Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cape of Good Hope

As a final "farewell" to the Soccer World Cup 2010 here is my version of the Oracle Octopus, Paul, which became famous for "predicting" the outcome of the games involving the German soccer team - until it became Spain's "champion".

Back to the natural beauty of our country - let me take you on a "virtual" tour of the Cape Peninsula, starting along the Atlantic Ocean side & a stop on the Chapman's Peak Drive - with a panoramic view of the fishing village, Houtbay.

On the slopes of a hill (= the Sentinel) & behind the harbour of Houtbay is a castle-like building (= a Guesthouse) I tend to call South Africa's very own "Neuschwanstein" (= famous Ludwig II's castle in Bavaria).

The Chapman's Peak Drive "ends" at Noordhoek with its magnificent beach, on which various film-scenes were recorded, e.g. a "wild" horse-ride in the movie Ryan's Daughter.

We have reached Cape Point, where an old lighthouse "holds sway". However it only "serves" as a monument because a new & much more powerful lighthouse was built further down the slope & closer to sealevel.

A look from Cape point towards the Cape of Good Hope - so named because in days gone by, sailors from the Far East & on their way back to Europe, were always happy & relieved to see/reach this point - because it meant the harbour of Table Bay (& "refreshments"!!) was "just around the corner".

Often & to this day, a misconception persists that the Cape of Good Hope is the most southern point of the African Continent
! However that "honour belongs to" Cape Agulhas (about 150km further East). Similarly Cape Agulhas (& not the Cape of Good Hope) represents the "dividing line" between the Indian & Antlantic oceans (ditto: between the warm-water Agulhas & cold-water Benguela currents).

We are now "travelling" along the False Bay-side of the Cape Peninsula & reach Simon's Town (named after the popular Cape governor, Simon van der Stel - ditto: Stellenbosch).

Did you know that False Bay was so named because sailors in the past (during their sea-voyage from the East towards Europe) often confused this bay with Table Bay (situated further on)?

The SA-Navy has its "seat" in Simon's Town - with its statue of a a Great Dane. This dog was "promoted" from an Ordinary Seaman & "served" as an Able Seaman during WW II. Called Just Nuisance, the dog was "entitled" to the same benefits as any other Able Seaman, which included a cap (= part of the statue).

To end our "journey" - a view across False Bay with the sun setting behind the Cape Peninsula. On the right (= the northern side) Devil's Peak is visible as well as a "side view" of Table Mountain.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Farewell to Soccer

The flags along this road from the OR Tambo international airport in Joburg act as a last reminder of how visitors during the 2010 Soccer World Cup were welcomed.

Ditto these bright yellow hands at the Gillooly's Highway Interchange.

Looking back at how the media recorded visuals during the World Cup - sent to all corners of the world.

Other than accredited camera men "crowding" the soccer-pitch, a special section in the stands was reserved for the media, e.g. Radio & TV commentators.

Journalists & camera men were kept "under control" behind ropes "manned" by special security guards.

Ditto - a
view from above.

Ditto - from the opposite side as well as a view of the "tunnel", from which the flag-bearers emerged, followed by the two opposing soccer teams.

What I've called the "eye in the sky" before - a camera "contraption" that swivels right around most of the soccer stadiums . . .

. . . which at times was lowered so as to record the action from a "man-high" perspective.

Once a soccer match was on, the camera men "moved" to positions/chairs lining the perimeter of the soccer pitch.

Who will forget the anguish the soccer players from Ghana experienced when during their Quarter- Final match, Uruguay beat Ghana 4-2 on penalty kicks during extra-Time?

Ditto - the anguish visible on the face of a Ghana supporter.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Warming Up

To commemorate the 150th (!!) entry on this blog today (although the "official count" is close to 200 entries), & also by way of looking back at the 2010 Soccer World Cup, which is "winding" down, here is some paraphernalia = a by now famous vuvuzela, a FIFA bus-parking-pass & entrance tickets to the various World Cup soccer matches I was privileged to attend.

