Monday, October 11, 2010

A day trip to Jacaranda City

Last week we made a school field trip to Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, or sometimes called JACARANDA CITY. And you can guess maybe why? There are lots of streets lined with Jacaranda trees. This tree is not indigenous to SA, but was imported from of subtropical regions of South America. These trees flower in October, so the trip was worth doing, just alone to see all these streets full of Purple blossom! An amazing view!!!



But of course we had a full program and our first stop was the Voortrekker Monument. This 50 year old granite construction commemorates the pioneers who trekked from the Cape in 1835. Inside the story of the pioneers are told with magnificent tapestries, paintings and a huge wall with the world's longest historical marble friezes that depicts the story of the women and children during the Great Trek.





The monument is a reminder of the courage, determination and persistence of the Voortrekkers. Inside is a huge long wall build out of marble with the whole story of the war of the Boers against the Zulus.





But not only is it shown in marble, another floor has the whole story on painted panels and another level of just embroidered tapestries, just amazing to see how well this part of history is being documented!







After that we had a stop at the Kruger house museum. The last house in which President Paul Kruger was to live, between 1883 and 1901, before he left South Africa to go into exile in Europe. The interior of the museum is exactly how he lived there, and the furniture reminded me a bit of my grandmothers era. This is how the houses looked like in Holland as well...

His living room...



Bedroom...



and Kitchen.



Next stop we did was Church Square, the historic centre of Pretoria, but when we stopped with our bus I saw this small strip mall and had to smile...
A pawn shop where you can trade in your gold for cash to have surgery and then when the patient is recovering you can come and visit him/her and buy some fresh fruit. A 3 stop in 1.... how funny!!



The Square is surrounded by many historic buildings, some having been erected as early as 1891. Among them stand the old Raadsaal (council chambers), Palace of Justice, Centenary Building, Netherlands Bank and a few others.



Old historical buildings but also many Jacaranda trees...



In the middle of the square stands a large bronze statue of former president Paul Kruger, surrounded by the statues of 4 other Boers. This SA couple was posing with one of the Boers and I thought it was a nice shot, since the lady is dressed in an original ShweShwe dress.



After this it was time for a picnic in the beautiful gardens of the Union Buildings with its magnificent view of the city and its terraced gardens. We sat under a tree in the shade and ate our lunch.



But also celebrated a birthday of one of the ladies in our group, Orit, with Mimosa's and chocolate cake...



And while driving back home we came by a few more streets lined with the gorgeous Jacarandas...



A nice relaxing day, met some new women, chatted, laughed, ate all together and had great fun while learning some history of Pretoria. A good day!!

Mireille

5 comments:

sucharu said...

Lovely pics ...we have a lot of Jacaranda in India too ...one of my favourite childhood memories is playing under the Jacaranda tree ... lovely that the girls got to see them along with some wonderful history!

Maci Miller said...

Wow, I have never seen such beautiful trees in purple like that! Beautiful! What a lovely day of discovery history and seeing the beauty of nature! Good stuff!

Wendy said...

Those are the prettiest trees I've ever seen! Gorgeous!

Missy said...

Those Jacaranda trees are HEAVENLY!!! I would be in photography paradise! You live in such a beautiful area. Looks like an amazing day :)

Leah and Maya said...

Thank you for this post, I never did find out the name of those tree's. They had them in Guatemala too.

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