The Walk of Freedom

2018-07-18 06:02
Kailin Daniels and Luvo Ndima from Africabs Travel on the steps at St Mary’s Terrace.       Photos: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

Kailin Daniels and Luvo Ndima from Africabs Travel on the steps at St Mary’s Terrace. Photos: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

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AS the wind blew through my hair and the breeze of the Indian Ocean welcomed me to the beautiful city of Port Elizabeth, my exciting journey waited ahead.

Cape Town has been my home for as long as I can remember, but I’ve instantly fallen in love with the Friendly City upon my arrival at the beginning of July. I had to see more . . . experience more, so I met up with a tour guide from Africabs Travel, Luvo Ndima, to show me around the “Windy City”.

I immersed myself in the history and the culture of this incredible part of the country through art by taking a tour of Route 67.

This route is a collection of 67 art pieces celebrating the years Nelson Mandela devoted to South Africa’s freedom struggle.

Statues and historical buildings caught my eye as I barrelled down Route 67, which has blown new breath into the historic heart of the Bay.

The tour began at the Donkin Reserve where the colourful Piazza mosaic of diverse histories and abundant animals and plants light up the area. We made our way down the 204 steps of St Mary’s Terrace (at least I wore comfortable shoes!) to the CBD – the heart of the city through Vuyisile Mini Square. As we passed the city library, I had to stop to take a look at the statue of Queen Victoria, which is impossible to miss.

Each art piece we’ve passed represents a specific period during the 67 years and comes accompanied by quotes, media articles and historic events. When we reached the top of the Campanile, I was in awe of the breathtaking view of the entire city with the sound of the bells echoing from above.

The most important part of the tour was how public art can create an interactive
urban space, and to spark a feeling of pride and freedom in the Bay. One of the art pieces that stood out for me was the large metal cut-out of Nelson Mandela, his fist raised in triumph and leading a line of South Africans who had cast their votes in the country’s first democratic elections on 27 April 1994 – a sight I will always cherish.

My Route 67 experience was one of pure bliss – what’s not to love about this place? As a newcomer to the Bay, it was surely an unforgettable journey.

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