Rugby World Cup Opening CeremonySeptember 11th, 2011 | Posted by in Ramble
New Zealand is lucky enough to be host to the Rugby World Cup 2011. It’s the first time since 1987 (which as the wonderful Courtenay has pointed out to me is the last time we won it) that we have hosted this tournament and the country is going wild about it. The opening ceremony was on Friday night with the main festivities being in Auckland City and Eden Park. I understand that around the rest of the country there were also organised celebrations, but I was quite glad to live in Auckland for this event. I headed into Auckland just after midday.
Caught the ferry in from Half Moon Bay with Matthew. Wow was it busy, I had to park quite a distance away, pack up the buggy and walk at quite a fast pace to get to the ferry on time. Luckily the ferry was running continuous services on the day so I didn’t need to rush so much, but I didn’t realise this at the time. It would have been nice to go up to the top half of the ferry, but as it was just me and Matthew and our stuff I didn’t really feel I could manage all of it, so we just hung out down on the ground floor.
I couldn’t believe the crowds when we got into town. The festivities didn’t officially start until 3ish or so, but it was party central already. There was just a sea of colours, black (colour of the All Blacks) being the primary outfit of choice but there was also a lot support for the other teams. I met up with Mum and we went and had lunch in the PWC building which was pleasantly quiet inside considering how close we were to the crowds. After a bit of shopping and me taking photos of things, we went and caught up with Dad. I transferred Matthew into the moby wrap as I wasn’t silly enough to try take the buggy into those crowds, and we headed back out. We wandered down to the viaduct to see the wakas come in, but as we didn’t camp out for an hour before hand we couldn’t really see them. Some people were recording it on their cameras so we watched the wakas come in on the camera. We
felt herded like cattle wandered around for a bit in the crowds but at one point there were just too many people stopped and we just weren’t going anywhere.
Unfortunately this was also the point Matthew decided that he was hungry and tired and it was uncontrollable. So I did the only thing I could, I pulled out a boob and while he was still in the moby he latched on like no-ones business and ate like i’d been starving him. There was no where to sit and we were trying to get out of the stopped crowd at the time, so I was feeling a bit self conscious of this (most of everything was covered though) but I had quite a few people give me smiles and comments such as ‘good on you’ and ‘so sweet’ which made me feel a lot better about it.
Once we got a breath of fresh air we made our way back to Dads office. Some of the senior management, which dad is a part of, were having a bbq on the roof of his building so we decided to leave the crowds for the day. It was a great view, over the water and the waterfront. The bbq was great, lots of good food, chips, dip, steak, sausages and lollies, probably for the kids originally though the adults got into them pretty well.
We kind of watched the opening ceremony as we could roughly see and hear one of the big screens at the viaduct, but everyone was chatting anyway so I was glad we were recording it at home. The fireworks were amazing however. We had been debating as to where they would be let off, but as it turned out they were let off both in front of us and the buildings surrounding us. It was just fantastic.
It was a great night out. Around 200,000 people packed into Auckland City with another 60,000 at Eden Park. Defiantly a one of a kind night.