September 2023 Wine and Rugby: South Africa v Romania

by | Oct 7, 2023 | International Travel, Travel

Each of the host cities for the Rugby World Cup has a fan zone where you can go to buy merchandise, drinks, and watch rugby with a bunch of other fans on a big screen. Bordeaux’s version was underwhelming. I was expecting the scope of the fan zone pop-up shops in Tokyo, and maybe the one is Paris is much larger, but I was disappointed in the lack of jerseys and other items for sale. We did watch the second half of the Ireland v Tonga match on the big screen on Saturday evening but between the excessive security checks and Eric’s ankles being attacked by biting insects one night here was enough for us.

Sunday was warm and humid with a chance of rain all day. We got seats for the 35 minute tram ride to the stadium but it was a humid journey. Got off into a crowd of people, with lots of South African supporters.

We got through the ticket line just fine but Eric got flagged for his camera and was forced to check it. Super annoying and made worse once we saw other people with similar sized cameras inside AND there was no mention of a camera restriction in the several emails we received or in the official rules. We were told the lens could be used as a projectile so it wasn’t allowed?!? They also took the cap from my water bottle. Weird.

Inside the beer lines were insane and we weren’t feeling it so we just headed to our seats. We ended up in the wrong section at first but quickly got it straightened out. The volunteers were helpful but the signage was not. It took a bit to get past the frustration of the missing camera but the match was an absolute rout so we had a bunch to cheer about.

Overall, we thought the atmosphere inside and outside the stadium wasn’t as jovial as the match in Japan. Not sure if it was the heat or the runaway game (Boks had an extra point within twenty minutes). Also, the penalties weren’t displayed on the screen and we couldn’t hear the ref, so it was a bit hard to tell what was going on on the other side of the field.

The ride back was sweaty, standing with a bunch of people, but at least we didn’t have to wait very long for a tram.

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Madrid, Spain (Mar)
Valencia, Spain (Mar+Apr)
Palma, Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)
Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)