Daily Archive for: ‘February 19th, 2013’

Welcome To SA: Justin Shore

Welcome To SA: Justin Shore

Gira js

1.  Flight Number & Airline?

Delta Flight # 200 (ATL-JNB)
Delta Flight #201 (JNB-ATL)

2. Johannesburg, South Africa. First Thoughts?

Bright, clean, and welcoming. From the arrival at OR Tambo, through the Gautrain, and into the city of Johannesburg, the rain didn’t damper our excitement to be in South Africa and go take part in a wine festival at the Hyde Park Mall.

3. How many days did you spend in Johannesburg?

9 days

4. Where did you stay and why?

We stayed at the Southern Sun at Hyde Park – (http://www.hydeparkshopping.co.za/hotel +27 11 341 8080) because it was in a great location near our friends and it was easy to get around to different parts of the city by car/taxi.

5. Stereotypes you had before?

Being with William, who had been to Johannesburg before, I got a preview from him of what to expect. I anticipated a diverse culture of very nice people and great places to eat. Even with the preconceived idea of how nice everyone would be, I was still blown away by the kindness and generosity of everyone that I came to meet during the trip.

6. Best Part of your trip?

The best part of the trip was hanging out with great friends over dinner and wine every night. I loved being able to try new restaurants everyday and meeting new people along the way. I also enjoyed going to the Neighbor Market near the downtown area. It was nice to see locals hanging out and enjoying their weekend afternoon with their friends and it didn’t really have a touristy feeling to it, which was also a plus.
One of my absolute favorite parts was feeding a giraffe at the Lion Park. It wasn’t very busy that day and we were able to take our time feeding the giraffe and take many pictures with her.

7. Worst part of your trip?

The worst part of the trip was the final day – knowing I would be leaving this beautiful country was a tough feeling. The hangover from the night out before didn’t help the feeling on the final stretch to OR Tambo, but it was definitely sad to have to leave.

8. South African’s are the most _________ people?

Everyone had a genuine sense of hospitality to welcome us into their country by sharing wine, food, and stories with us.

9. What do you think of the new currency?

I think the new currency is very nice by having brighter colors that stand out. And depicting a face on the currency that represents someone special to South Africa who has taken the country to new heights. It is also nice to have the animals on the reverse that everyone has come to associate with each bill.

10. Best restaurant?

One of my favorite restaurants was Espresso Caffe  ( Espresso 011 447 8700  23A 4th Avenue, Parkhurst) and Bistro Vine ( 011 327 4558  -4th Avenue Parkhurst, Johannesburg) They both had friendly wait staff and a nice atmosphere with the open dining area facing the street. The food was amazing…

11. Distinctly South African Things that you did

I was able to try, what I thought of as authentic South African cuisine at the wine festival on the first day: wildebeast with tamarind and a macho kudu pot. Although I enjoyed it very much, some of the locals would have disagreed its authenticity and wouldn’t admit to wanting to try it.
We also went to visit the Lion Park to see lions and their cubs. We were able to pet the baby lions and feed a giraffe. Two things I had never done before, so I was very excited to do that!
We visited the Apartheid Museum which was very interesting and allowed me to learn more about the history of what has gone on in South Africa and how they have triumphed over so much in such recent history.

12. How do you say hello in Xhosa?


13. What does travel mean to you?

To me, travel is learning. Traveling to new places and meeting new people broadens the mind in a way that can’t be done in a classroom. It’s about experiencing other cultures, learning new languages, and trying new types of food. Traveling causes the world to shrink and brings Pretoria to the backyard of Paris, which is across the street from Washington, D.C.

Anywhere and anything is possible.

14. A must see for future travelists?

I can’t say it enough – feeding a giraffe is a must do! I sound crazy, but that stands out to me as it was something I had never done before. The animals in South Africa are incredible and I think some kind of a safari or trip to the Lion Park is a must see.
Also, EVERYONE told us to visit Cape Town – so I will say that because that will be what we do on our next trip to South Africa very soon as future travelers ourselves.


Justin ShoreIMG_1072