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The excitement is beginning to build for next year's World Cup because not only does the massive soccer event attract world-wide spectators, but the 2014 version will happen in a country known for partying: Brazil!
If you're planning to pop down to Brazil to watch a little soccer and partake in a few caipirinhas, travel there may not go as smoothly as you'd hope. Along with some heavy-duty pre-planning, travelers might need to fork over more Reals than originally planned if the Brazilian government doesn't implement the Open-Skies agreement signed in 2010.
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If Wimbledon has inspired you see all of the world's greatest sporting events in person, here's how you can tickets to three of them.
The Masters 2014 will take place at Augusta from Monday, April 7 through Sunday, April 13. The only way to get tickets to the Masters practice rounds and daily tournament is by applying online. You will first have to register for an account and then choose which days you want to attend. But, don't even think about asking for their Pimento Cheese spread recipe.
We’ve heard of some unique ways in which Brazil is preparing for the influx of visitors in advance of next year’s World Cup, and once again they’re putting on their thinking caps when it comes to some creative marketing. Forget the traditional travel apps and the specially designed websites, as this time the tourism folks are going forward in 3D.
No need to brab your glasses for these clips, as Embratur—that’s Brazil’s tourism group—has just shot a whole bunch of 3D-style movies. Their goal is to bring around twelve different destinations to life, as they’re hoping to familiarize everyone with the different spots in which the games will take place.
We understand that 2013 has pretty much just started, but when it comes to planning for something as big as the World Cup it pays to start as early as possible. We’re not surprised that the folks in Brazil have been putting in the overtime to ensure that everything is ready to go before the very first kick-off. What is a little surprising is that the prostitutes are also getting ready as well, but for them it’s all about studying.
Prostitutes want to be prepared for all the tourists heading to the country in little over a year, so they’re signing up for English language courses. After all it’s a little bit easier to negotiate the terms of a deal when you’re both sharing the same way of communication. Prostitution is legal in Brazil—that’s a fun fact—and the advocacy groups are going all in to ensure that the ladies are prepared as possible.
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Just moments ago, two huge announcements hit the world, news that brings major repercussions for tourism, development, media and (of course) money. FIFA revealed the winner countries who will get to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. Russia will host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup. Yo, Qatar Airways and Aeroflot, you can start sketching some new World Cup airplane livery now.
Russia beat out England, Spain-Portugal and Holland-Belgium to win for 2018, while Qatar took top spot for 2022 over the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
Today is a sad day in the soccer world, but also in the crazy animal stunts world, as Paul the Psychic Octopus has passed away. There'll be no more World Cup match predicting for him, but they had planned to retire him from that sort of thing anyways. At first we wondered what is the typical lifespan of an octopus, anyway? Three to four years for his sort, apparently, so in theory we should have all been preparing for this, as he was just over two and a half. His death now ends a great year of tourism for the aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany.
The The Daily Mail got the aquarium to comment:
'He appears to have passed away peacefully during the night, of natural causes, and we are consoled by the knowledge that he enjoyed a good life here,' said Stefan Porwoll, manager of the aquarium in Oberhausen.
Now that this year's World Cup has been over for a couple months, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is getting around to discussing those pesky plastic horns so popular in South Africa, the Vuvuzela. Unfortunately, they aren't liking what they're hearing because UEFA has announced a ban on vuvuzelas in stadiums for all European Championship and Champions League matches.
Prior to the South Africa World Cup, vuvuzelas weren't part of the football (soccer, whichever word) fans cheering aresenal, but then those fans traveled to World Cup, spent some pocket change on the big horns, and decided that practically bursting the ear drums of fans of the opposing team was good fun. Thus, the vuvuzela has migrated north and European games aren't having it.
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Who were those women in veils behind the South African president and other FIFA officials during the World Cup trophy presentation yesterday? Why, they were flight attendants for Emirates Airlines, a major sponsor of the 2010 World Cup who obviously gave enough money to get their girls up in the spotlight.
