Johannesburg X KLM Trip Part 1
KLM Airlines is perhaps most famously known for its frightening low landing over the beach at my father’s birthplace, Saint Martin, but there is much more to the airline than just its many photos with sunburnt tourists and Caribbean sunsets.
I recently had the privilege of flying with KLM to Johannesburg, South Africa and being Hosted by the South Africa's tourism board, and enjoyed a fantastic tour of the city’s sights, sounds, and tastes.
Nobody loves to wake up early, but we do it all the time for worse reasons than a fantastic voyage to South Africa. Although I had to gulp down my coffee to be awake enough to make it through airport security, I was more than happy to be boarding my KLM flight as the sun rose. The comfort of the flight made up for the early start, too.
I can honestly say that I was thankful to be on a quality flight since I have indeed flown long distances with less enjoyable airlines before. This was one of the most rewarding I've ever been on.
The crew were helpful and cheerful, still remember one of the cabin crew going way out of her way for a nuts and gluten allergy by giving her some of her fruit. And the touchscreen in front of me had plenty of entertainment to make the trip fly by (pun very much intended). Besides this, the food was delicious, which is definitely a huge perk.
The first day of our trip to Johannesburg, we took a walking tour of the city. We had a great guide, who filled us in on everything we saw and could answer all our questions. In case you didn’t know, Johannesburg is a beautiful place, filled with bursts of color and a vibrant culture. It’s a very diverse city, with people and influencing factors from all over the globe. There was a lot to see and do, from restaurants to architecture to people and their clothes. Goodness, I wish I could remember everything I saw and write about it here. I suppose you’ll have to go see if for yourself if you really want to know what it’s like! During the course of our tour, we found a heavenly-scented coffee house called Craft Coffee, which roasts and presses its coffee beans in front of drooling customers. Every one of us was definitely in the mood for a caffeine kick, and this was the perfect way to get it. We sipped our aromatic coffee as we wandered the streets, taking in all the sights and sounds.
I was amazed to see all the artistic graffiti, which tends to be rather political in nature. Like most big cities, there is a lot of street music in Johannesburg, but the music here has its very own style and the touch of South Africa.
A short drive from our walking tour took us to the district of Maboneng, which is not too far from Newtown. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant called Pata Pata. Perhaps this name will ring a bell for you—it’s named after the song by Miriam Makeba, affectionately known as Mama Africa. A quick caveat: if you’re not familiar with this song, friends, I suggest you plug in those earbuds of yours and listen to it as you read this post. It will give some appropriate background music to my account of South Africa. In any case, Pata Pata restaurant is as classic as its namesake. It was just what we needed after all that exercise! We tried the steak, sweet potatoes, and the South African brand of those cooked greens that are popular across the continent of Africa.
If you want to find out what happened during the next few days of my South Africa trip with KLM, check back soon! I’ll be detailing everything on an upcoming blog post. Don’t miss it—be sure to subscribe to my blog so that you’ll get notified when it comes.
Oh, and if you want to know more about how you can get on an awesome KLM flight, be sure to check out their website! You can get a ticket from London to Johannesburg for £420 and up, and KLM flies to many other parts of the world as well. You could always get on a flight to that Caribbean island I talked about earlier, too, if you’re craving more KLM after your South Africa trip.