Arrived meeting Christas mom and dad who spoke very good English, and straight on the beer in the garden. Brothers Volker and Heiko (friends of Harrys) arrived. When it got chilly we went into a large shed which had a wood burning stove which was lit and we all sat round. Lots of laughter and conversation fortunately mostly in English for my benefit. Went to see Christas dads Alpina BMW (limited edition which he'd done 160mph in) and then a bar got mentioned. We went into the basement and there was a fully functioning bar and pool table with space for 40. We stood at the bar drinking schnapps till 3 in the morning with Christas dad telling me about his escape from the Ukraine to Kiel at the end of the war.
Sat 24 June
Got woken up by Harry at 9 downstairs for a fantastic breakfast and lots of orange juice
. Caught the train into Kiel where there was a party atmosphere. I was wearing my England top and shook hands with some German fans, one saying its time to make friends. Christas dad showed me where he'd slept in the railway station on his arrival after the war. Kiel is a large port so we went to have a look at the huge passenger ferries that go to Scandinavia. Lots of stalls from different nationalities about so we went for a German beer in the German stall, Czech in the Czech, Belgian in the Belgian but not a Newcastle Brown Ale in the British stall. Lots of jokes about the toilets being the Britsh stall. Next onto a micro brewery stall where we met a man worse for wear. Then Harry, Heiko, Volker, Christas dad and myself headed off to the BMW area where Heiko (Mr BMW) had arranged free entry into a free beer and food area with his members card. BMW sponsored entry into the Americas cup was on display as was all the BMW fleet. Had a few drinks and some excellent food then back to meet up with Christa, her mom, Alexa and Rudi at another micro brewery where Christa had brought me and Harry a t-shirt. Next down the seafront where there is 6k of shops and bars. Went for a caparinia, feeling quite sosled. On down the seafront where Heiko drew my attention to footballs coming home playing in an open air bar. I went straight in and started dancing with a load of Germans. A schnapps with a marinated date in arrived from one of them, then another and another...Ouch. You had to pick the date up with a cocktail stick bang it with everyone elses then down the schnapps
. They then took me to the TV screen where it was rammed and we all sang the German national anthem, yes I'm sorry to say even me. It was so rammed we couldn't see anything so we had to listened to game and drink. That was OK for me who was out of control, but for the rest of our party who wanted to watch the game it was a bad situation. Harry went to find another screen but to no avail. I bought lots of schnapps shots and beer for the Germans in congratulation. This off duty policeman (who had already warned it maybe dangerous in an England top) wanted to swap shirts, but I said no because my friend had brought it. Eventually after the game he'd asked so many times and I was so smashed we swapped. He got my shirt, I got his shirt, necklace, local football woven thing and his German sock (a present from a girl). Lots of women about enjoying the fun and Volker pulled. Then there was a split. Christa and Heiko wanted to stay. Volker had gone off with his new girlfriend. Harry, Rudi and myself decided to move on. The rest is a bit vague but it goes something like...Vast crowds of people in party mode, I lost the local football woven thing straight away, found a German flag putting it in peoples face and singing go west bromwich albion. I was so drunk I had to be supported by Harry and Rudi who cut his hand when I staggered into a sign. We went for a drink near the railway station siting on the same table as this couple. I managed to swap shirts with the bloke, so now I had a German shirt and gave him my shirt, necklace and flag
. Harry was trying to meet up with the others but it was so noisy we had to go into a park where we found a young Russian sailor with 6 carrier bags full of booze. He thought we were going to rob him as I guess I looked a little menacing. Finally got hold of Volker who was round the other side of the harbour. The only way to get there was across a footbridge which the police were only allowing traffic from the other direction. Harry had a big argument with police but with Rudi calming the situation we walked to another bridge. On the way Rudi brought 12 vodka shots in bottles for a free baseball cap. Volker and new girlfriend turned up but they didn't stay long so we were chatting to some Iranian Germans and I apparently spoke to a Croation barmaid. Managed to get taxi home in all the carnage and straight to bed fully clothed.
Sun 25 June
Woke up a 9 from the pain of an empty vodka shot bottle in my trouser pocket. Fantastic Brecky again and when everybody came down we found that Christa, Heiko and myself had all lost our sunglasses. Christas father game me some taster glasses from Friburg where my mother and father had stayed for a year after they got married.