A v Lithuania via Latvia
So after England never having been to Lithuania before 2015 it was time to go back. Last time it had been freezing cold, this time the forecast was for cool weather and rain, loads of rain. So Early Friday morning we headed of to Gatwick for our flight to Riga.
We head to our hotel and soon come across some strange local art exhibition. This was to commemorate animals sent into space in the early days of space exporation.
Upgraded and well deserved! Once we had checked in it was time to head out and about in old town Riga. We avoided the big scary monkey and followed the river path. I love Riga, its small but well wortha visit, and plenty of good bars and restaurants as well.
So Saturday morning and it was a leisurely start to the day, no rush as on the 11am coach from Riga to Vilnius. We retraced our route from the night before back into the old town. Got a little lost but we where soon at the coach station.
We arrived into Vilnius and once again headed to our hotel so we could drop off our bags. The weather was dire, non stop heavy rain. Unfortunately we had to spend a big chunk of the day on a bar/restaurant - these awat trips can be hard work!
So today was match day. We soon met up with a few other mates and England away virgin Katie. The weather was dire, wet , wet, wet so we had to shelter in the pub! Again! . I was on antibiotics due to a tooth abscess. I had been sensibly avoiding beer, however once Nigel and Bip turned up we soon discovered you could drink sensibly on the ones I was on! About 30 minutes later the sensible part had gone out the window as I swiftly made up for los time.
I let Katie have my ticket and I went in the home end with a ticket we picked up for face value. I found a dry spot pre kick off and bumped into Bannister from Rochdale. The home end was probably about 1/4 England fans and 1/4 empty seats as the locals had very little interested in this meaningless game. The benefit of being in the home end was proper beer was on sale unlike the alcohol free stuff in the England end. The ground is very similar to Withdean, ie you get very wet.....
I found Nigel sheltering up by the bar in the home end. We wandered around to the other end and soon decided to try and blag our way into the dry. We saw a tent where stewards kept popping in and out of. We joined and left wearing our nice Orange jackets. Before you could say "are you a real steward" we were standing in the press box behind the Daily Mail/Daily Telepgraph reserves spaces. We made a note neither were about.
We managed to blag our way into the room ready for the post match press conference. We practised our questions for Gareth Southgate, sadly we never got to ask our insightful questions as we got asked to leave at the last minute - boooooo.
We decided not to book a hotel Sunday night as we had to be at the aiport at stupid o'clock. Due to the mix of beer and antibiotics and more beer I dont really remember the taxi trip back to the Airport. I do recall waking up at some point, stumbling around looking for the toilet and complaining to Kev and Fi when I got back to my sleeping space that Glasgow airport was shite!