In 2010 I had the opportunity to go to South Africa for two months to work on the World Cup with a client. Those two months made for the one of the best summer and work experiences to date! I’m not going to talk about work in this blog though, to see those kinds of details, checkout our download: South Africa – A Destination Worth Discovering. Here I’m just going to mention a few of the fun things I did while in South Africa!
Obviously in 2010 the FIFA World Cup took place in South Africa, in several cities including Pretoria and Johannesburg. While there, I had the opportunity to attend every USA match, having previously never been a fan of soccer, or “futbol,” I became instantly hooked after one game and to this day still love watching the sport. In Pretoria there is Loftus Versfeld Stadium where a few of the WC matches were held, it is also the home of the Vodacom Blue Bulls, one of South Africa’s rugby teams. Before the FIFA World Cup started in 2010 there was a lot of rugby on the TV and in the stadiums due to the Super 14 going on, essentially the Superbowl of rugby in South Africa. This sport, even though I didn’t fully understand it, was fun to watch! I would definitely recommend catching either a rugby game or soccer match while in South Africa, their fans definitely show their spirit…just bring your ear plugs because they love their vuvuzelas (you know that buzzing sound you’d hear on TV)!
Food, Drink and Dance!
Food and drink in South Africa was so affordable it was ridiculous! I could not get over the prices of things, especially at the sporting venues…prices were about a third of what you’d pay at a stadium in the States! I had the opportunity to try some interesting, local food as well. In Johannesburg is a restaurant called Carnivore, it was so fun and delicious I went a couple times! They had local game like spring bok and zebra which were both extremely delightful. We also had the chance to check out Pretoria’s nightlife which is pretty lively. On Church Street is a small strip of restaurants and clubs where plenty of dancing could be had and great meals.
Checking out the sites!
Of course I made sure to see some of the history of South Africa while I was there. I took a trip to Johannesburg one day to see the Apartheid Museum. This was a mind blower, especially to think that apartheid only ended in the early 90’s in South Africa. This was a museum definitely worth seeing. Locally in Pretoria I visited the Voortrekker Monument which explains the history of the area; it really reminded me of the story of the US when settlers moved out west. I also went to the Union Buildings, the capitol buildings of South Africa. I was really excited when I watched the rugby movie with Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman and they showed the Union Buildings…I was that person yelling “I was there!”
I could go on and on about South Africa and my time there, but these are just a few of the highlights. I would recommend going to South Africa to anyone and I would love to go back some day!
Have you been to South Africa? How was your experience? Have you been anywhere that you could go on and on about?