Thursday, October 6, 2011

Johannesburg Diary – 1

As a part of a project, I was required to go to Johannesburg. Being in the line of profession that I am, traveling is an inevitable part of the job. I loved to have this opportunity to visit the country.

Hence I thought of putting a brief travelogue for the trip. This would be a series of posts in which I will describe some of the focal points of my journey. If, in the process, it helps some souls; all the better for me!

So here it goes… ‘Johannesburg Diary – 1’

We left India on a Sunday. Our flight schedule was arranged in such a way that we would reach J’burg on the same day (as per local time). Our total travel time was 13.5 hours; with in flight time of around 11.5 hours.

We had a brief stopover in Dubai. While landing in Dubai, I switched on my in flight camera and watched it for a couple of minutes prior to the landing. A lot of ‘deserty’ vastness. The inside of the airport was, though, a different thing altogether. The Dubai airport is huge in size with a lot many departure gates. So a lot of walking area! And all the major brands have a presence in the airport. All the major food icons, fashion icons and not to mention those in-numerous jewelery shops; all that made The Dubai airport a big shopping mall with an in-built airport. :D

The stopover being a brief one, I did not get a chance to stop and have a closer look and feel of the things. So my plan is on my return trip, I will try and make an extended stopover to enjoy the airport even more.

The we sat for an arduous flight of around 9 hours; after which we landed in the OR Tambo airport in J’burg, SA . One thing which struck me was the wide and bold combination of colors they have used in the airport and even on their own self. More about that later.


So we had booked a hotel for the night before traveling to our next destinations, a town around 120 odd kilometers outside J’burg by the name of Secunda. We had a hotel booking there but we would leave in the morning as we were advised against traveling in the middle of the night anywhere in SA. Again, more on that later.

Our first stop in SA was at ‘City Lodge Hotel’ at the airport. Despite being aware of the fact that the hotel was remarkably close to the airport; being unfamiliar, we had booked a cab driver to take us to the hotel.

Unfortunately, the driver didn’t turn up. So we were uncertain as to what to do next. Fortunately for us, a very helpful airport employee took us to the hotel; which turned out to in the same building structure as the airport itself. That close!

So we stayed in the hotel for the night, enjoyed a nice buffet in the morning and set off to Secunda in the morning for our next destination – Graceland Casino and Hotel. Boy! This was looking like a fun trip already!