World Cup reflections from Brazil

AFTER a little more than two weeks the time has come for us to leave Salvador. The memories we have created here will last forever. The city has been awash with colour and the spectacularly redeveloped stadium Fonte nova has played host to some of the most entertaining matches of the World Cup.

It began with the unceremonious dethroning of defending champion Spain at the hands of a ruthless Holland outfit in a 5-1 thrashing nobody saw coming. This was followed up by four more goals as the Germans cruised past Cristiano Ronaldos Portugal. The Swiss came and were conquered by a French blitz in a 5-2 goal fest and it was finished off with a surprisingly entertaining 3-1 victory for Bosnia over Iran.

What became evident was that the victorious supporters took over the city each night following á match. First it was the oranje of the Dutch, then the white of the Germans followed by les bleu.

For those four nights the city became an international flavour, but in between the samba beat of the Bahian people controlled the flow with the smooth rhythmic African beats certainly to the liking of our own African expat Dom Swinton.

For all its reputation as a dangerous and unforgiving city, Salvador was a true pleasure - friendly people, all loving the opportunity to "rise as one" and show exactly what their city is about.