On a Day Trip to Pretoria

Since it is just a short train trip away from Johannesburg, I figured I’d go have a look at Pretoria as well. Being a safe place to walk around, it felt a lot different from Johannesburg. And with the size of the city, it doesn’t take long to cover the centre of town. I get that this place might feel more “comfortable” for visitors to stay at, but there is not much to see/do… – I felt a day trip was enough. Church Square I imagine to be very nice, when overhauling is done. Now it was just a big, ugly construction site. After tumbling around the CBD area for a bit, which is just like any other CBD, really, I walked back to the train station, passing City Hall, which looked beautiful in its spring outfit. Before coming downtown I visited the Voortrekker Monument (vtm.org.za), which lies just outside the city centre, on a fairly big area with a restaurant, souvenir shop, museums, cafe, and some animals roaming the grounds, like the zebras we spotted on the way. The monument itself is huge, and I guess that’s what’s impressive about it… There is nothing much inside the construction, but you very much get the feeling this is Afrikaaner holy ground. You can walk or take the elevator to the top, where you get views of the surrounding area and of the inside down below.

I went to Pretoria on the Gautrain. You need a travel card to top up. Being used to travelling with Uber by now, in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, it turned out it was more of a problem here. Uber drivers will not pick you up at the Gautrain station as they are at “war” with the taxi drivers. This meant I had to take a taxi to the Vortrekker Monument, but going back, to Church Square, it was not a problem. Just certain areas the taxi drivers are claiming as their territories.

Website: tshwane.gov.za

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