Inspired by My City.
Today I walk as a proud South African, in fact a South African in awe. After an afternoon spent wondering the streets of central Johannesburg, all I can say for those that have not taken the opportunity to explore central Johannesburg, it is a must do. Whether alone or with a group of friends seeing what Johannesburg has to offer is a real eye opener and not to mention an experience full of surprises.
Johannesburg's grid line streets are paved with history, culture and are buzzing in energy, something we often forget. There is a huge misconception that Johannesburg is unsafe and for the most part the reason why we tend to avoid going deep into town. For this all I can say is that the city has improved and is continuing to do so. As with anywhere one goes, one always needs to stay vigilant but the overall experience is in actual fact safe and rather enjoyable.
My walk around town took place this afternoon just after 2 pm which was a rather good time to explore the streets. The roads were slightly less busy and easier to navigate. This is certainly not the first time I have been to Johannesburg CBD, but what I did differently this time is that I explored the streets by foot. What this experience was able to afford me was the time to appreciate the lovely buildings, their architecture and their historical significance, details we often miss when passing by with a car.
Walking a couple of blocks I was able to see the amazing presence and detail these historical buildings still continue to hold. For now I realise the gem that Joburg truly is.
In and amongst the multiple high rise government buildings I made my way past the financial district which houses South Africa's banks. Continuing to walk I came across notable sightings which include the impressive Rissik Street Post Office, The Rand Club, Library Gardens and the Gauteng Legislature. What was also rather interesting to see was the variety of stores, coffee shops and restaurants along the way. The selection is immense whether it be the popular take aways located in Gandhi Square to alternative options like City Central, Cramers Coffee and Cappello, Johannesburg CBD certainly caters for everyone.
The CBD is filled with public transport and of people going about their daily business. Quite noticeable is that most of the people on the street were fairly young and being a little after 2 pm the streets were bustling with school children and vendors. Also rather evident were several photographers walking around town taking advantage of the scenery. Johannesburg is an amazing place and a very popular location for photo shoots and adverts which often take place in the area, so expect to see this if you plan to visit.
Even though my experience was pleasant it imperative to recognize that town still reflects the country's numerous social discrepancies however it should be recognised that central Johannesburg has a huge potential for growth, redevelopment and all round improvement. There is a lot of activity currently happening in the CBD and the towns former glory can only be appreciated when recognizing the developments and efforts undertaken in maintaining what is there.
It is important that once in a while we take the time to venture out of our suburban lives and see the culture and creative essence which Johannesburg offers. It is truly an enigmatic experience of an iconic area where the past meets the present and this is what makes it unique. So put on your comfy shoes and head to the CBD.
Till Next Time,