Kaif and I have been regular visitors to Johannesburg over the past couple of years, however this is the first time we have actually gone there on a holiday with the intention of exploring all the city has to offer.
Our previous visits were always for business and we were both united in our mutual dislike of the city (sorry Joburgers) and the general consensus that "we could never live there". However this time around we discovered a different city to what we've become accustomed to, one with historical beauty, booming entrepreneurship and let's face it some pretty awesome hangout joints.
We visited quite a couple of places during our stay (which you can read more about in Kaif's last post- Johannesburg Electricity). One of the highlights was a journey we took out to a little town called Parys. The one thing that stood out for me about this quirky little town, aside from all the very niche shops was the fact that most things were labelled "vintage" and then usually had a significant markup on it.
Your grandmother's old sofa from 5 years ago- vintage
An old motorcycle helmet - vintage
A wooden crate freshly painted with the Bovril logo - vintage
Plastic lounge chair (remarkably similar to the kind found in local home outfitters store @Home) - you guessed it "vintage".
I did genuinely love some of the stores, like the old dark pub that looked like it belonged in one of the backstreets of Soho or the old school candy shop that really made me feel like a kid all over again.
We also visited Gold Reef City, the resident theme park in Johannnesburg. There's nothing quite like a raging roller coaster to make any grown adult squeal like a delighted toddler filled withjoy and trepidation at the same time. I wasn't quite as brave as Kaif who attempted the park's most terrifying ride,aptly named the Tower of Terror.
But as we prepare to leave the big city and head further out toward the dessert I find myself with a bit of a soft spot for Johannesburg. For now though, it's time to hit the road and head out to the Free State.