The World Cup is just crazy. As a massive football fan, it’s taken me 34 years to finally make it to a World Cup and see the atmosphere for real in Brazil 2014 and it’s just incredible. However I have been on the move a lot and so far I have watched the World Cup in 41 different places in 6 different countries in 3 different continents. I haven’t seen every match, nor even every goal but I have done my best to catch as much of it as I could!! I thought a post on my World Cup adventure so far as the group phase comes to a close was in order! These are the 41 places I watched the GROUP Matches on the 2014 World Cup.
As a nomadic World Cup fan, I share with you the 41 places I have watched the World Cup so far. Yes that’s right – 41 different places as I attempt to keep up to date with what’s going on! These are in chronological order and I wanted to get this posted before the Second Round starts!! I have no idea where I will watch the rest of the matches but I’m ready for the challenge!!
1. Panny’s Flat, Lam Tin, HONG KONG
I watched the opening match in my girlfriend’s flat on the east side of Hong Kong. It was a 4am kick off over there and Brazil beat Croatia 3-1. Straight after the match, I headed to Tsuen Wan to teach English for 9 hours and then got packed and headed to Hong Kong airport!
2. Hong Kong Airport, HONG KONG
I caught the preview for Mexico v. Cameroon on a screen in Hong Kong airport just before boarding my flight to London Heathrow. I missed the match as I was in the air!
3. Wetherspoons, Victoria, London, ENGLAND
I landed in London, phoned my family and then got the tube into town. I watched the results and highlights of Netherlands 1-5 Spain and Chile 3-1 Australia in the Wetherspoons in Victoria, which was one of my old haunts when travelling around England, back in the day.
4. Colombian Bar, Borough, London, ENGLAND
After meeting up with my mates in Costa Coffee (Borough) and the Charlie Chaplin (Elephant and Castle), we headed to a Colombian Bar. In here after buying a beer, we watched the goals from the Chile 3-1 Australia match.
5. The Dover Castle, Borough, London, ENGLAND
We ended up staying one night in the hostel above the Dover Castle and watched a few match highlight shows in here over the Saturday and Sunday I was in London.
6. Ruse Pub, Borough, London, ENGLAND
This was a great pub to be in for the Colombia v. Greece match as we were all still sober enough to chat. Great beer and fruity cider plus they let us order pizzas thanks to my friend Sandra. Colombia beat Greece 3-0 in the end, and oddly those 2 teams qualified from that group.
7. Zoo Bar, Leicester Square, London, ENGLAND
I was first in Zoo bar in the year 2000 and it was cool to be back. The Uruguay fans congregate here to watch the games and when we left they were 1-0 up against Costa Rica. I met Chris and Paul Bilsland just before this – Chris being one of my best mates when I left England and worked on car ferries.
8. Verve, Leicester Square, London, ENGLAND
We decided to leave Zoo Bar during the Uruguay match and I met up with a few other mates – Alex, Eric and Chris. In Verve we saw Uruguay lose 3-1 astonishingly!
9. Charlie Chaplin, Elephant and Castle, London, ENGLAND
I headed back on the tube to the Charlie Chaplin, south of the Thames in Elephant and Castle with Chris and Paul to watch England v. Italy. We were there about 20 minutes before kick off and I tried to round up all my mates to watch it together but their screen kept crashing!! In the end we headed back to Ruse in time for the National Anthems. Sadly for my mates, England lost 2-1 to Italy and this time both teams went out in the first round eventually, against the odds.
10. Wetherspoons, Terminal 1, Heathrow Airport, London, ENGLAND
It was the turn of a different Wetherspoons as I headed to Heathrow Terminal 1 early for my flight so I could check in and watch Switzerland v. Ecuador without any worries. My mate James Condron came all the way to the airport with me and we had a few beers and completed our “World Cup Pub Crawl” albums while watching the Swiss win 2-1 in the last minute. It was like old times. James is a top lad and it was sad to say bye, but my flight was leaving soon.
11. Boarding Gate B48, Terminal 1, Heathrow Airport, London, ENGLAND
After saying goodbye to James and realising that I haven’t ever been in London for a full 24 hour day in about 6 years, I boarded my flight for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. However the Terminal I was at had the France v. Honduras match on the big screens and I watched a bit of the first half before heading to the country the World Cup was in!
