Day 57: Pretoria and Namibia (Part 1)

March 26, 2012

Ok, so quite a bit has happened since my last actual content post (meaning ones with pictures and stuff I’ve been doing), so I’m going to split it all up into three different posts. At least, I think it will be three.
1. Voortrekker Monument (17/03/12)
2. Namibia (21/03/12 – 24/03/12)
3. Monkeys  (25/03/12)

Voortrekker Monument!

Ok, so a few days after we got back from Lesotho and I had finished uploading a bunch of photos and posts about it, Tony took us up to the Voortrekker Monument. It was built to commemorate the Great Trek of the Voortrekkers from the Cape Colony. The reason they moved? Because they didn’t like the idea of having to live without slaves. So the way we see it, it’s a giant monument to slavery. Anyway, it’s pretty amazing to look at:

All Art Deco style and everything! So Jas and I had a look around the outside, took some photos of ourselves, as tourists do (note the sticker I’m wearing – you have to wear those when visiting):

At each corner of the monument is a statue of one of the three main leaders, with the fourth corner taken by a generic Voortrekker – did they just choose one at random, or average them all out, or just make a random person? I have no idea. This is me with one of the statues (generic Voortrekker):

So as you can see, they’re pretty big! According to Wikipedia, each statue weighs about 6 tonnes!

The inside of the monument (ground floor) has a frieze depicting the Great Trek, but mostly the violent bits:

Like I said. Violence. You get the picture. The windows were nice though!
There’s one of these on each side, and the glass is a bit yellow, so the light inside is a little odd. Then there’s the basement of the monument – there’s a museum (2 levels), and, more significantly, the cenotaph:

This was taken from the very top level of the monument, looking down through a hole in the ground floor, and showing the cenotaph in the basement level. Floor is pretty nice too!

One the way to the top level, you could go outside – there was a pathway running around the top of the building – and the views were really nice. You could see heaps of the city, just because of the height (the monument itself is tall, but it’s also standing on a pretty large hill).

That’s about it for the monument – no more photos after this because my camera annoyingly ran out of batteries (boo). But we also quickly visited a fort in the same park as the monument, though all the doors were closed. It was late afternoon, and they would have been open if we’d been there earlier. But that’s ok, gives us a reason to go back!

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