On Friday night we had attended the performance of the musical "African Footprint" (see the separate article) and had supper at the "Boston BBQ" restaurant (see the separate article).
On Saturday afternoon we arrived to experience the outside venues. We headed directly to the train station just inside the gates. This was a short ride around the amusement park that allowed us to see an overall view of the place. When we disembarked we headed for the shopping area. Here we found a wide variety of shops, from precious stones to copper clocks to the usual carnival-type gifts.
One of my goals in visiting South Africa was to see a gold being poured and to tour a gold mine; well, now was the time. After seeing the pouring of the gold ingot, we each were offered the chance of picking up a gold bar with just two fingers. You could only use your thumb and index finger. Anyone who could lift it would "win" the value of the bar in cash. Well, since they had started the tradition, over 3 million people have tried and no one has won. I added my try … Oops, it slipped.
After seeing the gold being poured in to the brick mold, I had the chance to go down the old mine shaft to the ninth level and take the tour. It was exciting to see the old conditions of the mine and what the men had to work in. Near the end of the tour there was a man dressed as a miner and he showed us how the men had to work at making the hole in the rock for the dynamite charge. It was heavy labor and appeared to be quite dangerous.
There is a bank located at Gold Reef City that specializes in unique gold items. I paid them a visit looking for some unique South African currency. I found out that today the largest denomination bill in South Africa is a 200 RAND note. It was here that I was able to attain one for my collection.
In Gold Reef City’s town square there are different groups performing throughout the day: the Gold Reef City Show Girls, Gumboot Dancers, Traditional Dancing and the Town Square Band – called Unity.
There are lots of rides for young people as well. Remember to bring a bathing suit (swimming costume) for the day, as you will get wet on some of them.
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Quispamsis NB, New Brunswick
January 3, 2004
From journal South Africa Part 5 or 7
October 30, 2003
From journal 5TH WEEK OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN ADVENTURE
February 1, 2003
Aside from the rides there are also robotic shows, clowns, bands, tribal dancing displays, magicians, can-can girls, strolling minstrels, gumboot dancers and even a mini farm.
Gold and the history of Johannesburg are intertwined. The discovery of gold in the late 1890's led to a gold rush by prospectors from all over the world to the area now known as Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng.
Gold Reef City reflects the history of the discovery of Gold and style of life to those who worked on the mines. The center of the City is Shaft Number 14 which was started in 1887 and only closed as a working mine in 1971.
This mine now offers escorted underground tours which show mining techniques of the early 1900's and those of today. On surface the actual pouring of gold can be seen.
Be sure to visit the original old chapel, where you can in fact be married.
The hotel is a great place for lunch and don't forget to stop in to see how old newspapers were put together.
R50 p/p (about US$6) includes minor rides, plus all shows and entertainment, to enjoy the major rides a wristband can be purchased at an additional cost of R15 p/p. Mine tours are optional and cost an extra R40 p/p. The cost for senior citizens is R32 p/p. On weekends, school holidays and public holidays the cost goes up to R65 per person. Children under the age of six years are not allowed on mine tours. Parking is free.
From journal Johannesburg -- City of Gold