In The Shadow Of The Valley of Death

Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Germany  ,
Saturday, June 10, 2006

Quote of the Moment...

"No blades, no bows, leave your weapons here... No blades, no bows, leave your weapons here" - Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.... If you've seen it you know what I mean.

Well People, we made it. We only had to spend all day on trains yesterday to get here on time so it was fine. All the trains are full of Europeans... The train back from Stockholm was crammed full of hordes of Swedish lovelies, which was of course great. And, strangely, the train we took actually boarded the ferry. Not really essential that I point this out, but it was pretty weird. A train. Actually boarded a ferry.

Anyway. If there's one thing the English do with aplomb then it's get painted up, liqoured up, show the colours and behave like complete twats, and so far we haven't let ourselves down. Frankfurt is like nothing else. Germany's 'victory' against Costa Rica meant that spirits were high and to be fair most of the England fans were behaving well, offering congratulations and the like.... For a bit.

By the time it got dark I'm afraid to say the streets were ours. Frankfurt has done a cracking job - from the giant floating big screen (see photo) to the hundreds of coppers everywhere looking quite friendly. There's a fairground, stalls, beer tents, five a side football pitchs 'recreating' the atmosphere of international games... the lot.

One of the main squares became the England Headquarters, and pretty soon there were a hundred or so England fans surounded by a police line four coppers thick giving their best rendition of every football song, anthem and chant they could to anyone who wanted, or didn't want, to hear. We were actually stood on the German side of the 'Sing Off', but as we weren't wearing the colours it really didn't matter.

After midnight it became a litle more hectic as now everybody in Frankfurt was singing, and none of us could remember the words or the tune. We had met up with some boys from our local back home and things had got a little alcoholic. We had been drinking German Pints, which are litres, and it doesn't take many to convince you that, although you love everyone very much, the one you love the most is this guy, this guy is the best, this guy from Germany... Mexico? Whatever.

We went back to the train station via a kebab as we had left our bags in six hour short stay lockers and were worried about them opening. The main lugage room was closed for the weekend, which was rather annoying, so we had to get back before 2AM to stick another couple of Euros in the meter.

That bought us six hours, so, with nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, we curled up on the stone floor and went to sleep.

When we woke up five hours later we were strangely free of aches and pains. Necks were fine, backs were fine, nobody had urinated on us which is always a plus.... Cracking hangover though.

Vinny went off to brush his teeth in the toilets while I looked for some Nurofen. Then soething a little strange happened. I was about to open the locker and close it again, giving us six more hours, when the meter flipped over to two Euros. In retrospect it was obvious, but after six hours the lockers didn't open, they just aded two Euros to your bill. We felt a little stupid, as we had been offered a hotel room floor by our chums and had refused, prefering to sleep rough in a train station.... But it's all a learning curve.

So there we have it. Our bags are now safe, and will be until tommorow when we go and pick them up. Kick off is in four hours, the sun is shining, and soon we've got to move down to the river bank - the authorities aer only letting the first 15,000 people in, and we very much want to be where the action is.

So all this is just an introuction really. It's fantastic being here, and if there has been any serious bother so far then we certainly haven't seen it.

It all begins today...
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