April 29 Photos

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While in Johannesburg, we visited with Vicky's sister, Constanza, and her husband, Rian Malan. They have been renovating a beautiful home in the city and Constanza has become quite the gardener.

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Later in the day, we left for Pretoria, first visiting the Voortrekker Monument, south of the city.  The monument commemorates the Afrikaner pioneers who trekked from the Cape in the 1830s to escape the British.  Inside, various scenes from the trek are carved in stone including one depicting the Battle of Blood River on December 16, 1838 in which 468 Afrikaners defeated 12,500 Zulu warriors.

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Next, we drove by a huge complex housing a university with 180,000 students, none of whom physically go to school there.  All instruction is by correspondence.

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We proceeded to the Paul Kruger House in downtown Pretoria.  Kruger was present at the Battle of Blood River and was the first president of the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek.  Kruger left the country for exile in Switzerland in 1900.  At the same time, all the gold in the mint at Pretoria left with him in order to keep it from the advancing British army.  Kruger showed no evidence of wealth in Switzerland and no one knows what happened to the gold.

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Views from the Union Buildings at Pretoria.  Here, the executive branch of the government is housed in a beautiful setting of gorgeous gardens and views (the Voortrekker Monument can be seen in the distance in the bottom, middle photo).  The houses of the President and Vice President and many embassies are nearby.

Final Commentary

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