Jozi’s landmarks: the FNB Stadium

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The Calabash, symbol of “togetherness”, a value at the heart of the African culture

This is surely one the most iconic buildings in the city, a symbol known around the globe, reminiscent of the good old days of the 2010 World Cup.  Considered by many as the heart of the South African football history, the FNB Stadium hosted during its more than 30 years of existence a range of venues that goes beyond the sporting universe. Its stunning architectural features and the solemn atmosphere of the place makes it worth to visit: no need to be a big sport fan, I guarantee you will love it.

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The magic of Harties

Yep, that's what you get to see when you take the Harties cableway!

Yep, that’s what you get to see when you take the Harties cableway!

As unpronounceable as it might be for us foreigners, Hartbeespoort is actually quite a well-known place amongst Jo’burgers. Just one hour away from the big city, the small resort town located on the slopes of the Magaliesberg range is the go-to place for who want to escape from the frenziness of the city, reconnect with the wild and enjoy the deep blue sight of its famous dam.

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An evening with the Lions

Go Lions!

Go Lions!

In September last year, I won the “Welcome to Jozi” pack from 94.7, one of the most popular radio stations in the city, which basically means that for a whole year I get free tickets to all the parks, museums and events sponsored by the radio. Quite a nice way to feel welcomed in the city, I must say!

Hence, as part of the pack, I got tickets to all the rugby games of the season but never managed to make it to any of these so far. That was until last week, when I finally got to see the Lions playing the Waratahs in Ellis Park. I  loved it so much that I can only recommend to anyone who comes to the city to go and support the local team. Here are the reasons why.

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Down to the core, the Hillbrow story

Down to the core of Ponte City Tower

I became fascinated with the Ponte Tower the day I saw a picture taken from the base of the building. The light, tunnelled down to the core, reflected on the hundreds of windows of the structure, created a dramatic effect that I had never seen anywhere else. I wanted to see it for myself. Yes, but the Ponte Tower is on the verge of Hillbrow, the part of the city that everybody told us to avoid. There was no way for us to get there.

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My South African playlist

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I didn’t anything about South African music before coming to Jo’burg. Well, not exactly true. I knew a bit. But not much. You’ll see that later.

So, yes, I’ve had a whole lot of new music to experience in my new country, and I’ve been listening to South African tunes with great pleasure. At least, most of the time. You’ll see that later as well.

Hence this playlist: for those who want to immerse into local music before coming to the country, here are a few bands and tracks you can listen to in the plane. And oh yes, I’m a pop-rock-folk kind of guy, so don’t expect any hip-hop / dance / house references here, or you’d end up bitterly disappointed.

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Jozi’s landmarks: the Hillbrow Tower

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Candy clouds hanging over Hillbrow Tower

Jozi’s skyline fascinates me. It may just be a few buildings rising from the highs and lows of the city’s many ridges, pressed over the deep blue line of the horizon. It may be so. But to most people, Jozi’s skyline is the powerful image of a city built on hope and dreams that surrendered to countless crimes and sins. It has a mythical dimension that attracts you, that resonates to the many stories you’ve been told as a child, a city of perdition, a new Sodoma & Gomorra,  the Pandora’s box that makes you wonder what’s inside. There are those who stay clear from it, and those who engulf into it. I stay somewhere in between. Many times, I’ve fantasised about the microcosm hidden behind the imprint that I see every night on my way back from work without daring to walk its streets to the full extent. So to tame the beast, and satisfy my strong desire to know more about the city, I’ve decided to start a serie on its most famous landmarks, and see where it leads me. This is the first step in my attempt to know the city, and its people, better.

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