After breakfast, we walked to Mandela Square. What a tribute to an amazing human being.
Our plan for the day was to see the JoBurg from the Big Red Bus. These sightseeing buses operate in large cities all over the world and we’ve found it’s a great way to orient yourself to the city. You can hop on and off all day long so it also gets you to the main tourist attractions with a running commentary throughout the ride.
We learned some things such as the real population of Johannesburg is unknown but the metro area is over 10 million. The streets in the city are relatively narrow and the blocks are short because the town wasn’t expected to last. It was established when gold was discovered in 1886 and expected to become a ghost town after the gold rush but within 10 years it was the largest city in South Africa.
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the temporary exhibit on Nelson Mandela at the Apartheid Museum. Madiba, the clan name of Mandela, means reconciler. His extraordinary life and work are documented in this exhibit that shows above all, what one man with courage and integrity can accomplish.
The Apartheid Museum is a disturbing reminder of the results of oppression and social injustice. Ultimately, however, it is also a story of hope for the future.