Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Spain V The Netherlands, The Final: The Ultimate World Cup Pub (bar & restaurant) Crawl

By Anthony Lord

So it's over and done with for another four years. And apologies to all those loyal readers out there for only getting the final blog up a couple of days after the final match, but these last 30 days have taken their toll. It's taken me over a day and a half to recover from one of the best sporting experiences of my life.

It's apt that I get to blog about the final of the 2010 World Cup for the Fluid World Cup Pub Crawl seeing that I was the one who kicked off the binge in what seems ages ago, but it was only 11 June. Since then many great venues have been visited, hundreds of pints supped, and many a South African themed snack munched on in the name of 'research'.

As a South African, that opening game for me was a biggie, but alas the The Horatia didn't deliver. In contrast, The Walkabout at Temple was pumping for the final. The story starts three weeks back when my housemate and me ventured out on a Sunday to watch Brazil's final group game. We'd heard the The Walkabout at Temple was popular with Brazilians, and the rumours were right. ‘Twas a good night. That night we met a couple of lovely Spanish ladies, and we partied Brazilian style together. But they reckoned the Spanish can party better. We were sceptical, so agreed to meet up for the Spain's next game. And boy were they right.

Fast forward to the day of the final, and a promise made that if Spain got to the final, we'd watch with our Spanish beauties, wherever they wanted to watch. And guess what, they chose The Walkabout at Temple. We got there after 5.30pm and there was already a queue. But admittedly that's where the party started. The Spaniards in London were up for this, chanting Matadors, vuvuzelas, and even the passing cars hooting.

It was packed in the main bar, so we went to the smaller, second bar. Nice and cool for this heat wave, no waiting at the bar, easy access to the toilets, and to be honest, sure there wasn't the atmosphere as there was in the main bar, but the actual game wasn't much to talk about so where we were was perfect.

When Spain scored, and when the match ended, mayhem erupted. We rushed to the main bar singing songs I didn't understand; I just wanted to join in. After the trophy was handed over we went outside to continue the party. Embankment had come to a standstill; cars struggled to get down the road.

We decided to go have a look at Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly, and I'm glad we did. Both were heaving with jubilant Spanish. Swimming in fountains and climbing up statues, might as well have been in Madrid.

All in all, a great way to end a great tournament. It was also fitting to end Fluid London’s Ultimate World Cup Pub Crawl in what is probably the best venue to watch sport in London. You are always guaranteed enjoying whatever game you are watching with fans from the countries involved. And that is what London is all about.

Bring on Fluid Brazil!

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