Union buildings & Voortrekker monument
Pretoria Travel Blog› entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
Today we did some more conventional sightseeing. First we stopped by the union buildings. This is where the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the President of the new
It's an enormous red sandstone and half-round shaped building with two wings spreading out from the middle part. The wings were supposed to symbolize the joining together of the Boer and English populations. We started walking from the bottom of the Meintjies Kop hill on which the buildings are located and slowly made our way up through the terraced gardens.
From the top of the Meintjies Kop hill you have a great view, we could even see
the place we were about to visit next; the Voortrekkersmonument at the other end of the city.
In 1938 the Voortrekkersmonument was build to mark the occasion of the trek of my Dutch ancestors (the Boers) northwards to
The huge cube shaped building is surrounded by the laager wall, a circular wall depicting 64 wagons, the same number brought to
The walls in of the hall are covered with historic marble friezes, showing the life and struggles of the Voortrekkers. We climbed to the roof and had another beautiful view of
After doing our tourist duty it was back to domestic issues.
We had gotten up early and were pretty tired and we just ate some sandwiches while watching a movie on Johan’s notebook. At 20:45h we were ready to go to bed. Not even 9 o’clock and go to bed? Come on, it was my holiday, we couldn’t go to bed this early, so we decided to go for one drink at the bar. At the bar it turned out we were crashing in on a birthday and half of the people there were (former) Dutch. Needless to say we didn’t have that “just one drink”, I think I even ended up drinking Beerenburg. I learned this evening that Afrikaners love to speak Afrikaans/Dutch to you as soon as they find out where you’re from. The problem is, the two languages might have been very simular at one point, it’s not anymore. Afrikaans is really hard to understand for me, especially when drinking is involved. Another lesson I would learn this vacation: When you meet an Afrikaner in the evening, drinking is always involved ….