Saturday, June 18, 2011

Last year at this time....

Hard to believe that last year at this time we were wrapping up our weeklong adventure to South Africa to attend the 2010 World Cup.
Not only is it hard to believe that a year has already gone by but it is hard to believe we were actually at the World Cup!
The city of Johannesburg really rolled out the red carpet for all the visiting fans and the people of South Africa were so proud to be at the center of the world's attention.  I remember getting off our 18 hour flight from DC to Johannesburg and seeing signs everywhere welcoming World Cup spectators. It was such an awesome feeling to be walking into something so big and for someone that has very little international travel experience, I was just an awe of everything that was around me.

As soon as we got to the airport, our first task was picking up our tickets to the games. We entered a lottery for tickets back in Feb of 2009! It was quite a surprise that we received tickets to three games but after going to our first couple of games we realized it was pretty easy to buy tickets right before the game. We actually met another guy from the US that didn't have tickets to any of the games but just depended on buying tickets when he got to the game.

The place that we stayed at the whole week was an empty YMCA-type building that they set up beds and brought in staff to operate the kitchen. It was a great place to meet people as they came and left Johannesburg, but there were no heaters and it was a lot colder than we anticipated. Despite being the sickest I have ever been to date, staying at "Tent City" offered us a safe, secure place to stay every night and I would do it again in a second! Just with warmer clothes!

The people watching at the games was the best. I pick the Netherlands as having the best fans! They were pretty serious about showing some team spirit! Of course, once we got to South Africa and saw all the camaraderie amongst fans we regretted not having our USA flags and face paint! We will be better prepared next time.

Two of the games we went to were played in Soccer City. This stadium was the host to the opening match and championship game. It was refurbished for the World Cup and holds 94,000 fans, which makes it the largest stadium in Africa.

Every time I think back about this trip, I try to pick out one thing that was the highlight of the trip and for me that is hard, but one of my favorite things about this trip was seeing Brian surrounded by all the things that he lives for. His love of international travel, meeting new people and being surrounded by soccer certainly put him in his element. I would have to say that despite the low temperatures, the pneumonia, the cold showers, the taxi fights and getting lost in the dark streets of Johannesburg, experiencing the World Cup with Brian will remain one the best weeks of my life. We definitely learned a lot about each other and managed to make it back to US still married! So, I think we can handle just about any adventure that comes our way and I am anxious to start planning our next big trip!! 

Here is a fun video I put together last year with all our pictures! It is so fun to watch and be reminded of the amazing time we had attending the 2010 World Cup! 

No comments:

Post a Comment