About an hour's drive from Jo'burg and within Gauteng is the tiny mining town of Cullinan, where in 1905 the largest diamond in the world was found. Guess where it ended up?
And here is a glimpse of modern day Cullinan which has become a bit of tourist destination for Jo'burg/Pretoria yuppies, but it still has charm and is worth a visit...
A couple of cute restaurants and shops have popped up along what is really the only street. After a tour of the diamond mine I would recommend stopping for a home-made beer at the Cockpit Brewhouse, where you can do a beer-tasting. It's also worth checking out the adorable homeware at Rust In White, both on Oak Avenue.
Sights on Oak Avenue:
|Enamel cup nostalgia.|
|A pink bike called Strawberry!|
Rust In White:
|Interior of Rust In White. Love the bunting made from vintage hankies and doilies.|
Parys is a small town on the banks of the Vaal River in the Free State. It was named after Paris in the 1870s because the Vaal River reminded someone of the River Seine. But besides a river, it has absolutely nothing in common with its namesake. According to Wikipedia the most notable Parysian is "Johann van Schalkwyk, designer of the 2010 World Standards Day poster for the International Organization for Standardization." You get the picture.
It too might have lost some of its small-town charm as it's made way for holiday-home clusters, but it's only about an hour and a half drive from Jo'burg, making it a viable day trip.
If you're visiting Parys there is only one place to eat, and that is at Hoi Polloi. The decor alone is incredible, just check out the proteas below. Win!
|Proteas at Hoi Poloi, Parys|
|All dressed-up and nowhere to go|