12. Funzonia, Rio de Janeiro Airport, BRAZIL
On arrival in Brazil, the madness was clear to see, as is obvious from my things to do in Brazilian airports post. I headed to the Funzonia chill out zone which had wi-fi, cosy sofas, chargers and astroturf. Plus highlights of the games I had missed on the big screen, including the Argies winning 2-1 v. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13. Bar Gate Zero, Rio de Janeiro Airport, BRAZIL
After getting my World Cup tickets finally, checking my bag in for my connecting flight, it was beer time and I headed to a wee bar in Rio Airport called Bar Gate Zero to chill out and catch up on the matches.
14. Budweiser Big Screen, Terminal 2, Rio de Janeiro Airport, BRAZIL
Once through departures I met up with some Croatian and Mexican fans before sitting down waiting on my flight to watch Germany v. Portugal. It was here that I randomly met Michael Church. Michael is from Larne in Northern Ireland. That was a big enough coincidence to start with. Then I find out he also is based in Hong Kong! Then I find out he is also a writer!! He writes about sport! We watched some of the Germany match together before my flight was called. It was on the big screen with Budweiser as sponsor.
15. Conveyor Belt at Baggage Claim, Fortaleza Airport, BRAZIL
I had to make a dash in Fortaleza to get my bag and I almost forgot to collect it as the Iran v. Nigeria match was on the big screen and I watched some of it, before meeting my girlfriend Panny Yu who had arrived earlier than me.
16. J Sun Hostel, Fortaleza, BRAZIL
Straight off the flight and to our cool hostel, the recommended J Sun Hostel in Fortaleza. Over the next 4 days we would watch a LOT of games in here, starting with Ghana 1-2 USA where I had my first beer in Fortaleza for over 3 years.
17. Benirzao Bar, Fortaleza, BRAZIL
On our second day in Fortaleza, it was time for the big match and that meant attending the Brazil v. Mexico game in Fortaleza’s Estadio Castelao!! But first up we headed downtown and then got a bus out to the stadium. The plan was to watch Belgium v. Algeria in a bar. Carried away with the buzz, we only caught the last 20 minutes or so in a bar called Benirzao Bar in Fortaleza, as Belgium came back from 1-0 down to win 2-1.
18. Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza, BRAZIL
Of all the 40 places on this list that I have watched the World Cup, Estadio Castelao is so far of course the undisputed winner!! Yes, we were inside the stadium, we were at the match and I had lived out one of my childhood dreams. It still felt like a dream. We watched Brazil v. Mexico in Group A in amongst Brazil and Mexico fans – apart from the 5 in our group, there wasn’t a non-Brazilian or Mexican about and it was amazing!
19. Bar on Rua Joao Cordeiro, Fortaleza, BRAZIL
After Brazil v. Mexico I headed back into Fortaleza near our hostel and watched the South Korea v. Russia match in a bar on Rua Joao Cordeiro.
20. Boteco Praia, Fortaleza, BRAZIL
The next day my girlfriend and I headed with Dorian from the hostel to watch the big games down at the Fan Fest and in a cool bar by the beach. The Bar Boteco Praia was the venue for the cracking Australia v. Netherlands match which had the Aussies 2-1 up at one point.
21. FIFA Fan Fest, Fortaleza, BRAZIL
OK next up is a venue where we watched about 3-4 of the matches in. The incredible Fan Fests have been all over Brazil for the World Cup. Free entry, cheap beer and great atmosphere. We got photos with fans from a load of different teams too. Spain and Cameroon got knocked out when we were down here.
22. Pinguim Bar, Fortaleza, BRAZIL
We popped into the local bar called Pinguim Bar to watch Colombia 2-1 Ivory Coast. I had an ice cold beer in there.
23. Budweiser Big Screen, Fortaleza Airport, BRAZIL
We had a flight from Fortaleza to Macapa in Brazil on route to French Guyana and after checking in, we could watch some of the Japan v. Greece match live on the Budweiser Big Screen at Fortaleza Airport.
24. Departure Gate 28, Fortaleza Airport, BRAZIL
At half time we had to go through to departures and during the second half we had to board the flight. I still caught about 18 minutes of the second half.
25. Hotel Room, Hotel Mais, Macapa, BRAZIL
We arrived late on into our hotel room in Macapa in Brazil and I watched a full re-run of Uruguay 2-1 England!
26. Equator Museum Centre, Macapa, BRAZIL
This was an awesome one as we headed to cross the Equator by foot, one of the top 4 things to do in Macapa and after getting our photos at the Equator, we headed into the small information centre like a mini museum. When we got in they were showing Costa Rica v. Italy on the TV! However the lady came over and put on a documentary on the Equator for us in English, thinking as tourists we weren’t interested in the football. In the end we watched a few minutes of the football before the Costa Rica match went back on! So yeah we watched Italy v. Costa Rica bang on the Equator!!
