By Len Friesen, Tour Leader
It’s amazing how much TourMagination tours always feel like family reunions when they gather. That’s how it felt today as we gathered in Johannesburg after a couple of sleepless nights en route. But spirits were high as we set out for our first day’s adventure.
In this case we did a tour of the heart of Johannesbug, and from there to Soweto, where the strongest impressions were made. For the legacy of Apartheid is never distant in Soweto, whether you’re looking out the vast sprawl of this former settlement, doing a tour of Nelson Mandela’s former home there, or considering the slaughter of innocents in 1965 at the Hector Pieterson Memorial. Even so a true highlight was the tour of the recently opened Apartheid Museum, where we considered the rise and fall of this race-based ideology, and the way in which it scarred generations.
We returned home and then gathered for our first formal evening meal (though we had been thrilled earlier to eat a noon meal at a newer restaurant in the heart of Soweto). We had formal introductions, shared our observations from the day that was, and looked ahead to the coming 10 days in this extraordinary land.
In fact, apart from a raging case of sleep deprivation (and the fact that one of the co-leaders, Mary Friesen, was unable at the last minute to join in), everything seems to be right on course for our trip.