Football Match

Trip Start Jun 06, 2009
Trip End Aug 31, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, August 22, 2009

I arrived to Manchester after a grueling 1-hour bus ride from Liverpool.  I found my hostel which was a sister hostel of the one in Liverpool.  As I was sitting in the tv lounge of my new hostel eating my lunch, a British guy from London approached me and we started talking.  Well, tried to talk.  I think this guy took the cake with his British accent.  I kept having him repeat what he was saying because I just couldn't understand him.  Half of what he was saying I just nodded my head because I didn't want him to feel bad.  And it just seemed easier that way.  Not to hate on him but he was a really nice guy but dam.  Maybe I'm being an arrogant American.  Or maybe I have a hearing problem.  Who knows?  I walked around a bit in the city because the game wouldn't start until 3pm.  I asked the staff what colors not to wear to the game because I would hate to roll in their with the opposing teams color on.  I walked about 20 minutes to the stadium because it was just outside of the city.  As I was walking, you could just see a sea of light blue colored shirts.  Which is the home team colors.  I had a little debacle picking up my tickets because the guys that had "Event Staff" jackets on didn't seem to know where to pick up tickets at.  I finally picked it up and made my way to the seat.  I was in the southwest corner of the field but had a pretty decent view I think.  The stadium is new I was told and it looked pretty nice.  The game was Manchester City vs Wolves.  Not sure where the Wolves were from but I think they were a smaller team.  I think soccer here is different from pro-leagues back home.  They have different levels of teams here.  Like baseball with majors and the levels of minor league teams.  The only difference is that the majors end up playing a lot of minor league teams during the season.  And the minor league teams can work their way up and make the top level somehow.  But there is a reason the same few teams win the Championship year after year.  They spend the big bucks and get the big stars.  Thats the way I understand it though.  The game was sold-out and packed with light blue colored shirts.  Except for a small section starting from the field and going up to the nose-bleed section of orange shirts.  Orange was the opposing team colors.  The funny thing is, all of the orange section was lined from top to bottom with security personnel on both sides of them.  I'm guessing they were the die-hard fans.  I think if there was an orange shirt that wasn't in that protective zone, you would be ejected from the stadium because they didn't want to incite any problems.  I assume it all leads back to the glory days of the football hooligans.  It probably goes that way for all the other football clubs too.  The game itself was pretty good.  The home-team won the game 1-0 which is always more fun.  But I think they were the top-level team and the Wolves just a minor league team.  Note: You can't bring and food or drinks into the seating areas.  So there is no guys selling food or whatever in the aisles.  After the game, I was walking out and noticed all the orange shirt guys exiting the stadium through their own exit.  Surrounded by a fence and a bunch of police.  Some with riot gear, some on horses.  A lot of them boarded buses but some just walked out into the sea of blue with no problem. 

It was now decision time again for me.  Since time is dwindling for me, I am trying to use my time wisely.  I was told that Edinburgh Scotland is really incredible and only four hours by train from Liverpool.  So I had a plan to arrive there by mid-day and walk about the city and see the best of the best.  Then the following day take a 8 or 10 hour bus ride around Scotland and see all Highlands.  Then take an overnighter to London and arrive fresh and ready to go in the morning.  There is only one problem.  It is crazy expensive to travel by rail here.  1 =$1.65  So when I think I'm doing okay on spending money, I am actually spending a lot more.  So I did the math and just taking the trains there and down south to London, would be about $200.  Since my spend free ways have already drained my bank account, I decided against it. 

So I just looked on a map of the UK, and decided upon Oxford.  It's on the way to London and is supposed to be beautiful.  By going to Oxford for only one night, it would give me another day in London and I could do day-trips from there if I wanted too.  Like Stonehenge. 
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