Many people were skeptical about South Africa’s ability to host the World Cup.
Crime/Security/Africa/Chaotic/Terrorism – all of these words and more were trotted out by the naysayers.
All I can say is that every game we went to was hitch free – actually that is not fair – the organization was absolutely outstanding. The crowds were well behaved, the police impeccably polite, the areas surrounding the stadiums spotless, and the overall atmosphere simply electric. Also, this was countrywide.
Back in Cape Town we saw Spain send Portugal home. Portugal were no match for what was proving to be a brilliant Spanish team, and the kids were fast becoming Spanish supporters. It was then back to PE for the Holland/Brazil match. Brazil are always a strong favorite in every world cup and their defeat at the hands of the Dutch disappointed many a neutral. We then raced back to Cape Town for Argentina/Germany quarter final. This was an foreseen drubbing of Argentina that few would have forecast. It was clear that Germany were now huge contenders for the Cup.
Back in Cape Town we continued to enjoy the delights of the city. We took a day to tour the Wine Route actually there are about 5 – we went to less well known farms near the Banhoek Pass in Stellenbosch. While it is very true that wineries don’t interest kids all that much, it most certainly can interest their parents, and in fact the farms offer an opportunity to run around in the vineyards.
If you have ever considered a trip to Africa but have been concerned about your comforts, go to South Africa. The country is in the best shape its been for about twenty years – from hotels and restaurants to infrastructure, it’s all good. What about safety and security? Well, no one can guarantee your safety anywhere, but all I can say is that we felt completely safe, everywhere. I would never walk around a large American city at night unless I was in an entertainment district and the same goes for South Africa – actually, I felt far safer than I do in a typical North American city.
The semi final between Holland and Uruguay was incredible. It seemed like everyone was supporting the Dutch and my guess is that many neutrals were cool on Uruguay after their game against Ghana. Cape Town was orange and the atmosphere, perhaps the best of all to date.
It was time to say Goodbye to Cape Town for good. We were on our way to Johannesburg for the Final.
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