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Travel: Father and son with World Cup fever

In celebration of the 2010 World Cup, starting in a couple of days in South Africa, we’re reprinting a travel story from four years ago, when Summit Voice editor and publisher Bob Berwyn and his son, Dylan, enjoyed some first-hand Cup action during a trip through Germany, Austria and France.

Poland and Armenia line up before the start of a Euro 2008 qualifying match. PHOTO COURTESY THE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

By Bob Berwyn

We know we’re about to dive into the midst of World Cup madness even while our plane is still far out over the Atlantic. Instead of telling us about the weather at our destination, the pilot gives updates on the first game of the tournament. When he announces the score of the opener – Germany 4, Costa Rica 2 – most of the passengers cheer, setting the tone for the landing at Frankfurt International Airport.

Soccer fever is running high, and even the normally stone-faced security guards and customs officials crack wide smiles as fans from around the globe throng through the portals. The guy who checks our passports is wearing a Brazil bracelet, and the final inspector waves us through with a big grin and without so much as a glance at my backpack: “Willkommen in Deutschland. Viel Spass!”

Dylan, my 8-year-old son, marvels at the riot of colorful jerseys, T-shirts, flags, hats and balls, and immediately starts calculating how many souvenirs he’ll be able to carry back. I see it as a teachable moment, and I’m hoping that by the end of our trip, he’ll recognize the 32 flags of the countries participating in the tournament and know how to locate them on a map. Continue reading

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