Tag Archives: Johannesburg

Blogging from A to Z: J is for Johannesburg

My hometown. I grew up here. Studied here. Live here. Known by many names – Egoli (city of gold), Jozi, Joburg. South Africa’s largest city, population numbers differ depending on which areas one classifies as being part of Joburg. According to Wikipedia, the urban agglomeration of Johannesburg has over 8 million inhabitants and is one of the fifty largest urban areas in the world.

It is also the largest man-made forest in the world. You can see a glimpse of that looking north. The best views are from halfway on Munro Drive on Houghton Ridge. I took this pic from a terrace on the 20th floor of a hotel in Sandton.

A to Z challenge Johannesburg
©2021 Regina Martins

The Joburg CBD is one of my favourite places and also one of my least favourite (the traffic).

The streets of the CBD.

The Johannesburg Public Library. The building behind it (the Bank of Lisbon building) was gutted by fire three years ago. It was so sad – three firefighters died in the process of putting out the fire.

A to Z blogging challenge
©2021 Regina Martins

A mosque in the centre of town.

A to Z blogging challenge
©2021 Regina Martins

The Nelson Mandela bridge spanning the rail tracks and connecting the CBD with Braamfontein.

A to Z blogging challenge
©2021 Regina Martins

I love this pic of the trains. Depending on how they are parked the colours create a beautiful canvas. The elevated highway in the middle of the pic is the M2 and traverses the CBD connecting north with south. It is a bit of a bottleneck during peak hours though. Outside of the photo is Park Station, the main train station.

A to Z blogging challenge
©2021 Regina Martins

Coming in to land at OR Tambo International Airport, you’ll be treated to different views depending on which direction the landing is and which side of the plane you’re sitting on – you can get a stunning vista of the Joburg skyline or the southern suburbs, or the northern suburbs – the pics below show the gold mine dumps east of the city and land used for agriculture.

A to Z blogging challenge
©2021 Regina Martins
A to Z blogging challenge
©2021 Regina Martins

Joburg has some amazing coffee shops. My favourite is Cramer’s Coffee. It’s been around for ages and still going strong. All the pics I’ve taken have people in them so this one will have to do. You’ll just need to trust me on how amazing it is 😉

A to Z challenge Johannesburg
©2021 Regina Martins
A to Z blogging challenge
©2021 Regina Martins

There is so much more to Joburg. The pics here are a mere 10% of the city and surroundings. When it’s safe to travel again, you just need to come for a visit and see for yourself.


Blogging from A to Z posts – my favourite one so far is D is for Durban:
I is for Istanbul (Magnetic Istanbul)
H is for Hua Huin (party town)
G is for Ghent
F is for Flic en Flac
E is for Erawan Falls
D is for Durban (Memories)
C is for Chiang Mai
B is Bangkok
A is for Ayutthaya

M2, Idai, Loadshedding, Fibre, Crochet Project

Ok, well I’m finding my way back into blogging. I confess to having missed it. I checked into my WordPress reader to keep up with other bloggers but I was patchy at best.

Today is a public holiday in South Africa. Things are interesting here at the moment. Loadshedding (rolling blackouts) are back because the situation with Eskom, our state owned energy provider is crumbling under the effects of long term corruption, bad decisions and lack of maintenance. Leadership has been changed in the last six months or so, especially after our previous president stepped down. The reality is that all of our state owned enterprises are bankrupt, from our national airline to the railways to the energy provider.

Couple that with the closure of the M2 bridges which are a main arterial to cross the Johannesburg city from North to South and from East to West, and it makes getting around Joburg an adventure. It turns out that the bridges in Johannesburg have not been maintained in decades and the M2 is showing signs of structural damage making it unsafe for cars to travel along it.

I’m sorry if this post is a bit bleak and I’m giving you my fed-up rant. It is biased I know.

South Africa is a beautiful country, the weather is some of the best in the world. And South Africans take everything in their stride. We survive and in some cases thrive. Life goes on and we must move forward. I still worry though…

That’s the bleak rant. Now for some positive news. We finally got fibre. After years of battling with sub-par ADSL our online experience just got better. It took us a while to get all the configs and set up done mainly because neither me nor Che were home long enough to see things through to the end with the service provider. We eventually did, and I’m smiling 🙂

We’re having a wonderfully hot autumn – it’s 30 degrees today and has been the same since last week. Rainy season is over here in the highveld, unlike our northern neighbours of Mozambique (my homeland :-)), Zimbabwe and Malawi. Cyclone Idai made landfall in Beira a few days ago. Beira is already a city located below sea-level. With the winds and the rains, there is an inland sea stretching long distances. It’s a humanitarian crisis, with people dead, missing, or in vulnerable situations and in danger of starving before help reaches them. These are people who are still on the roofs of their homes, waiting to be rescued. Many resources have been mobilised here is South Africa to help. Have a look at this short drone footage of the damage close to the shore.

There is a huge inland lake created by the floods, ” European Space Agency images show a huge new inland “lake” measuring about 80 miles by 15 miles (125km by 25km)”

The disaster stretches to Zimbabwe and Malawi too, where people are going to be needing food aid for the next 3 months, according to the World Food Programme.

I did say I was going to write positive stuff and it quickly turned sad…

A positive note is that I’ve taken up my crochet project again – I’m crocheting (is this the right spelling?) a bed spread in bamboo yarn. It’s so soft and sustainable too. I get my yarns from Natural Yarns in Kommetjie, and use the Vinnis Colours from the Serina range. Natural Yarns in turn source their yarns from women from an economically depressed rural area of South Africa. The yarn is hand-dyed and balled, and the sale of this product has empowered and brought economic benefits to their community. The yarn is colour fast and the hand-dyed yarn gives my garment a marbled effect. I have 400 granny squares to make and I’ve completed 117! What do you think of the effect?

Well I started off this post with no specific plan…only to reconnect with you, my readers. It started off with complaining about loadshedding and the closure of the M2 in Joburg, raved about the new fibre connection we have, then took a bit of dip into the Cyclone Idai disaster and up again when I spoke about continuing with my crochet project. My crochet hook and yarn is calling me and I must end off here, this post that is longer than normal for me. If you’re reading this, thank you for making is this far. And leave me a comment 😉

Regina