27. Hi-Fi Shop, Macapa, BRAZIL
As we travelled round the untouristy city of Macapa we somehow watched the Italy v. Costa Rica match in 3 different places, it was crazy! A Hi Fi store in the centre of town had it on the many TV screens!
28. Gardens Ice Cream Shop, Macapa, BRAZIL
While walking through the city of Macapa I realised Italy were 1-0 down to Costa Rica and wanted to catch the end of the match so we went into the Gardens Ice Cream shop which was showing it. As a bonus they had decent sandwiches and beer.
29. Hotel Mais Reception, Macapa, BRAZIL
We were back at our hotel in time for the France v. Switzerland match and watched the first 3 goals there before having to head to the bus terminal as we aimed to get from Brazil to French Guyana within the next 24 hours.
30. Bus Terminal, Macapa, BRAZIL
We got to the bus terminal to book our bus to Oiapoque and continued to watch some of the France v. Switzerland match in there. It was now 4-0 to France!
31. Unknown Town on Amazon Basin, BRAZIL
Our stop over on route to Oiapoque on a night jeep was an unknown town but I sat down to watch Ecuador beat Honduras 2-1 in there.
32. Breakfast Bar in Oiapoque, BRAZIL
We had breakfast in the town of Oiapoque in Brazil before crossing the border to French Guyana. I was able to catch some highlights on a TV in a bakery!
33. Hotel Central, Cayenne, FRENCH GUYANA
While searching for a place to stay in Cayenne, we first tried the Hotel Central but they wouldn’t budge below a whopping 80 Euros a night for a double room! Before we said Au Revoir, I watched a bit of Messi magic as Argentina squeezed a 1-0 win over Iran.
34. Our Room (Streaming it), Oyasamaid, Cayenne, FRENCH GUYANA
We watched a few matches in our room – 2 of which were on the local French Channel and the rest of which we streamed using Sport Lemon on our laptops.
35. Guesthouse Bar and Restaurant, Oyasamaid, Cayenne, FRENCH GUYANA
The Oyasamaid was a decent Guesthouse bt weirdly nobody there even knew the World Cup was on. I had to pester them to get the match on the screen in the small bar and they had to pay for the stream of it. I also got a free beer so Kudos to them.
36. Suriname Consulate, Cayenne, FRENCH GUYANA
While waiting to collect my Suriname Visa in the Suriname Consulate, they had the Netherlands v. Chile match on live so I watched the first 10 minutes in there before getting my visa and heading to a downtown bar for the rest of the match.
37. Bar Les Palmistes, Cayenne, FRENCH GUYANA
This is a great bar to relax and says it all about the Guyana countries on the Caribbean Coast. Cocktails, ice cold beers and not a care in the world. We watched the rest of Netherlands 2-0 Chile in here.
38. Ballahou Hotel, Kourou, FRENCH GUYANA
Our hotel room had the Italy v. Uruguay match live so we watched it before heading out to see the Space Centre in Kourou.
39. Bar Des Sport, Kourou, FRENCH GUYANA
It was quite incredible the scenes I witnessed in Bar Des Sport in the town of Kourou. What seemed to be the only Sports Bar in town (I stand to be corrected) I turned up towards the end of the two simultaneous matches. Colombia were group winners by this stage, eventually beating Japan 4-1 and getting 9 points. However, Greece v. Ivory Coast was poised at 1-1 with ivory Coast going through, until the referee awarded a ridiculous last minute penalty. In the Bar Des Sport, I witnessed Samaras scoring it to take Greece through and unfairly knock out the Ivory Coast.
40. Tipic Kreols Bar, St. Laurent Du Maroni, FRENCH GUYANA
The 40th bar on this list was one I had aimed to do watch a France match in French Guyana and we made it!! It was a crazy long drive to the border town of St. Laurent Du Maroni (where we ran out of petrol and backtracked). Finally we sat down in a really cool bar run by a friendly French couple. The bar was called Tipic Kreols bar. There was one Ecuadorian in there and the rest were French.
41. Fajalobi, Etienne’s Unique EU Apartments, Paramaribo, SURINAME
It was just amazing that we arrived back into Paramaribo mid afternoon on the day of the final group games. In our car share from Albina was one Algerian guy and they were due to play Russia at 5pm.
After checking into the awesome Guesthouse Amice, we ended up staying in Fajalobi (Hot Love) which is a cool apartment run by Etienne’s Unique in Paramaribo. As soon as we settled into our new place, the football was on and I sat down to watch the last set of group games Algeria v. Russia.