Friday, July 02, 2010
Sydney turns orange with real Holland House
Tens of thousands of football fans follow the World Cup on a giant screen floating in
Darling Harbour in Sydney. PHOTO SYDNEYFIFAFANFEST.COM
FLYING DUTCHMAN KANKA - Sydney together with Paris, Rome, Berlin, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, is allowed to call itself the official host of the International FIFI Fan Fest.
These cities have been appointed by FIFA to organise this football fest, accessible to the fans free of charge. Four giant screens, of which three floating, show all 64 WC matches in live broadcasts.
The place where all this takes place, is Darling Harbour, one of the best known and most beautiful tourist attractions of Sydney. Superb hotels, numerous restaurants and bars located on the water create a beautiful setting and a good atmosphere.
Due to the time difference with South Africa, most games are broadcast in the middle of the night. Despite this late time, the cold and the rain, most group matches are well attended. The games of the Socceroos drew tens of thousands of football fans to this great and well organized soccer festival.
The atmosphere is good but since the Socceroos did not survive the first round, the Dutch should now take care of a unique World Cup atmosphere. And they will certainly succeed (see video below). For the Dutch living in Sydney, Dutchtown organized a real Holland House. This is a derivative of the famous Heineken House. One of the bars, right next to the floating screens in Darling Harbour has been transformed into a real Dutch cafe.
At the entrance a Dutch "dweilorkest" (small band of three to four members) immediately draws the attention of passing people who look up in surprise and then try to catch a glimpse of all the weird, orange-dressed, Holland supporters. Most Dutchmen do like to party, thus well before the start of the matches of the Dutch team the Holland House is already running full. An 'Orange' wave of Dutch music, bitterballen (Dutch snack), croquettes and of course Dutch beer engulfs you and adds to a fantastic atmosphere.
The first three matches of the Dutch national team and their 'last-16' match were won, so on to the quarter final where they will meet with Brazil today. The present Holland House, with room for 450 fans, has proven too small so that the pub next door will soon be 'overtaken' and will also "turn orange".