We had already planned to take one of those red, open-top, double-decker sightseeing bus tours, but we were really pleased to discover that there was a stop right outside our guesthouse. Both the red and blue bus routes stopped in front of Winchester Mansions Hotel in Sea Point, which was a very short walk from Olaf's. This was stop 17, the last one before returning to the starting point at the aquarium at V&A Waterfront. You can hop-on and hop-off at any stop and pay the driver for the day when you first get on. It was a beautiful day with no "table cloth" on top of Table Mountain, so that was the main focus for the bus trip on this day. First we got off at the convention center and walked to FIFA's ticket pick-up center, which was super easy.
Then we hopped back on the bus headed for Table Mountain. We had purchased a special combination ticket that included the bus, the Table Mountain cable car, and a pass to the aquarium. I highly recommend doing this (especially if you also intend going to the aquarium) because have the cable car pass already means that you do not have to wait in an incredibly long line just to buy the cable car ticket. You whizz by everyone else and go right to the cable car. The combination ticket was worth it just for that.
Table Mountain Cable Car
The cable car is circular and actually rotates 360 degrees on the way up to the top.
This is important to know so you don't have to worry about fighting to get a good position. You will see every direction on your way up (and back down again). Once on the top of Table Mountain, you get incredible views in every direction. On a clear day you can see the whole of Cape Town, the waterfront, Robben Island, Lions Head and Signal Hill, Camps Bay, Hout Bay, and the rest of the Cape Peninsula all the way to Cape Point.
Lion's Head from Table Mountain
After Table Mountain, we took the bus all the way back to the V&A Waterfront to get back in time to watch the USA-Algeria game.
When got there, a large crowd was getting ready to watch a game on the big screen at the amphitheater, but it was for the England-Slovenia game. We asked around and several security guards and FIFA representatives were unsure of where the US game was being shown. There was another viewing area close by that was also showing the England game. Finally we asked someone in the tourist information center and they gave us rather convoluted instructions to get to a tent that was on top of a parking deck. When we got there (just before game time) there was only about 4 other people (all American) in this giant tent ready to watch the game. A small crowd gradually trickled in, but it was obvious that the US viewing location was way out of the way and not well advertised. It may have been a different story if we had gone to the main Fan Park in the city center.
Fan Park at V&A Waterfront
The tent had a hot food line where I got a boerwors (sausage) roll with sautéed onions and chili sauce.
There was a huge bar that wrapped around two sides of the tents and at least early on, there were more employees than viewers. Picnic tables and plastic wrapped bales of hay were strewn about for watching the game. We turned the hay bales into makeshift sofas and recliners. The most bizarre part of the broadcast was that they never once mentioned the score of the England game, not even at halftime. So we watched the whole game not knowing that the US had to win, which of course they didn't until the very last second. We would have been even more stressed out had we known that England scored so early in their game. But when Landon Donovan put the winning goal in the back of the net, the whole tent erupted! We were jumping up and down on the parking deck, which would have been pretty harrowing sounding for anyone below. We originally had tickets to this game, but we had a problem with the return flight being too early. So we would have either had to leave early and miss the goal or miss our flight and find another way back to Cape Town. I guess it was better to watch it this way, but it would have been a memorable experience to see it live.