today……………….one year ago, did you feel it??

The cool thing about spontaneity is that it allows you to sort of make up your mind on the spur of the moment. Yesterdays blog was actually supposed to be a continuation of journey in the Alpujarras in Southern Spain. That was spontaneously changed by the arrival of the Lufthansa A380 to Cape Town on a promotional flight for Table Mountains bid to become one  of the new 7 wonders of the natural world. So hopefully that little deviation (well, for Lufthansa from Johanesburg to Cape Town, and for everyone following this blog from the Alpujarras to Cape Town :-)) helped pile in a whole number of new votes for our mountain. Fortunately for us mere Internet surfers, it was just an armchair travelling exercise :-). 

So I just discovered that today is exactly one year to the day that I attended my first, and one of the most eagerly awaited games of the qualification stages of the 2010 World Cup. Yep! you guessed right, Spain vs Portugal in Cape Town!! The thing about this particular game was that it had all the potential of being the final before the final, sadly, it didnt turn out to be like that, but lets not dwell on the negatives. Lets rather just remember the spirit of the world cup. There was so much hype leading up to this game, and I know, now a whole year later everybody has forgotten about it. The game is over, the tournament is over, Spain won and everybody has moved on. All the woes about South Africa being ready, the Stadiums being complete on time, the security situation, the tickets, the stadium staff strike, all of it, just seemed to be evaporated the minute the whistle for the first game was blown.

This was the second game in our sparkling new stadium so all the teething issues had been sorted out. Everything just worked out seamlessly, despite the fact that the weather had been quite iffy the whole day. The atmosphere on a slightly damp cold June evening was as hot and fiery as one can expect at a clash of these two giants. Supporters from all over the world dressed in their favorite Team colours streamed down the fan walk, singing team songs, blowing vuvuzelas, and just absorbing the spirit of the world cup. There were stalls along the way selling memorabilia, hot and cold drinks, food etc. Despite the large number of people, entering the stadium precinct was effortless, affording the opportunity to encounter the amazing stadium close up. Its truly incredible how efficiently more than 60 000 fans were moved into, seated and left the stadium, without any apparrent hiccup. The atmosphere from outside just permeated the stadium and all the anticipation was converted to excitement the minute Spain kicked off the game. The players energy on the field was mirrored by the crowds energetic cheering which often transformed into a mexican wave that circled around the stadium.    

After the game, the excitement spilled out onto the streets as fans dispersed to their various destinations, some excited at their teams win, and others disappointed at their teams loss. Some locals may have headed home, the tourists though were continuing to encounter the depths of South African hospitality. One of the slogans of the World Cup had been “feel it, it is here” and you were probably unconscious if you didnt. The country united as hosts and welcomed the world into our country and our hearts. All in all it was an incredibly special time in this country, as I said earlier, the last goal has been scored, the cup has been won, the world cup visitors have left, nevertheless, one year later, I just wanted to once more reflect and relive that moment through this blog. Thank you for sharing it with me, had you been here then, you would have felt it too.

The journey continues ……………………………………… more than likely to the Alpujarras tomorrow 🙂

Todays images are just snapshots of moments from that day one year ago………………. perhaps a little out of focus and noisy in some places, yet incredible reminders of a truly amazing time in this country

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