Once I have an idea, I am set on it. I have been strangely longing to go to Pretoria. After much organising and convincing friends on Facebook and Whatsapp, I got my day.
There were quite a few places I wanted to see, but too many for one day. The idea was to go to the Irene Village Market and then to the Zoo, and if there was time to have coffee in-between at the Lucky Bread Company. But the weather was scheduled to be a stormy and ridiculously cold day, so some pulled out. But in the end a few of us went to explore this place, Pretoria.
Well firstly, Pretoria is not a little student village as I imagined; it was actually humongous. Pretoria is competing in size with Joburg. Well anyway Irene (a suburb in the city) is sort of what I imagined Pretoria to be like anyway. It is very green, and full of trees, with much smaller roads and lots of stone built walls; which makes Irene look like a very quaint town—from what I could see of it anyway. Every second and last Saturday is Irene holds the Village market.
The market is on the property where Jan Smuts once lived, which is very pretty. The house however was sidelined due to the enormous market that was just full of all kinds of arts and crafts. That doesn’t really explain it well; the market is just full of stuff, from second-hand coats to tealeaves and camels. Each stall had something different to offer.
I was quite amazed at the Vintage clothing stall, I honestly could have brought three different coats. I held my self back though. There was some interesting arts and crafts which were not all cheesy but quite new and innovative. There was even a stall that sold pallet furniture as well as inventive wine wracks.
Once we had walked down every lane and admired most stalls, we finally realised that we had completely bypassed the food and eating area accidentally. The cupcake stand looked very popular because it was massive and there were no more cupcakes left. There were some nice food options, but nothing that really took our fancy. But in some ways I appreciate the marginal eatery, as so many markets are just about food. It was a treat to see what people have created and collected and is not forgotten but actually enjoyed.
We didn’t get to go to the Zoo this time, but there is more I still want to do in Pretoria. If you’re interested in what lies just outside of Joburg, here is some of the stuff to see and do in Pretoria.
The Boere Mark (A authentic farmer’s market, so authentic it starts at 5H00, yes that 5 AM!)
The Irene Dairy farm offers a country ambiance and barnyard buffet breakfasts. Apparently, unpasteurized milk is for sale too!
The Zoo. There is a zoo in Joburg as well, which is pretty awesome, but it is nice to see white tigers and Houdini—the magically disappearing and re-appearing snake!
TriBeCa, a Pretoria based coffee roastery. Which has also joined forces with bread makers in the creation of the Lucky Bread Company.
Maybe if you are feeling really patriotic, you can go and see the famous Union buildings.