You know what a pain in the neck laundry is when you are on holiday - who has time for it??
Well, if you are staying in Pmburg there is a really great place to take your dirty washing... it's called the Orange Ring and you pay by weight - something like R15 per kilo for same day service.
You just drop your smelly stuff off and pay and when it's ready they send you a SMS message and you just drop by and pick it up when you like. If you want to do the washing yourself you can also do that.
And not only do they do service washes, but they also have an internet cafe, coffee shop and they are right next door to a pizza and a burger fast food restaurant! What more could you want or need??
Oh! a trainer/sneaker/takkie cleaning service? Well they do that as well!!
They are open from 7am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays.
Take to the water for the Midmar Mile
It may sound like a horse race, but in fact the Midmar Mile is the largest open water swimming race in the world and, along with the Comrades marathon and Cape Argus cycle race, is one of South Africa's Big Three ultra sports events.
The Midmar takes place in February every year at Midmar Dam, just outside Pietermaritzburg. This is the rainy season, but in years of drought, the start is characterised by an undignified muddy charge through the exposed mud on the fringe of the dam somewhat reminiscent of a scantily clad assault First World War battlefield. In order to ease the congestion, the race start is staggered on the basis of a 'seeding system' (whereby the fastest swimmers go off in the first group), but this is at best only a means to control the chaos, and by comparison to the start, the swimming part of the race is far more straightforward!
Over 13,000 people swim the Midmar every year, and there is a major push on to attract even larger numbers for the race's 40th anniversary in 2013. The winner usually finishes in just over 17 minutes.
If you are sane enough to have no intention of swimming the Midmar, might I respectfully suggest that you avoid visiting Maritzburg at this time, as flights and accommodation are fully booked, and the law of 'supply and demand' kicks in, which results in prices going through the roof!
Valley of a thousand Hills
My Pietermaritzburg page will not be about this small and pretty city, instead you will find information here on the areas surrounding the city.
I took a day trip to this area while I was staying in Durban, I did visit the city itself, but only very briefly - you will find shops and a supermarket along with some beautiful architecture.
In the surrouding countryside you can enjoy stunning drives, the Midlands meander, Valley of a thousand hills and cultural centres to really experience the real Kwa Zulu Natal.
"Hidden History of Pietermaritzburg"
Pietermaritzburg had its beginnings in the colonial era and was originally settled by the Voortrekkers in 1838. The British re-imposed sovereignty over the Boers in 1842/3. However, both the Boers and the British have left indelible marks on the city, manifest in many ways, but particularly on the architecture of the city.
The modern city of Pietermaritzburg boasts a broad cultural diversity. British, Zulu, Afrikaans (Boer), Hindu and Moslem communities have all contributed to a culturally diverse city.
Internationally prominent people such as Gandhi and Mandela have also played a part in the city's history. History left Pietermaritzburg with a sad legacy in that Gandhi was unceremoniously thrown off the train in Pietermaritzburg, and Mandela was arrested nearby and held in police cells within the city before his now famous trial.
The site of the current city hall was originally occupied by the Boer Raadsaal. It was later replaced by the first Pietermaritzburg city hall, a two storey structure completed in 1893, and completely destroyed by fire on 12 July 1898. The current three storey city hall structure, was completed in 1903 and is deemed to be the largest red brick structure in the southern hemisphere.
Today the city is and has been politically controlled by the ANC (African National Congress) since the first democratic elections in 1994. Internationally renowned democracy-seeker and author, Alan Paton was schooled here and had strong attachments to the city. The Alan Paton library is housed in the local university.
A view of the city of Pmb from Worlds View, The Twin Tower building is called Natalia which is surrounded by supermarkets, flats and businesses.
Comprising 86.5ha, Alexandra Park was established in 1863 and named after Princess Alexandra of Denmark who later became Queen Alexandra of Great Britain. It features the picturesque cricket Pavilion built in 1898 to commemorate 50 years of British history in Pietermaritzburg. Today it houses a restaurant. There is also a charming Chinoiserie-style bandstand, recently renovated to its former glory, which is the venue of regular concerts. Alexandra Park is a centre for international sports fixtures and the venue for monthly craft markets.
CHARLENE'S PIETERMARITZBURG PAGE
Pietermaritzburg (the city) is full of Victorian and Edwardian Buildings. One landmark is the City Hall, a national Monument. Then another Victorian masterpiece is the railway station. Because of his race, Mahatma Gandhi then an aspiring lawyer, was turned off a train in 1893 (an action which sparked his revolutionary political ideas, first in South Africa and later in Inddia). You will find a statue in Church Street of the famous freedom figter.
I will update my photo's when I am back in South Africa, unfortunately all my SA photo's are still there.