Following yesterday's final match between Spain and Holland, which Spain won with a single goal during stoppage time, a whole line of these khaki-clad, red-lipped ladies emerged with trays of the player's medals. Asking who they were was a popular question echoed across Twitter, but the answer lay in the big red ad banners for Emirates around the field. They also showed up the day before to present the third place prize to the German team.
Only days after three runners were gored during the famous Pamplona Running of the Bulls, Spain puts a positive sheen back on their country with the 2010 World Cup win. So will Spain see a spike in tourism thanks to La Furia Roja's bringing home the trophy? Yes and no.
Despite the fact that FIFA believes this World Cup final to be the most-watched television event of all time, eclipsing the 2006 World Cup audience estimate of 700 million, a microscopic portion of those will have the resources to travel to Spain. There will be fair-weather fans, yesthose who book a trip to Spain just to share in the triumphant spirit that's sure to last at least the rest of the summer, but we'd like to think that the largest group of tourists coming to Spain in the next year will be those of Spanish heritage, their patriotism having flared up with the World Cup win.
So Spain, prepare to welcome your old friends and family back. Keep the sangria cold.
What do you think? Has Spain's win made you dream of a trip to Madrid or Barcelona?
[Photo: Jaunted; we took a picture of the television]
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Not to put too fine a point on it, but the World Cup makes people across the planet go totally batshit crazy. One of the stranger rituals that's emerged in recent years happens in Germany, where Paul the Octopus plays the modern Oracle at Delphi. The Oracle, of course, was famously consulted by the Greeks before they embarked on the wars that gave birth to and shaped Western civilization. In Paul's case, he's given supplications and asked to predict the outcome of Germany's World Cup matches.
Paul is given food in two separate boxes, where one box has Germany's flag and the other is marked with the flag of Germany's opponent. The box that Paul goes for first is who he predicts to win the match. So far his record this year has been perfect, including predicting Germany's loss to Serbia and win over Argentina. At some point Paul's choices became so eerie that people started insisting, far from the mollusk predicting soccer outcomes, that he was actually influencing who won and lost.
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Can you believe that the World Cup is already almost over? The final game, between The Netherlands and Spain happens this Sunday, and we've scheduled our travels around it, of course.
If you want to do something more with all the energy you spend yelling at the TV, then Holland's tourism board is hosting a contest to test just how devoted you are to the Holland team, and it's actually a fun contest with a great prize. Simple take a photo of yourself showing your Holland Oranje pride and post it to their Facebook page for a chance to win two tickets to Amsterdam. You've got to show them how you "plan on displaying [your] orange spirit for the final match."
Here's some inspiration: we actually own some neon orange Dutch wooden shoes (don't ask) and we'd drive to one of these US cities also named Holland and do some creative posing in front of the town sign. Hopefully you'll come up with a better idea, but that's a start.
You have from now until Tuesday at noon to submit your photos, so Hup, Holland, Hup!
[Photo: VisitHolland's Facebook page]
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You've seen them on TV, the masses of fervent World Cup fans jumping, shouting and waving around scarves of their country when their team takes a win in the 2010 World Cup, but where are they? Obviously the biggest parties in the capitals of the winning countries, and just in case you have the ability to join them, here's where to find the biggest World Cup celebrations today, during the Germany vs. Spain semifinal game:
Party with Germany at: Straße des 17. Juni in the Tiergarten, Berlin
At the base of the Siegessäule monument (a column celebrating victory, naturally) sits a massive stage, where live bands perform and entertain the tens of thousands of Deutschland supporters who pack the entire grand street leading up to it. This is the Straße des 17. Juni, a lovely and impressive thoroughfare that cuts through the center of the city's Tiergarten park. Fans spend their entire day here, arriving early to secure the best spots for watching the huge game screen. When Germany scores, the roar of the crowds here can be heard for quite a ways into the city. Here's a video of the crowds during the Argentina v. Germany game, just to give you an idea of the craziness.