WURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! WURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! That’s the first sound we heard when getting off the plane in Cape Town, coming from the vuvulezas that are a staple with South African sports. They were especially noticeable the day we got in since we were 24 hours from the World Cup starting, and South Africa was in the opening match. It was more electric here than I remember at any sporting event than I have ever been to….and the game wasn’t even in Cape Town!!! This country is really behind their team, or as they call them, Bafana Bafana (which means “Boys, Boys”).

There were two games on the first day of the World Cup, and we had tickets to the “other” game, which was being hosted in Cape Town at their new stadium, France vs. Uruguay. But we’ll get to that a bit later as we packed in quite a bit during the day before we hit the match.  We knew we only had a little less than 5 days, so we wanted to do as much as we could while down here, seeing this isn’t exactly the easiest locale to visit. Note, we flew from Madrid, and it was still another 5,000+ miles to get down to South Africa. For all the fans that made the trip, they definitely put on the travel legs to get down here. Anyway, on to the day.

Top of Table Mountain with Cape Town in the back

We were told the weather in Cape Town can change every 10 minutes, so if it’s predicted that the day will be clear for the most part, you should take advantage and head up to Table Mountain, because you might not get another chance. Friday was a perfect day. Not a cloud in the sky, about 60 degrees, and no wind. So to combine two things we wanted to do, we hopped on the bus tour around the city, as we usually do, to knock out a lot of stuff in one package. Table Mountain happened to be a stop, so we could get dropped off, check it out, and then hop on another bus when we were done, as they came around every 20 minutes or so. The bus tour actually wasn’t bad, as it was a double-decker bus, and it was open up top, and with the perfect weather, it just made for a great time.

cable cars going up and down from the top of Table Mountain

They showed us a couple sites around town, explaining how Cape Town came to be, the struggles it has gone through, and the effects pre and post apartheid. That time took quite a toll on the city, and still rears it’s ugly head today when you look at District 6 in the city, which to this day still hasn’t really been rebuilt from the time when the government decided to level it and make 60,000 homeless….instantly. After seeing that part of the city, the tour only could get better, and it did, as we headed for Table Mountain. Now what did I say about good weather and getting up there as quick as possible? Yeah, everyone knows that, so of course it was busy, but I knew it would lay off a bit as the South Africa match was on at 4pm, and there was no way any locals were going to miss that, so I think crowds were a lot lighter than they could have been had there been no match. So we get in line, and get to the cable car, only to be stopped for a private group to go up by themselves.  I think most people would’ve been mad we were cut in front of, especially the guys, but it was the WAGS from France who were in front of us, and naturally they were posing for all the cameras. It also made sense that they were there, as France was playing that night, and the team is not allowed anywhere near their women for 24 hours prior to the match. Here they are below:

The Wives and Girlfriends of France

Now being at the top of Table Mountain, you get to see what has been voted the last 3 years, the most beautiful city in the world. I’m not sure if this is the best view of the city, as pictures from the ocean and out on Robben Island looking at the city from the water tend to look a bit better, but you can see how unique the city is, and how amazing it is that the mountains literally run right into the ocean, and everyone lives on the flat area between. I had seen pictures of this city for years, but couldn’t really believe I was there until we snapped some pictures. The views from up top are incredible, and the luck we had seeing it on a clear day was even more amazing. Just for the picture opportunities alone, I suggest getting up there. I thought the cable car would be a bit scarier, but it’s very stable, and the floor actually rotates inside as you’re going up, so everyone gets a chance to see all the views it has to offer.

Sippin' a Castle while watching Bafana Bafana

After taking about 500 pictures up top, we headed down to see the rest of the bus tour, which took us around Lions Head mountain, and then through the ritzy neighborhoods of Cape Town, which were much different from downtown, and had their own vibe as well. I can see why many who are from Cape Town never leave, because the landscape of their city is so unique and beautiful it would be hard to beat. The tour ended, and we had about 15 minutes to get to a pub or anywhere that had a seat to watch South Africa play Mexico in the opening match of the World Cup. Of course, it was rather hard finding a seat, but we took a back way into a restaurant, and ended up having pretty decent seats outside to watch the match….and of course grab a few beers. We took off about halfway through the second half, as we had to drop off our bags, and then head to the stadium to see our match, but we were there long enough to see Bafana Bafana score and the restaurant went crazy. Dancing, cheering, blowing their vuvulezas, singing songs, and everything else you can imagine. It was something we’ll never forget.

Locals watching the match at a big screen at the V&A

So we head over to the stadium, which is only about a 10 minute walk from where we were staying, although with security checks and the volume of people, it took more like 30 minutes to get inside, but none the less, it was close. Now, the seats for the World Cup were split into three categories, and I had one match in Category 2 and one in Category 3. The only thing was you had on idea where in those sections your seats were until you printed them out in South Africa. Well, we got lucky for the first match, as we had 2nd row in the club level of the stadium!! Our seats couldn’t have been any better for Category 2 tickets. You know you have good seats when you can hear the ball being kicked, even with 60,000 people screaming and horns blowing everywhere. On top of that, the new stadium is a work of art, and extremely modern. The match ended up being pretty dull, 0-0 draw, and in the following week it has been dubbed the most boring match of the tournament, but I really didn’t care, as we were there, and had great seats….albeit for a boring match!

Not a bad view for the first match, eh?

That really covered what our first full day in Cape Town was like. The best part at the end of the day was we knew we had 3 more days, another match to see, and whatever else sparked our curiosity. We knew if the rest of the trip was anywhere near as great as this day, that this trip would be one for the books.

WURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! WURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Best banner at the match...too bad they were forced to take it down!

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