Thursday, April 29, 2010

Freedom Day Weekend

Tuesday was Freedom Day in South Africa, celebrating the first post apartheid elections in 1994.

Long weekends were made for road trips, even if they are only short ones. So Monday we decided to go to Welkom which is about 40 minutes away. Rumor had it that Welkom was a bigger city, complete with shopping malls and a movie theater.

The drive to Welkom was my favorite part of the trip. This part of South Africa is mostly farmland and in many ways it reminds me of home. Once we arrived in Welkom we stopped for directions to the movie theater, which consisted of going left at the first traffic circle, right at the next circle, and straight through the next two. Welkom is a city of traffic circles, which I hate. Luckily we managed to find it without incident. By this time it was lunch and we stopped at this seafood restaurant for lunch. I got fish and prawns (whole shrimp, heads and all) and it was really good. After lunch we went and saw the Blind Side. Kelly and I had both seen it before but we didn't mind seeing it again. It was interesting listening to what the audience found funny. After the movie we wandered back to the car, where we had inadvertently parked in a casino parking lot. We decided to check out what a South African casino is like and it was exactly like an American one. In the end we left without gamboling. Finally we decided to walk around town before going home. Not far from the casino was a town park with unlit Christmas lights, which reminded me of East Peoria (they even had the dolphins). And just past that was the mall. I wasn't planning on doing any shopping but I was a little disappointed to realize the shops were exactly the same ones in Kroonstad. Maybe it stems from having lived in small town America but I am confused when I hear people complain that there isn't much to do in Kroonstad. With the exception of a movie theater, Welkom didn't seem to have more to do than Kroonstad.

Tuesday we were hoping to find a parade or something in Kroonstad but it was not meant to be. We spent the day relaxing and running a few errands. All in all it was a nice holiday weekend

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you hate traffic circles. I love them! I think that's just because there aren't all that many of them around here. Do they have pretty things like flowers or fountains in the middle or are the cirlces all concrete?

    I'm glad you had a fun weekend.