grab our bags, get back on the Gautrain, and to O. R. Tambo airport to catch our evening flight. (In case you didn't know--I certainly didn't--the airport is named for Nelson Mandela's former law firm partner and fellow activist who was also instrumental in the struggle to rid South Africa of apartheid.) Steve got a facial at the airport and about 25 hours later we were getting our luggage at SFO.
We are back now! Thanks for following us on the ride and if you are interested in seeing more and better pictures, keep checking back as I will post more pictures shortly as I transfer them from my camera.
Pictures: breakfast pint on our layover in London, Apartheid museum, Joburg graffiti, and our B&B in the northern suburbs where everything is a gated community.