A day in Potchefstroom

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Unfortunately I am one of those people who gets winter blues, quite badly. I think it’s called seasonal affective disorder of some sort. The thing is that it’s not as much the cold that bothers me – cold I can deal with. It’s the dark and the grey and the dead and the dry. Soulkillers.

So, as a Joburger, I am always looking for things to do in winter just to get outdoors and soak up as much sun as I possibly can that isn’t too far. On Saturday my husband took us on a spontaneous roadtrip. He got up real early, 7:30, which is flipping early for him, especially in winter and especially over a weekend. He told me to get ready and off we went. We stopped in Vereeniging for some business, but Flip indulged me and we stopped at every little thing that I wanted to take pictures of.

I soon realised that we also couldn’t have been that far from Potchefstroom, my alma mater and realised that it’s a place other Joburgers should also visit. So if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, go visit Potch!

Potchefstroom is really a fantastic getaway for the day, or even to stay the weekend. It is only a little more than an hour’s drive from the city and if you go during the right time of the year – like now – there are hardly any students, making it a sleepy little town.

The oaklined streets are so inviting and there are coffee shops and interesting little galleries abound on Tom street – the name has since changed, but I’m not sure what to. I was a little saddened by all the new developments around the university, where 100-year old houses used to stand, flattened to make way for student housing.

But I was happy to see the old university again and to show Flip all the spots I used to gather with friends, study, work late nights in the computer lab and spent a good three years at.

We also stopped at River CafĂ©, at the edge of the town and on the edge of the dam. For about R250, two people can have a happy meal. Flip and I were both really satisfied after our meals. Oh and when you are there, do try the Mermaid’s Cocktail.

You can also spend the day next to the dam, but make sure to pack a picknick basket and relax under a willow tree for the day. To get in, you will have to pay about R33 per person, which is much cheaper than sitting in a dark, cold movie theatre, right?

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