The best word to describe the match? Terrifying!
Trip Start Aug 23, 2009
12Trip End Sep 02, 2009
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At about 5.00pm we set off on our walk to the stadium. We had to walk, the tram would have made us too impatient just sitting there, waiting to arrive
We had already discovered that the easyjet flight of the day was delayed at Gatwick, and anyone on the flight would be lucky to get to the stadium by kick off. The Stoneys were on the flight, and the Whites had cancelled their seats and hotel booking because of the massive delay (about 6 hours or so in total).
We reached the stadium at 6.55pm and Jo gave us our tickets. There was an excited feel about the group - we were a larger group this time, with more people having travelled out for a long weekend or a week's holiday for the football. Everyone seemed really up for the game, and we weren't going to let the girls down on the stands. We were just beginning to have a look around at who was there and who we were still waiting for when Bob turned up asking if we had sorted out any travel for him yet. We had been there a whole 5 minutes, about 3 of those had been chatting to Jo to get our tickets
So, the match itself. To be honest, I can't remember much of it! We all went through just about every possible emotional combination you can imagine! We need to watch the match back to properly remember it all. We do remember the Ukraine team sitting in the block next to us and continually cheering on the Russians. Isn't that a little like the Scottish supporting England!? (Mike, Pete and Richard decided there was banter to be had and so during the half time they crashed their pictures, the Ukraines were laughing with them and didn't object too much when they sat in the middle of the squad halfway through the second half. When the steward asked if Mike and co were bothering them they laughed and said yes, so back the banter boys came. It turned into a shouting match on the stands, I think we all know who won that
We went back to the players' hotel after the game. The mood in the camp was a lot higher than the last time. The players didn't seem wholly satisfied with how they played, but were very happy with the result. They said that they made it harder than they needed to, but came together well as a team to bring the scoreline back to a winning one.
It was Kaz's 50th cap for the match, so scoring made it a special one for her, and for Mick and Marie who were very proud of her (as usual).
We shared a taxi with the Carneys back into the centre, dropping them off at their hotel on the way. It was only later last night (that being Saturday night) in a bar that we learned that the trains run all night. It could have been a cheaper journey home, but at least it wasn't as long as the last journey back from the girls' hotel
Yesterday we went for a walk round the western part of the city. As usual we started walking through the Esplanade (it's the most interesting road off our island), we came across Blues News, a blues festival going on on the bandstand so we had a listen, then we came across a man and his puppets, and finally a clown on a bin. That was our first 5 minutes of our walk!
Our plan was to find the mainland swimming beach (as we had been told it was lovely over there), then head over to the stadium via Sibelius' monument and maybe the church in the rock. We took a slightly longer route than we needed (darn the new buildings and roads that aren't on the map!) and found ourselves back on the coast where we started our walk of the southern coast. So we walked north this time instead of south, past what looked like the office centre of Helsinki and then past a few giant graveyards before getting to the coastal point we had wanted to start from. We stopped for lunch at Regatta Cafe and watched a ball game played in canoes, involving 1 ball, 2 high goals, a bunch of blokes in canoes, 2 refs and a lot of splashing. We have no idea what the game was, but it looked fun. If anyone can shed some light then answers on a postcard please! By this point it was coming up to 4pm and we wanted to watch the Finns' last group game against the Ukraines so we headed off to the stadium, stumbling onto the Sibelius monument as we went
What a dull match it was. It probably didn't help that we were both still exhausted from the night before, but it certainly wasn't anywhere near as exciting as our game! The Ukraines won 1-0. They celebrated well for a team who had just crashed out of the Euros! Dinner was at Chico's (where we met up with half the gang the night before). Massive burgers and chips were enjoyed by us both. Then it was off the The Fellowes Bar (next door!) to meet up with Mike and the Carneys for a drink or two. We all headed into the centre and had a few more in the Sports Academy bar before heading home just after midnight (another non-early night in our holiday). It was a great evening, just relaxing and laughing with friends. We're all meeting up in a couple of hours to watch the France Norway game this afternoon. It should be a good match as it's the fight for 2nd place in their group. We'll more than likely be heading off to a bar after the game.
Might make a new entry later on, it all depends what time we get in really! No blog tomorrow, we're meeting at 3.30pm at the Holiday Inn for another coach journey to the England game against Sweden. Win it and we can win the group! (Honest, it's true!). So it's going to be a late one (for a change!).
Sing your hearts out for the girls tomorrow!
Sam & Lisa x