There comes a day in every trip we take that we just like to relax and pretty much do nothing. Well, Day 2 in Cape Town was just that. We woke early and headed downtown to look around, see what the FIFA Fanfest was all about, and maybe find some good souvenirs for the trip. Well, we made it downtown, and picked up a few things as we had planned, but one thing I really wanted was a World Cup scarf with the South Africa logo on it. Now, mind you, this was DAY 2 of the World Cup, the biggest sporting event in the world. How much inventory did all the stores and street vendors have of these particular scarves………NONE! I spoke to a couple of vendors and store owners, and they all said they were sold out of them a few days before the World Cup even started!!! You’d think that they’d stock up on what would be the most popular selling item at the World Cup….besides the vuvuzelas of course!

Cape Town FanFest

So with the morning being a disappointment looking for these items, I pretty much decided I wanted to hit the pub to watch the matches for the day, especially the USA vs. England match that would be on…8 hours later. I had read about an English pub downtown that was the most popular place for ex-pats to watch matches, but we were there just a tad early….in fact early enough that no one was at the pub yet. Seeing that it was off the beaten path a bit from the rest of the area, we decided to head back to the V&A waterfront and watch the match from the Ferryman, which is an infamous pub which shares a center wall with Mitchells Ale House, which is also a pub popular with ex-pats. Safe to say, 8 hours before the England match, Mitchells was already filling up, so we sat outside at the Ferryman.

Mitchell's Ale House and Ferrymans

To pass the time, we had to watch a lot of sports, so we did. First there was the end of a rugby match that we didn’t really pay attention to, but there was a soccer match up next, so we didn’t really care. Well, that would’ve worked out fine if it hadn’t been for the big Springboks match that was on immediately after the current rugby match. Now for those that don’t know, South Africa rates rugby much higher than soccer, and it is the national sport if you speak to any locals. South Africa was playing France, whom they hadn’t beaten in 5 years, so this was a big one, and it was at home. I mean, why wouldn’t you schedule a huge rugby test match in Cape Town at the same time of the World Cup. Seems logical, no? Anyway, South Africa killed France, and reassured everyone at the pub, which was full now, that they do have the best team in the world. We had followed rugby a bit when we were in Paris back in 2007 when the Rugby World Cup was going on, but not much since. Well, I think I might follow the Springboks a bit more now, as I started to get into it again while were watching. My old man would be proud, but I have a million questions about the rules again, so there’s our first conversation when I get back to the states Dad.

This was about 6 hours into the night!

After that match, there was a soccer match, which included Nigeria. All the teams from Africa have quite a bit of support down here, but the locals are pulling for all of them as well, as they want to see their continent do well, and hopefully have a few teams progress. At the time of this blog post, the only team that looked good after the first round of group play was Ghana, who had won on a penalty.

We finally get to the USA vs. England match, and the pub begins to fill up again. Fans from England, USA, etc surrounded us. We sat next to a couple people that were in from NYC, and had just landed in Cape Town a few hours before after a 30-hour trip that included a connection in Dubai. Again, if you traveled to the World Cup this time around, you were a true fan I feel. Well, the match started out well for England, as they slipped one by Howard only 5 minutes into the match. But in true England fashion, they have an unmemorable blunder by their goalie, which allowed the USA to tie it up, and ultimately get the draw in the match. All in all, I was quite disappointed in the match, as I thought England would rip through the USA, but they didn’t show much desire after they gave up that terrible goal, but at least they got the point, and will play Algeria next on June 18th in Cape Town.

After the match, we decided at that point it was time to turn in for the night, as we had been at the pub, for what my friend Iain would call, a solid 10-hour “sesh” of boozing. We also had some big plans the next day, as we headed to the Cape of Good Hope and planned to spend some time driving up the west coast of the cape. More of that day in the next post.