Sunday, December 22, 2013

South Africa Part 8: Paying tribute to Nelson Mandela

On December 8 we decided to pay our respects to the late Nelson Mandela in Cape Town.

Driving by some of the settlements as we got closer to Cape Town

The conditions don't look great but almost everyone has a satellite dish

Nelson Mandela Boulevard

St. George's Mall

The Grand Parade

Flowers for Nelson Mandela

Cape Town City Hall

Our flowers with a note to add to the collection

It was very touching to see all the notes

I put our set of flowers in the center with the South African flag

I liked this painting

This is where Nelson Mandela made his first speech as a free man

I'm really glad we were able to pay respects here

Cape Town honours Nelson Mandela

We didn't have to wait too long in line

The locals call him Tata Madiba

We also got to sign a book

Paul is writing his message here

We then walked to St. George's Cathedral.

Paul is admiring the architecture

I'm in the middle of the street to get this shot

Inside, there were more tributes to Nelson Mandela

Inside St. Geroge's

Add to my collection of doors

We then walked toward the Company Gardens - a park and heritage site

You get a good view of Table Mountain from the park


Sundial in the park

Another shot of St. George's

St. George on the left and Table Mountain in the background

Flags still at half mast

On December 10, we returned the rental and headed to Johannesburg, or as most people call it, Joburg. We actually decided to stay in a town called Melville - what we read about it before booking at a guest house was that it was a small, quaint town with nice restaurants - sold! We were only staying for 3 nights and weren't even sure if we'd make it into the city. The main reason we even decided to visit Joburg was because our flight to Sao Paulo departed from Johannesburg on December 13. But being so close to Pretoria while the country and world mourned Nelson Mandela, I felt compelled for us to pay our last respects. So, on December 12, the second day that Nelson Mandela's body laid in state, we ventured to Pretoria. We left at 5:30am and returned at 4:00pm. We were one of the few lucky thousands that had the chance to say goodbye to the great man that was Nelson Mandela. We made some new friends while we waited in line - the whole experience was incredibly emotional and is something I will remember for the rest of my life. Thank you Nelson Mandela for being an inspiration to everyone and making the world a better place.

The beginning of waiting in line

It snaked around

Our new friends - Rebecca, Percy and Pretty

They took a picture of us too

Here's the line behind us

And the line in front of us

As we got closer to the buses that would take us to the Union Buildings, the crowd got excited and starting singing.

Everyone had to get marked because some people were visiting more than once

The Union Buildings

Getting off the bus to join the line of people to get a glimpse of Tata Madiba

The 5 seconds to pay our last respects was worth it

This was another line that was probably more than 2 miles long

When we returned to the Park and Ride, this was the mob outside the gates

A snapshot of what was showing on the news - we walked by the left side


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