Monday, 12 October 2015

Lithuania v England 12.10.2015

Friday 9th October

Friday night and it was qualifier number 9 , H v Estonia.  Originally our flight to Lithuania the next day was 6am from Luton so we were going to head straight to the airport from the ground.  For once a change to a Ryanair schedule worked in our favour as the flight was shifted to 3pm!

Job done, the Euro qualifier record was now played 9 won 9, just Lithuania away to go so.........

Saturday 10th October

Kev and Fi parked up at mine and we jumped into a taxi to Three Bridges station.  As usual the Thameslink trains were late or cancelled but we got a late running train slightly earlier than our planned train which was about 30 minutes late.  We were soon in Luton and had a beer or two (or three) before the flight to Kaunas.

We caught the final bus from Vilnius to Kaunas, well it was a minibus!  The weather was pretty nippy and one England lad in shorts was feeling it a bit!  As soon as the minibus turned up he was on and had the heating on full blast.

We quickly checked into the hotel (once we had worked out where the minibus had dropped us) and headed out to meet some other Brighton lads already out and about!

Flaming Sambuca
I have to confess that after the first couple of Sambucas my memory is a little hazy!  I think we got back to the Hotel around 5am.  Luckily breakfast was until 11am as it was a Sunday so we just made it in time

It looks like you can play football in front of cars at this point!

It was a little cool, but we headed out to see the sights, and very glad we did.

Time to head up to the castle

The amazing picture of the human chain that linked Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia after freedom from the USSR

Some more from the castle

The future Mrs Scott McCarthy and a fine wooden toy shop
It was now time to warm up with some food and beer

We moved back towards the main square and found a great little bar, mainly full of locals!  An older chap turned up and he turned out to be one of the original Lithuanian MPs that had signed the decleration of Independence.  What a fantastic night.

With the main man (no I don't mean the Rugeley one!)

Monday 12th October - Match Day
After a pretty cold overcast day on Saturday what a difference today.  A beautiful clear and sunny day, almost warm!

An amazing select your own bottle bar - the nibbles of warm garlic crunchy bread was fantastic

We thought we better move on before we ended up  spending the day in one bar!

The final bar was full of locals (and some Leeds lads).  Before we left the insisted we had some of the warming local vodka (Yukkkk - herby Vodka!),  it was time to move on to the ground!  21.45 KO is a ridiculous time thanks to TV demands!

Come closer please!

Lithuania appeared to think they were playing Great Britain not England - oh well!

The pitch looked as flat as a carpet, thats because it is one big carpet!  One of the few internationals that gets played on an artificial pitch!

Tuesday 13th October
So it was now time to head back to Kaunas and see more than just the airport.  Thsi time we had a proper bus rather than a minbus, and after an hour or so were back where we had started, the airport!  We caught a local bus (for about 50p) and after about 45 minutes were close to our hotel.

We checked in but were soon out and Aabout in Kaunas Old Town

After an afternoon nap, it was back out!  After a beer in a Mexican restaurant it was on to a local  bar.  The place was pretty busy for a Monday night but we still  managed to be one of the last to leave..

We ended up in an excellent student bar and the beer was once again soon flowing

Wednesday 14th October

Final Morning stroll

Before the end of the pictures we needed one of a typical old Eastern Block building, surprisingly it was one under construction down by the river!  The commemorative stone by the river appears to indicate that somebody flew under the nearby bridge upside down!

So the end of the qualifiers Played 10 Won 10 Saw all 10!

So one final game for 2015 - an away Friendly v Spain in Alicante on Friday 13th November. 

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