Friday 22.3.2019 Home v Czech Republic
First home qualifier I have attended for a while, but at Friday night at Wembley and decent opposition took me back to Wembley. In the end it was an easy win , I was expecting a lot more from the Czech Republic but in the end 5-0 reflected the dominance of England.
Saturday 23.2.2019 - First Stop Albania (Tirana)
We had opted to fly out via Albania, country number 50 for Fiona! Yipeee. It had changed since my last visit many years ago. We had soon checked in and then headed out to meet our mates who were doing the same route out.
As usual our mate Dean had done his homework or beer planning and we headed to the Brau Haus. Excellent beer and food followed.
Sunday 24.3.2019 - Coach from Tirana to Podgorica
So today it was up quite early and the 4 hour coach trip into Montenegro. I think I slept for a lot of the journey, but it took about an hour to complete the boarder crossing. It was very hot but we were allowed off the coach, it was a stunning location.
So we finally arrive into a very warm Podgorica. I met up with my mate Snips who now lives in Romania. We checked into our hotel and then headed out for some refreshments. The famous couple of quick beers turned into a long evening out. It was a very relaxing evening in the Montenegro capital.
Monday 25.3.2019 MATCH DAY
As is becoming a bit of a tradition these days I went for a run round Podgorica. I took in a route to pass the ground and then round a local park before heading back to the Hotel to rehydrate as the beer from the day before kicked in!
We went on a stroll around Podgorica as on previous visits had stayed in Budva. This gave us a bit more of a change to see the capital. It was a really nice but small city, and we soon spotted a bar overlooking the river, so settled down for a cooling beer.
Kevin gets his own Police Van for protection, whilst Lewis and Ciaran do a TV interview.
I finally got a ticket for the home end. The atmosphere was superb pre match and the local Ultras turned up and soon flares were going off all over the place. We sat and chilled with a few beers.
So now the fun and games started. Thanks to a mate Wolves Scott I managed to get a ticket in the home end. England only got 650 tickets and as I had not done all the recent games at Wembley had slipped down the caps table so missed out getting one. England fan after England fan got turned away as no ID, we were the same. We stayed inside the Police cordon and watched the first 65minutes in the bar. We then tried again and got lucky as the steward on the entrance we tried had just opened up to let people out, we snuck in! We did at least see the 5th England goal as England recovered from going 1 down to win 5-1.
After the game Dean and Lewis headed to Belgrade on an overnight coach, Ciaran , Mark and I headed out for a few beers. Later on at the Hilton I met up with Rugeley Dean and Coventry Sara. The beers continued to flow despite the police following us around and closing the bars one by one. I think I finally got back to the hotel about 4am! Ooops.
Tuesday 26.3.2019 - time to head home - Podgorica to Tirana to Milan to Gatwick.
So today was time to head home. We caught the bus back to Tirana. We then flew from Tirana to Milan, and then finally from Milan back home to Gatwick. It was a long trip, the only glitch was the poxy airline from Tirana made us pay for a name change as middle names didn't appear on the boarding cards. A total total rip off and the queue to pay for the alterations was growing. None of us will ever fly Blue Panorama every again. RIP OFF MERCHANTS!