Moses Mabhida Stadium
We had an early flight from Cape Town to Durban where we landed in the brand-spanking new King Shaka airport. This airport is a long ride north of the city, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. They were offering a shuttle bus to city center/beach front, but that was probably only there for the World Cup. The bus dropped us off at the transfer station right where the FIFA Fan Park was located on the beach. There were three "people mover" bus routes that you could take: south to uShaka Marine World, west to downtown, and north to Suncoast Casino and Moses Mabhida Stadium. The people movers were very cheap. You could buy single ride tickets or all day tickets.
We first took the southern bus to uShaka Marine World. There are many shops, restaurants, and entertainers that you can enjoy without ever purchasing an entry ticket into the Sea World or Wet 'n' Wild water park parts of uShaka Marine World. We walked through this area and grabbed brunch at Caffe Java. Then we took a stroll on the beach to dip our toes in the Indian Ocean. It was a very warm day with an intense sun, but the water was still cold. It was still winter after all. Then we walked on a pier where you get a good vantage point of several amazing sand sculptures that locals had made. They ranged from intricate castles to lifelike animals and people.
uShaka Marine World
Then we decided to enter uShaka Sea World.
Though small in area, Sea World has two pool stadiums and a large ship that serves as a sprawling aquarium with each room designed to imitate various shipwrecks. One room was even designed upside down to emulate a capsized ship. They have a snorkeling area and you can cage dive into the shark tank. We also saw seal and dolphin shows while we were there.
Then we took the bus back to the transfer center and picked up the western bus to go downtown. That was a major waste of time as the traffic was horrible and there wasn't much to see other than the very crowded city market. We also ended up getting left at a bus stop for quite a long time as we tried to switch buses to get going to the stadium for fear we would be late.
We eventually got on another bus that was crammed with people and then had to make another transfer to get on the northern bus. They were playing the national anthems when we walked into the stadium, so we didn't miss any of the game.
On paper, this game between Brazil and Portugal was the most attractive match-up during the group stage. Unfortunately Brazil had already clinched and Portugal was almost a lock due to a 7-0 victory over North Korea, so they didn't have much to play for other than pride. The atmosphere was electric with the passionate fans from both sides. We sat pretty close to a Brazilian drum band. The vuvuzelas were not as bad as they were in Cape Town because we were closer to the field and Moses Mabhida Stadium's roof is very open.
The stadium is one of the most impressive I have ever seen. There was some quality play in the first half, but there were also 7 yellow cards, so the second half was played with a lot of caution and the game ended up a scoreless tie. The fans booed at the end of the game to show their disappointment. Cristiano Ronaldo looked lazy for much of the game and annoyed when his teammates didn't get him the ball exactly where and when he wanted it.
uShaka Sea World
The transportation logistics after the game was total chaos. Despite getting on the very first people mover after the game ended, it took us a couple of hours to get to the airport. They did not block off major roads like they did in Cape Town, so both sides of the street were clogged with both stadium and normal city traffic.
The most ridiculous part was that the people mover had to go south to the transfer station while the airport was north. So after we transferred to the airport shuttle, we had to go back through the stadium traffic again. In fact, we were eventually passed on the highway by the police escorted Portugal team bus. That means they finished the game, took their showers and gave interviews and still beat us to the airport. Still it was a beautiful and warm day and worth the trip.