The Great Escape!
As thousands of football fans head to Brazil to experience the FIFA World Cup, millions of others will catch the fever and spend hours glued to their TV screens at home, supporting their favourite teams!
For those that are wholly indifferent to this tournament or “the beautiful game”, it could feel like a very long month indeed. However, it’s not necessary to barricade yourself in the house or blast off to the International Space Station to avoid the deafening roar of mass hysteria and footie-fuelled madness!
The Flexicover Team has picked five possible destinations to escape from the danger of football overrunning the nation with mass hysteria.
See the bears in Canada
You can’t get further from TV than the Canadian wilderness. British Columbia on the west coast is prime bear-watching territory and the province is home to the rare white spirit bear (the Kermode bear), more than half of Canada’s grizzlies and a quarter of its black bears. Right now, bears just out of hibernation – some with cubs in tow – descend from their winter hibernation in the mountains to the beaches and inlets where they feed on salmon, fresh grasses and mussels and clams. If this whets your appetite for viewing wildlife, the area also offers fantastic whale-watching opportunities and you can set out for a close look at orcas, humpback and Pacific grey whales, as well as porpoises, bald eagles and sea lions. All this peace and tranquillity will mean the 5 o’clock kick-off between Belgium and Algeria pales into insignificance!
Travel unplugged in Switzerland
Unfortunately there aren’t that many truly remote areas in Europe as most budget hotels offer Wi-Fi and satellite TV, making it very hard to go totally off the grid. In the heart of the small, well-preserved, medieval village of Commeire in the Swiss Alps, Montagne Alternative offers 'digital detox’ holidays – the accommodation is old farm buildings converted into modern living areas but with no TV and limited Internet access. The aim is to encourage guests to return to a slower pace of life where, rather than charging a device, you can recharge your own batteries. Surrounded by stunning scenery, there are plenty of things to do such as visit local farms and cheesemakers, go hiking or mountain biking and even swimming in the lakes. Imagine a time with no smartphones, no TV, no social media and no football!
Take a walk on the wild side in Botswana
From Cairo to Cape Town, football borders on religion for many African nations; Botswana, however, is an exception. The national team, aptly nicknamed The Zebras, has never progressed to the World Cup finals and the only time they qualified for the African Cup of Nations, they failed to win a single match. Instead head into the wild interior of intertwining deltas and golden grasslands and a different team of superstars awaits you. Chobe National Park is home to the highest concentration of elephants in Africa (estimated at 50,000), as well as being home to huge herds of buffalo and Burchell's zebra plus associated predators. To the west is the famed Okavango Delta, which offers an opportunity to spot black and white rhino, leopards, hippos and even the rare African hunting dog. What this country lacks in footballing prowess, it more than makes up for with its untamed landscapes, dazzling wildlife encounters and perfect African sunsets! Football, what football?
Rum, sun and revolutionary fun in Cuba
Cuba may not be that far from Brazil but it couldn’t be much further from the fever – you’ll be hard pushed to find many footballs being kicked around Havana’s colonial streets. After all, if it isn’t boxing or baseball in Cuba it’s unlikely to pique their interest. Whilst the island still has to deal with the legacies of its politics, today's Cuba is more of a revelation than a revolution. This really is a country of beautiful contradiction – vintage 1950s American cars roar through the historic streets of Havana whilst the immaculate beach resorts have all the modern comforts you’d find in the Mediterranean or other Caribbean destinations. And with 300 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 25°C, you can make this your perfect getaway!
Run for the hills of the Scottish Highlands
It could be argued that there’s nowhere with less interest in England’s efforts this summer than Scotland. And if that’s not reason enough for footballphobes to pack bags this instant, there’s an abundance of stunning scenery north of the border. It’s possible to explore the landscape of cascading waterfalls and endless sweeping moorlands without stumbling upon another soul the whole day. The Highlands also offer a wide range of adventurous outdoor activities from canoeing with a loch as a backdrop to mountain biking down the Nevis Range which has the longest single-track descent in the UK. Then, at the end of the day, visit a nice pub and make friends with the locals or just relax in a remote rented cottage with a nice single malt to enjoy all the peace and quiet that you deserve!
Whether you’re travelling this summer, football or not, we at Flexicover are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away. Safe travels!