Franfurt and koblenz
Another cracker of a trip. I was not feeling at all well. Not sure if the others realised how bad i was but glad I went as I had already missed a previous trip with a similar illness. The group dynamics were at their highest level and we had a very very funny and illuminating few days. I don't think I've laughed so much (thru the pain) on any other trip. I probabably drank more than usual and seperately from the guys (behind the scenes, during the games I must admit) but put these despicable acts down to medicinal reasons and not potenial alchoholism. I think I will inform my doctors of the health-enhancing benefits of "Shofferhofer" beer toute-suite". It made me walk briskly when i was previously barely hobbling.. A miracle. We also ate in some of the most consitant and higher quality restaurants that I certainly have come across on tour, breakfast lunch and dinner. Stangely most restaurants were Italian ! Weird. But see also pre-game al-fresco lunch.
Interesting point of order, thirsty beer drinking football fans. After 20 mins of the Frankfurt match i fancied a beer so went down to the bar. Couldn't pay cash for a drink ! ! ! I had to go find a seperate cash-convertor/vendor and load up a BEER VOUCHER credit card with euros to take back to the bar. The bar maid was very apologetic as she could see i was desperate for a pint of Schofferhoffer. Anyway eventually got sorted and bless her she came and chatted to me during her break. Credit card great for the owners but limits tips for the staff. There you go., thats big business for you. Oh yeah, on the way to the match on the tram we started speaking to a Turkish Frankfurt fan who pointed us in the right direction to q up for Away ticket returns and the lay of the land. He went off and got a beer and so did Baz and Col. Queuing up for ticktets 3 hours before the match with a pint. Excellent. As usual we met up with some other ground hoppers from the UK and then we spent 45 minutes in the food court (OK under the railway bridge) Eating fabulous German Sausage and having a few more beers (three I think). So two more beers duing the match and I was flying. It turned into a tame 1-1 draw but the atmosphere was brilliant and the toilets stunning. Compare and contrast with the Hadjuk Split game and facilities ( I still have nightmares about those toilets and the incessant fire crackers (mini bombs more like). Again compare and contrast with the welcome and treatment we got from the guys At second division Solin( They were fantastic by the way ! ! !)
Koblenz was a beautiful but v short flying visit. Thanks Baz for several hours of driving by the way. Fabulous setting for a footfball ground. Parking limited. We parked at the railway station and taxied in. As mentioned elsewhere Shefki Kuki was playing. We slotted this game in just in case we couldn't get into the "sold-out" Frankfurt match on the Sunday.