A Traveller’s Guide Through The Countries of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Brazil – Christ The Redeemer, Rio
What a glorious, apt setting for a World Cup. The Brazilians have been a leading force in world football for decades, with the skill, flair and outrageous ‘touch’ displayed by the Seleção creating a benchmark for other national teams, and kids in park for that matter to aspire to. Christ the Redeemer kicks off this journey through the landmarks and tourist attractions of this years participating World Cup nations. For many football has come home…
Brazil – Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio Brazil – Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio (source)
Mexico – Chichen Itza, Yucatan Peninsula
Like Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez popping up for a header, Chichen Itza rises from the dense Yucatan jungles as one of Mexico’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s one of the Seven Modern Day Wonders of the world and a fine example Mayan stone masonry.
Croatia – The Walled Fortress Town of Dubrovnik
Is it just me or do the Croatian’s have the best home shirt in the World Cup? Anyway, they also have a little tourist gem of Dubrovnik old town, where sea food restaurants serving octopus salad, delicious Lubin (or sea bream) and black risotto afford visitors splendid views over the azure waters of the Adriatic. George Bernard Shaw once wrote:”Those who search for paradise on earth should come and see Dubrovnik.”
Camerooon – The Climbing of Mount Cameroon
Mongo ma Ndemi (or the Mountain of Greatness) erupted as recently as 2012, situated right on the coast of Cameroon, a 1999 lava flow cut across the main highway and nearly hit the shoreline. A tricky country to pick a main attraction having not visited personally, I’m astonished to read that hundreds of crazy runners scale the 13,000 ft volcano in 4 1/2 hours.
Holland – Tulips & Windmills
We could have quite easily chosen, urban cycling scenes in Amsterdam, strips of cafe’s lining canals, cannabis shops or even the Red Light district but for a stereotypical dutch scene, fields of tulips and a windmill on the horizon screams Holland. Their fans are pretty good at screaming too and their players adept at ‘total football’…dark horses for the trophy – will this finally be their year?
Holland – Windmills on the horizon makes for a good travel shot (source) Holland – Windmills on the horizon makes for a good travel shot (source)
Chile – The High Andes, Llamas and Snow Capped Volcanoes
At nearly 3,000 miles long there’s a lot to see in Chile from the incredibly arid Atacama desert in the north (0.5mm of rain per year) to the wet and often blustery Fjords of the southern lands, Chile is a wonderful choice for a few weeks (or months) of backpacker style exploration. However, the Andes run down the entire spine of the country, hence the photo choice with Parinacota Volcano just one example of a typical Andean scene – it’s very Chile isn’t it?
Spain – Alhambra de Granada
Another country with a plethora of landmarks and tourist attractions and so a difficult choice to select one image. However, as Spain were crowned Kings in South African four years ago, it was fitting to use an image of a Palace of Kings. The Alhambra of Granada in the south has a heavy Moorish influence and makes for a fascinating afternoon stroll around the