Sunday, June 18, 2006

world cup holiday

So since my last post I have driven almost 1,800 miles in my little fiesta. It has been great and we all had a good time, with the weather being absolutely superb throughout. The journey started early on saturday morning from chris' house in hemel hempstead, taking an early ferry from dover. It was just like travelling on a duck pond, and the sky was a lovely blue, so nice that we spent the journey sat out on the deck. A little nervous about travelling on the opposite side of the road to wat I am normally used to, but it was with ease that I made the transition as we headed to our first campsite just outside calais. It was a great campsite, with really friendly and accommodating staff, who I could communicate well with my pidgin gsce french, even asking if they would be showing the football, to be shown into the bar and greeted with a huge plasma screen. The england game vs paraguay was ok, at least we got the win that was required, despite a relatively poor performance. Another early start on the sunday saw us leave at 6am, and travelling across france and into germany near saarbruke to campingplatz clausensee, a six hour journey, that was a comfortable ride, though expensive on the toll roads. This campsite was our favourite, and it was a shame that I never paid attention in german lessons that we had to rely on the staff's english to communicate. Even chris, our most highly decorated german speaker, having at least a gsce, would usually speak in english when his services were called upon, much to our amusement. Not only did this camp site have a huge plasma screen for our football televisual delights in the air conditioned restaurant, they were also serving bitburger, a beer, in special glasses. These glasses came with an embossed shirt number, and should a player with corresponding shirt score in the match whilst you were drinking, then you got the beer for free. Adding an extra bit of excitement to the games in which we were just neutral viewers, and also enabling us to become familiar with a number of players. The great Golmohammadi being a fave of mine as this number 4 shirt wearing Iranian defender was the first to react in a crowded six yard box to convert a loose ball after a corner against mexico. The site was also close to Kaiserslauten, host of one of the tournament stadiums, and it turned out that australia were playing japan at the stadium on our free day. The camp site had put on a coach that we took to the town, and enjoyed the atmosphere in the fanplatz. There was a real carnival atmosphere, with local radio dj comparing various warm up acts pre and mid game. Including a set of football tricksters from japan, demonstrating incredible ball skill and balance, and at half time some scantily clad pop duo causing great adulation from the mainly male viewers. The aussies went wild after the dramatic turnaround of a 1-0 deficit to a 3-1 victory, with huge amounts of dancing and singing to aussis songs post match, including some AC/DC!

Three nights were then spent in ingolstadt at the azur campsite that we termed the mosquito dump after being bitten all over whilst watching the brazil match in the tv marquee. This campsite was chosen mainly due to it's location which we used to travel by train to munich and nurnberg. In munich we watched the tunisia vs saudi match live in the stadium with the tickets procurred earlier this year. There was a great atmosphere, and the stadium really is quite magnificent, both from outside and within. Situated on the second tier above the goal, we felt close to the action and a great vantage point for three of the goals. Dissapointingly the saudi's conceded a late goal, as that was the team I had picked to cheer. They had such a great chance fora victory.

In Nurnberg we took enjoyed the atmosphere from within the fanplatz, which was fairly tense throughout the match, and the crouch goal seemed to have more of a sense of relief then celebration, though I was able to complete a bit of a crouch robot dance.

A last night in campingplatz clausensee, broke up our journey and it was nice to see the familiar friendly faces, before setting off for the final leg back to england on saturday. Of course leaving time to watch the matches on tv. There are plenty of pics in my flickr set. Spending a week in europe watching football and enjoying temperatures in the 30s, what a great time.


Phil Goodacre said...

sounds like you had a good time - alas i've had to make do with watching too much football on the telly....oh well.

chesterfield have signed a new player - paul walch - formerly of sheff utd. apparently he's quite good, so says a sheff utd fan at church.

just think, when the world cup is over, it won't be long till the start of the season, and there are rumours of a pre-season friendly match against aston villa at saltergate.....

if you fancy going to a match or two sometime this season let me know.


Phil Goodacre said...

re: chesterfield's new player, that should have read paul shaw, not paul walch. not sure where i got that name from.....

moog said...

i think paul walsh played for liverpool, so says this wikipedia link anyways!

I'll let u know about the matches, I usually get along to at least one friendly