Chilling at Origins and Soweto

It is freezing cold in Johannesburg which is extremely unusual. The winter month’s temperature is usually a mild 16 degrees Celsius but today it was 10 dropping to the minuses tonight which is mad as we don’t typically have it drop below five degrees, especially not in June. We were aware of this cold coming since the beginning of the week but my friends and I decided to have a day out on the town regardless!

We went to the Origin Centre at Wits this morning but we couldn’t find any parking and thought that there was maybe a memorial service for leading palaeoanthropologist, Professor Phillip Tobias, who died on Thursday so we decided to go to the Neighbourgoods market. Where the market was packed last week, the cold was a big deterrent today and the smoothie, beers and margarita stalls did not get much attention as everyone was queuing at the coffee station, glühwein, hot waffles and paella while the outside, upstairs deck area was totally abandoned. After we warmed up we went back to the Origin Centre and managed to find parking. The Origin Centre is simply superb and tells the story of our ancestors and the emergence of modern humans with a sense of consciousness, art and spirituality. It is an incredible journey that is well presented through various short videos, audio, artefacts and rock art displayed throughout the museum. It was very informative, interesting and quite beautiful.

We then went on a little road trip to Soweto to go explore the newly opened Soweto Theatre. On our way there we drove past the Orlando Towers and decided to stop for a little sightseeing detour. Orlando Towers are two old power station cooling towers that now serve as the biggest mural in South Africa as well as offer bungee jumping for the extreme sport enthusiasts who want to jump from between the two towers. There are other activities such as abseiling, paint ball and quad biking if you want something a little closer to the ground. Unfortunately the cold scared away even the brave today so we did not get to witness a jump from 100m up high. We proceeded to the Soweto theatre which was opened on 25 May 2012 and it is an absolutely stunning building with interesting design. The security was very kind and let us in and took us around to explore the building from inside.

Later in the afternoon I joined another group of friends for a braai at a housewarming party. By now it was a mere six degrees but we were adamant to continue our braai outside. This just meant everyone was cuddled closer around the fire and were drinking whisky or sherry to help warm up. We eventually ventured inside to eat. It was a remarkable and very cold day and well worth giving up the duvet day in bed.

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