Pretoria On My iPhone
It’s been a week since I’ve blogged. Possibly the longest absence I’ve had from my blog with no warning since the day I went public. Some people thought I had died. Haha..
No, I haven’t been sick or anything like that. On the contrary, I’ve been very well. It’s been a week of personal self-assessment and I had needed a break from my blog. I’ve always wanted to write a blog around my life. And not live a life around my blog. If I didn’t want to write and take a break from blogging, I wanted to feel like I could without feeling guilty or feeling like I’ve broken a commitment to myself.
Which is also why I have made the decision to stop doing Project 365. I will admit that I started to dread this little project. I went through two weeks of near depression and still felt the pressure to get up and go find something to shoot every day. It had felt stupid. I’m not a quitter and never like to feel like I gave up on something halfway, but this is the point where I say – F*ck it. I’m not doing it if it’s not making me happy.
Life is funny. As soon as I decided I wasn’t going to pressure myself into taking shots every day with my iPhone, I started to really enjoy my iPhone! We visited Pretoria on a weekend and I had a fabulous time taking snapshots with it. My DSLR was heavy and awkward for a hot day in Pretoria and the light was too harsh to shoot with a real camera anyway. So I took most of the shots that day with my phone. Who cares about image quality? At least I don’t have to spend time processing them!
Pretoria is one of the 3 capital cities of South Africa. It’s the administrative capital city, while the other two are Cape Town (legislative capital) and Bloemfontein (judicial capital).
It’s about 40 mins away by car and we seldom visit it unless we are attending an event hosted by our ambassador, who lives in Pretoria. And every time we go, I dread the drive because it’s on a long highway and is boring and often plagued with traffic congestion.
Last weekend, we made our trip to Pretoria on the Gautrain!
It worked out to be a very smooth 30 mins ride in a comfortable train cabin and the hubby had no traffic to wrestle with.
Arriving at the gorgeous Pretoria Gautrain Station..
We also went next door and stole a peep at the local Metro Rail Station. It was HUGE. And trains filled to the brim with commuters were coming in from other cities. I wonder if we would ever have the chance to travel on one of these trains.
From the station, we walked into the inner city. It was an area that we had never visited before, especially not on foot.
The streets in Pretoria were lined with jacaranda trees. The jacarandas in Johannesburg are amazing, but we hear the ones in Pretoria are even more spectacular. They have WHITE jacarandas too! We really want to come to Pretoria in November this year when the jacarandas bloom.
Like the inner city in Joburg, Pretoria’s inner city was filled with old quirky buildings and old-fashioned commercial entities.
There were good pubs along the streets. They served traditional fish and chips and foreign beer! Yippee.
This was the fill for the hubby..
Our first glass of Stella Artois in South Africa. Haha.. It’s really unusual to drink imported beer in South Africa because it’s so much more expensive than the local beer, which is really good by the way.
Moving about in the city, we discovered a side of Pretoria we had never seen before – there were so many old colonial buildings and historical monuments! Some of the original headquarters of the largest banks and commercial organisations in South Africa could be found here. And this was the place where political offices like embassies and United Nations were housed.
Pretoria reminded me of Washington D.C., and in comparison Joburg was like New York City. Haha..
One of my favourite shots of the day – pigeons joining in the party at the monument park grounds. The locals were unfazed by the birds’ presence. In Singapore, they would have been chased away! =)