The final match for England in the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign and the first ever trip for England to Montenegro. I booked up with the Sports Options trip as Liz failed to get a ticket (boooooooo) so just a short trip for this one.
Wednesday 5th October
As we had an early morning flight from Luton, my mate Garry headed up to mine for 5pm and then Fiona picked us up before we picked up Kev from Gatwick as had been on a business trip to Dublin. By 8pm we were at the Premier Inn in Dunstable and time for some food and drink. The rack of ribs was superb and the Becks washed in down nicely. Kev and Fiona then dropped me and Gaz off at the Travelodge just up the road as the Premier Inn was full. As Luton airport was only a few miles away we agreed on a 6am meet up the following morning.
Thursday 6th October
Happy birthday Lizzie, yes thats right I had abandoned Liz for her birthday! So we headed to Luton for the Flight LS6198 8.15 Jet2 flight to Tivat airport. We had 2 nights on the coastal resort of Budva. We took off on time and landed just after midday local time (GMT+1). It was then a short coach ride to the Hotel Mediteran. We were all staying at the same hotel so with 218 people to check in we headed to the bar to let the queues calm down. So it was about 2pm after a nice cold bottle of Nik gold before we checked in.
The formalities were soon over so we met down by teh bar again before wandering towards the old town. The first bar we stopped in was run by a Serbian so it would have been rude not to try a Serbian beer.
We continued wandering along the seafront stopping for the odd beer or two before we reached old town. The old town was fantastic, and lots of bars and restaurants, so we sat down for another cooling beer (or two)
We headed back to the hotel for the 7pm buffet, and by 9pm we were back in old town and had a great night out. A great friendly atmosphere in town and about 1am we caught a taxi back to the hotel.
As it was Lizs birthday we had to have a cocktail or two!
Friday 7th October
So Friday and match day. Our coach for Podgorica did not leave until 2pm, so in the morning after breakfast we decided to head the opposite way to yesterday. Once again a great walk along the seafront with intermitent bar stops! We walked as far as the next headland before turning back.
One bar even had a betting paper for all the English league games, the spelling of the teams will make you laugh!
The coach left at 2pm and we joined up with several other coaches heading to the game and I think it was a convoy of 10 coaches headed into the mountains to cover the 60km to Podgorica. We were dropped at the hotel Montenegro to collect our tickets and then headed to the bars around the ground. There were lots of police and locals about and a few groups of local "Ultras" were escorted past us as they let off bangers and flares, it was a superb atmosphere. England as usual had taken over every bar in sight. The last couple of bars we visited were packed with both sets of fans but as it was now 7.30pm decided to head to the ground. By 7.45pm we were in the ground and the home sections were already packed.
It had rained on and off during the game and at times pretty hard. We had the pleasure of being kept in after the game for about 45 minutes and in that time the thunderstorm got worse and the rain heavier and heavier and heavier...
By the time we were let out and back on the coach it was nearly midnight. At about 1.30am we got back to the hotel and they had a buffet ready for us, hot food as well which was a right result, the hotel staff were making every effort to keep everyone happy!!
Saturday 8th October
A lazy morning was planned. I was up about 9am and had a leisurly breakfast. I watched the 2nd half of the rugby to watch England get knocked out the Rugby World Cup quater finals to France. We then headed out so I could buy a traditional tacky fridge magnet and we had a nice final drink at one of the beach side bars. We then headed back to the hotel, checked out and wre ready fro the 2pm coach back to Tivat.
It was then time for the 15.00 LS6199 Jet2 flight arriving back to Luton at 19.00. Kev and Fiona then dropped Gaz back at Gatwick so he could get a train back to Brighton and they then kindly dropped my back in West Hoathly.
All in all a superb trip, qualification for Euro 2012 and the gret news that the Amex has been given the England U19 v Denmark U19 game on the 10th November. Happy Days!
The England following