I will start by saying you can do the World Cup with kids – really!!! We love a crowd and much as folks told us we were mad we just couldn’t miss it. I really want my kids to be able to say: “They were there!!!” No we didn’t go to a match – the tickets are very hard to come by and horrendously priced and the dilemma of eight kids in a seat for more than ninety minutes was more than I could face… but there is so much more to the World Cup than soccer matches!!!
So last Friday – a perfect sunny afternoon we took a walk all the way from the top of Cape Town to the stadium at Green Point. Our kids have never walked freely through their city before – London yes, and other cities… but Cape Town like other South African cities has issues!!! Let me just say for the World Cup the security is brilliant there are heaps of volunteers helping (orange shirts everywhere) and police at every turn. It was coincidence that our kids were all wearing the same T-shirt, they had just come from gym, and it turned out to be a great coincidence!!! Much as I dress my kids differently it turned out to be brilliant as any time a short person stretched further from our pack they were easy to spot and pull back into the gang.
First stop was the Fan Park on the Grand Parade… Every street leading into the area was an entrance so there were no long queues or waiting… as you arrive all kids are tagged with their name and a parents phone number. The kids information is not kept on file, there is nothing weird or creepy… they really are just concerned with safety. No tag and no entrance – simple… tell that to a three year old… we tied it onto that particular ankle!!! Security done. And we headed straight for the Coke Tent… A free photograph of the gang and Vuvuzela’s for everyone… Luckily because in our haste to get there we had left ours at home. And love them or hate them you can not do the World Cup without them.
Then you just join the crowd and follow the fans…watch a bit of football on the big screens.
Adjust your ears to the noise…
And see the sights…
There are flags everywhere and the streets are closed to cars.
You are free to walk the Fan Walk all the way from the center of town to the Stadium.
There are stores…
Of every kind…
And more walking:
A rest for some Parkour:
And there is a place I didn’t even know of in town with a whole heap of zebra’s… we had to enjoy them:
And more walking…
And stilt walkers:
And more walking:
And chalk art:
And more walking… The walking is slow and easy because there is so much to see!!! And you can stop for drinks and snacks at any of the shops along the route. So don’t worry to carry anything.
We are in the home straight here: lots of little stalls selling food and flags and well almost anything actually!!!
And then we were there… well almost at the Stadium…
And a decision had to be made… do we want to walk back – against the tide of English and Algerian fans? Well, shuttle buses are free on match days…
So a whip past the mosaics…
And onto the shuttle stop:
And joy and excitement to ride on our first ever bus in Cape Town!!! The buses are packed headed for the stadium and empty back to town, empty aside from a few security folk and volunteers – whose job I think it is to travel to and fro – all day!!!
And somebody wanted to say hello to EVERYBODY on the bus!!!
Past the stadium:
And back to the city center, through Cape Town station… where I have never heard so much noise in my life. E.V.E.R. And hood #8 just loved it!!! Vuvuzela’s and horns and whistles and war cries ricocheting off the glass and tiles…
And we were back where we started at the Coke stand in the Fan Park.
We watched a bit of street soccer – there is lots to watch…
And home again, home again, jiggity jig!!!
My kids all want to go back again and ride on a train!!! This may well be the best time since our city is better than it’s ever been. Clean, Street cleaners are sweeping. Safe, security is securing. All in all we actually live in quite a pleasant part of the world – long may the World Cup last!!!
9 Replies to “Saturday Spot: Se7en + 1 Do The World Cup…”
My family could care less about the World Cup, but I’m glad it worked out well for you with all the security and cleanliness.
Hi C, your family and mine are very similar!!! The outcome is really not that important… well it hurt a little when the bafana bafana went out (but we knew they weren’t going too far!!!) – it is really about participating and the freedom to make the most alarming noise!!! Lots of love!!!
Wow… what atmosphere!
Hi T, You had better believe it!!! Somethings are not to be missed especially when they end up on your doorstep!!! Have a fun week!!!
Thanks for the great idea! We are going on Saturday!!
Hay J, I hope you have lots of fun and get a great taste of South Africa!!!
We did the walk last Thursday and – despite horrendously crowded trains (don’t co-incide your trip with commuters going home) – had a blast! We want to go again! And we ARE a world cup crazy family. With a lifelong football fanatic for a dad, we have to be. But what a wonderful vibey, learning opportunity it’s been. We’ve all learnt a stack and had a ball. Baby will have to rely on photos but the rest of us will remember WC2010!!
Hay Sue… It was such fun!!! Glad you guys enjoyed it!!! Have a great week!!!