At various Fan-Fest locations, revellers are treated to musical or cultural "entrees" before the soccer action is transmitted on a large screen - as is the case at this venue = the Piazza at Melrose Arch.

Warming up isn't only a matter of "setting the mood" for fans, but actually takes place on the soccer pitch in front of enthusiastic vuvu-blowing crowds
(= the by now "long-departed" England team).

The "heroic" soccer team from Ghana warming up - heroic, because they were the last "standing" team from Africa.

The referees also "warm up" before a soccer match.

ditto - another group of refs.

ditto Zakumi (= the by now well-known 2010 World Cup mascot).

During intervals (= half-time) a group of young dancers "grace" the sidelines.

The Mexico team warming up "in tandem".

Maradona's by now departed team - to the tune of: Don't cry for me Argentina!?

Before each soccer game, the official 2010 World Cup WakaWaka song is performed by Shakira (on the big screens):
You're a good soldier
Choosing your battles
Pick yourself up
And dust yourself off
And back in the saddle, etc, etc.

[By the way - WAKA means: DO IT]

This song is performed "in collaboration" with the South African band Freshlyground.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

In Conversation

Today let's look back at how some of the soccer teams "coped" during the 2010 World Soccer Cup that's coming this weekend to THE END. Most photos are "self-explanatory":

"Talking" on the soccer pitch = Paraguay team

Pointing fingers seem "part & parcel" of the action!? USA>UK

Also "chatting" to the referee happens regularly - Brazil>Ivory Coast

"Tempers flared" during the Argentina>Mexico match . . .

. . . then the match referees appeared "confused" . . .

. . . but someone had to control "the situation".

Similarly in the stands the official stewards sometimes had their "hands full" - in this case "solving a case" of who is supposed to sit where.

The "guilty party" wasn't amused & continued to argue that he wanted to sit next to a pal - even if that wasn't his "designated" seat.

Other than squabbling - sometimes the "beautiful game" had the appearance of a rugby match!?

Does this look like a game of soccer or rugby - you decide!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Headgear & Soccer Terms

During the previous entry on this blog, there was 'Diego Maradona in the crowd' - by way of solving this "mystery": it was the "headgear" of an Argentinian soccer supporter/fan/joker(?). A security guard in the stadium had to remind the "wearer" that 'his' Maradona was blocking the view of the crowd sitting behind him!

The origin of the makarapa (= soccer headgear) was a miner's hard-hat, which a soccer enthusiast "redesigned". This handsomely decorated (giant) makarapa is displayed in the foyer/reception at Coca Cola's head-office.

If you scroll back on this blog, you will 'discover' other interesting & colourful headgear various soccer spectators wear during World Cup matches - this is just another example.

Eventually somebody also reminded the wearer of this peacock-feather-hat that the decorative headgear was blocking the view!

No comment!

No explanation necessary of who this spectator supports - a "haircut" instead of headgear - I guess it's the result of some kind of bet!?

More than just headgear!

Other than another makarapa, this photo features the by now "notorious" vuvuzela [See: previous blog-entries]. This unique trumpet-like instrument creates chaos/atmosphere during all 2010 soccer matches.

Apparently it is NOT uniquely South African (!!??) - there's a "claim" that it originated in the US of A.

, meaning: celebrate (in the Zulu language) - prominently displayed at the Waterfront in Cape town [Also See: entry on this blog, Sunday, 6 June, for an explanation of what the 11 colours on this ball represent]. Each World Cup ball has a name that reflects the host country's unique character.

"Ke Nako" is the official slogan of South Africa's 2010 World Cup tournament & means: It Is Time (in some of our 11 official languages).

Zakumi (= a leopard), the 2010 World Cup mascot, is a "friendly character", which makes regular appearances during 'half-time' at the soccer matches.

The World Cup trophy - still "up for grabs" - which country's soccer team will be victorious?? Instead of "the real Macoy", the trophy held aloft in this photo is a superbly crafted, beaded souvenir.