Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A v Montenegro 26.3.2013

so onwards from Rimini to Podgorica! See here for part one of the trip!

Sunday 24th March continued
Once we landed at the airport and passed through customs we boarded the waiting coaches to head to Budva and the same hotel we had stayed in in our last trip to Montenegro just a few months ago.

It was a beautiful warm evening in Budva, so we walked into the old town for food and drink.
Monday 25th March

Monday morning and another shorter run (just under 6m) this time, it was warm and sticky and the forecast bad weather soon arrived. The rain was replaced by hail, then much heavier rain and a cracking thunderstorm. We took refuge in one of the local bars!
Tuesday 26th March
So Tuesday it was time to had back to Podgorica. We had to collect tickets and this time a wristband as well to gain entry to the away end, what are we 5 years old?
View from the Hotel Mediteran

The Match
After a cocktail ot two it was time to head to the ground. Once again the home support made plenty of noise, but England controlled the first half and went in 1 up thanks to a Rooney goal. Second half and England were dire and Montenegro inevitably equalised, so the groups remains as was, with Montenegro top and 2 points ahead of England

So once we had been finally let out of the ground it was straight back to the airport. We finally landed at Luton at 4am by 5.30am I was back in West Hoathly. Just a couple of hours later I was heading to work! Ouch.
So another great England trip is over, no Brazil for me in June so my next one will be the final away qualifier in the Ukraine in September.

Friday, 22 March 2013

A v San Marino 22.3.2013

So the World Cup campaign is back and this time a double header with San Marino away followed by Montenegro. Sport Options offered a 5 day trip taking in both games, so on Thursday evening we headed up towards Luton airport as had a 4am check in Friday morning for our flight to Rimini. Friday 22nd March We landed about 9am local time and were soon on a coach for the 20 minute drive to the Aqua hotel just yards from Rimini seafront. It turned out that the majority of England fans would be staying here, but some came in from Blogna, others via Bosnia or Croatia.

The view from our Hotel
Oh exciting lights on our corridor
Rimini Seafront
Look at this blue sky

After the horrible, miserable weather we had left behind in the UK (we left Luton as it had just started to snow), it was nice to be somewhere warm and sunny. It was weird seeing that big yellow thing in the sky, it had been a long time! Sport Options had provided coaches to San Marino but we opted to leave earlier so could look round the principality. We headed out for some brunch first before heading to the other coaches laid on to San Marino leaving every half hour. The Police provided a welcome background before we enbarked on the 45 minute drive.

One or two Police to wave us off

The coach journey started on the flat but we soon saw San Marino looming ahead, and then the coach started the steady climb up to the first the ground. We were then able to collect our match tickets before getting on another coach and the much steeper climb up to the top of San Marino.
Heading the right way - Phew!
The view looking back down towards the ground

Old Town San Marino
It's a long way down

The Match
Withdean ermm nope San Marino!

The game was so one sided it got rather boring as England knocked in 5 goals before half time and another 3 in the second half to see an 8-0 victory, the biggest win since we played Turkey back in 1986!

Saturday 23rd March
Unusually for an England trip a day off with no travel required. We decided to head to old town Rimini, so we decided to walk in via the seafront and then the harbour.
A tribute to famous Rimini resident Mr Fellinia, maker of many films and also has the airport named after him

After a great day out and believe it or not a 9.8m run in the morning with Fiona (well we are both doing the London Marathon on the 21st April)we treated ourselves to rather a lot of food. Sadly it was time to retire back to the hotel.

Sunday 24th March
So today the weather clouded over, but luckily today was the day that we flew from Rimini to Podgorica

Part two of the blog trip can be found here.