Attending the 2006 World Cup in Germany
In 2006 my friend and I arrived in Paris. After getting punch drunk the first night and running all the way from Champs Elysees to Montmartre, we found our way to the train station next morn. The train was bound towards Frankfurt, Germany, the site of one of the stadiums for the World Cup soccer championship.
Photo: Czech vs. Ghana game. Wikipedia.com/ Creative Commons/ Author: Koky
Just like this year’s tournament in Russia, the 2006 World Cup featured many nations. The train toward Frankfurt was filled with loud Australians, quiet Japanese, and a few red shirt –wearing Korean fans. There were no people on the train from Togo.
The first game we watched was Japan and Australia in nearby Kaiserslautern. Australia won and it was one big freakin’ party until the gold and greens didn’t win another game. Being in the same group as Brazil and Italy will do that to you. Japan did not fare any better.
The Frankfurt stadium. Wikipedia.com / Creative Commons / Author: vasyatka1
The second game we saw was Togo vs. Korea. The weather was very humid and I recall sweating profusely, stopping at a department store to purchase sandals. It was much like a home game for Korea, lots of red in the stands, since few fans from Togo could afford to travel. Some of the European fans were nice enough to come in Togo jerseys to the game.
Around Europe that summer, there were big screens set up in squares in many cities and towns. There was an atmosphere of energy and fun. I was wearing a Germany shirt and got many honks from car horns along the roads in Germany and Austria that summer.
The tickets were very expensive, but it was an experience I will not ever forget.
Viewing party in Berlin. Flickr.com / Creative Commons / Author: look-closer. At other public viewing screens the scene was much like this.