lørdag 3. november 2012

Euro 2012, Poznan - Poland

Euro 2012 was hosted by Poland and Ukrain in June, and of course we had to go there! The sensation of all sensations........... Ireland had qualifyed, no Norway didn't, still waiting for that day to happen.  However, that is four days of mayham I will never forget. 

All the rumours are true, Irish people are crazy, in a good way though, they party like there is no tomorrow and that made Poznan be on fire for a whole week.  

The day we arrived we went straight into the city centre to check out the "night life". Poland was playing that day and we would not like to miss out on that. When we booked this trip there was absolutely no hotels in the city centre so we had to book a hotel about 30 minutes outside of it. It said that there was a train station there so we would have no problems getting into town, or so we thought. The first night we decided to take a taxi from the hotel, and that turned out to be a little bit more complicated that what we had thought. First we had to wait for 30 minutes for the taxi then it took us 30 min to get to the city, and it was expensive! However, well worth it when we saw all the people out in the streets having fun and watching football.

I guess the majority of the people in this town was Irish and the rest was Polish, and that turned out to be a great combination. They were cheering for each other and having great fun together. As far as we could see, no trouble, no fighting or anything like that. It was just fun! 

The first evening we just went to the square where everybody had gathered for the Poland - Czech Republic match (which ended with 1-0 victory to Czech Rep.) and just stayed there for a few hours and watched all the crazyness. We just loved it and was a bit sad we could not stay in the city centre all the time. This was going to be some memorable days. 

I was also amazed how beautiful the old town of Poznan is, the buildings are really stunning and it feels a little bit like walking around in a totally different century. Too bad this trip was nothing about history or culture, just the culture of football.......................

Another thing I learned about Poland the first night I was there, it is just like Norway when it comes to the weather. One minute it is a nice summer breeze, little hot and clear skys and the next it is poring down so hard you can't even put your head outside without getting soaking wet. Luckily this weather just lasted for about 30 minutes.

The next day we were up for going into town again, and stay there. As I have mentioned we stayed about 30 minutes outside Poznan, a place called Nekla, and it was just too far away from all the fun. So we actually managed to find an apartment right in the city center , now we just had to get the train out there as taxi were so hard to get and really expensive. We waited and waited and waited. It said one time on the timetable but that turned out to be all wrong. After 2-3 hours of waiting the train finally came. And look from the pictures, we couldn't just jump into a taxi instead as this place was out in the sticks of Poland!

Free from the country side of Poland and right in the city center where we belonged, we decided to walk around a little bit t try to get to know the city. It's not that big so it really was no problem finding our way around the place. However, everything was all about the football this week so we checked out the different fan zones and the bars and restaurants where all the supporters gathered before the matches. We wanted to see all the matches so for us this worked out great, wine, food and football!

We ended up where we had been the previous days, the old town square. That was the most lively place and they had good food, good beer and wine and a lot of good people. Most of the supporters were there, at least it felt like it, because the square was buzzing all the time. And this was the day before the big match day for the Irish supporters so they were warming up with singing and funny stunts. The whole day was just sitting out in the sun having lunch drinking beer and wine, then have dinner, drink beer and wine and then watch the football. Let just say that the majority of the people there were men! But today we were watching the Denmark - Germany!

Ha ha ha, what showed up on the square in the middle of the football fans? A newlywed couple! Have a feeling it was the grooms idea to go to the square, however they were applauded and cheered on so I think it was something they will remember:)

Had to make sure I go a good seat for the Denmark match so this is where I was sitting most of the day.

It paid off though because I got to witness some fun Irish supporters, and the mood was just rising more and more amongst all the people at the square.

I think that guy with the horse earned a fortune off all the Irish who wanted to go around the square. At least he was there every day and there was always some Irish bloke on that horse. One guy actually had a bit of an accident as well. He was going to show off for everybody and jump up on the horse from the side and that of course did not end that well. He broke his foot! So ambulance had to come and pick him up! Bummer!!!  

Well, Denamrk lost 2-1 to Germany so I figured I could "drown my sorrows" in more wine and after that we met up with some people from Kildare. Turned out they had been drinking all day and some had a little bit too much. Great fun though just hanging around like that, haven't done that since I was 17 or something.   

The big day is here!!!!!!!!!! I started the morning with going to the shop to buy some breakfast. Bagels and beers. And what did we do after? Yes, went to the square! We walked from the apartment we were staying in so we got to see a bit more of the city. And today everywhere you looked there was people dressed in something green, white and yellow! This was going to be a great day.

If we thought it was lively in Poznan before this day, we had not seen anything yet. To be honest this whole trip was just a big party from when you got up in the morning until you went to bed at night. Kind of difficult to write about it as well because it is an experience you'll never forget.You kind of have to be there to understand how much fun it was. 

Had to get that face painting done, thought it was a little bit funny. I also got to be Irish for the day.
And once again there was a newlywed couple who came to the square. However, these two really enjoyed all the attention, and the Irish supporters was just loving how they let loos and sang all Irish and Polish football songs. Great fun to watch. 

In the afternoon it was time to go the the stadium, us and 40.000 other Irish people. Where was all the Italians? Getting the tram to the stadium was just hopeless, it was packed. have no idea how they managed to get that many people onto it!

Thank good we found a taxi. Luck of the Irish? We had left in good time before the match so there was no rush getting to the stadium. And thank god for that, getting there was a bit crazy. This was a lot different than going to a football match in Norway. Also had to stay outside the stadium for a beer, just to watch all the people who was there. Now we saw a few Italians, but not hardly as many as the Irish.

Well inside the stadium at our seats we actually got to se how many Irish supporters there were there, and I am not joking when I say that about 40.000 were Irish and 5000 Italian. How great that Irelands manager is Italian, and a popular man. It was a little breath taking to see such s big stadium with so many people, the cheering and the singing......... priceless. 

Too bad that Irleand lost, didn't even score a goal:( Italy won 2-0 and Ireland had to go home with 1-9 in goal differences. Did that stop the supporters of having the time of their life and party on? ha ha ha, no way.................... 

In the weeks afetr euro 2012 Ireland actually go a price from the UEFA for having the best supporters ever in a tournament! They deserved it!

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