A Travellerspoint blog

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Day 12 (June 19th)

Kicking Back in Konstanz

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This is the day to catch our second wind before heading out again (Gwen, Daniel and I). Ivan and Dean are hanging out in Frankfurt, we’ll see them tomorrow. Phil and Kate are still in Hamburg and head to Hanover tomorrow for the Costa Rica and Poland.
P1010002.JPG We went to the local public viewing to see the Swiss play Togo. And since we sit on the border with Switzerland, the Swiss were everywhere. This was a cute little Swiss. In general, I like the scrappy Swiss and I’m okay that they won, but Togo really got ripped off by the referees – it was the worse that I’ve seen so far (including the Italy/USA game). We watched the other games at a local pub and then back at the apt. Ukraine manhandled Saudia Arabia and Spain came back well after trailing for a long time to Tunesia.
P1010019.JPG Idle Minds/Hands. You know how it goes, too much time (a day) without something to do. The young get bored, and well, silly things happen. So, preparation for the next big USA game begins. Wilder, more drastic means to support the team. So the colors come shining through. P1010025.JPG With the help of a permanent dye, Daniel transforms red and I go blue. Go USA!

Posted by wc2006 00:00 Archived in Germany Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Day 13 (June 20th)

Restart the Travel Train

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06_17_Fra_G 004.jpg For the beginning of the two-a-days, we travel back to Frankfurt and then on to Kaiserslautern for the Paraguay game. It was a tight schedule, so Gwen took all the bags to the hotel and Daniel and I just switched trains and headed to K-town. It was surprising to see tons of the Trinidad & Tobago fans – they must have shut down the country to send all of their fans (actually, a few of the T&T fans we met said that everything was shut down there).
06_17_Fra_G 010.jpg T&T could make it through – amazing. We watched the Germans beat Ecuador for the early game – would’ve been interesting to see England/Germany early if Ecuador had won. But surely Ecuador is happy to get through.
Well, unfortunately for T&T, Paraguay finally showed up to play. It was actually a pretty good game. Santa Cruz finally played well and played the whole game.
06_17_Fra_G 008.jpg The T&T dream was over, all that was left was the long ride home. Again, K-town was horrible to get out of, even with a “quick” departure, it was a 4am return to Frankfurt. The hotel had a strange queen/twin crisscross bunk bed thing.

Posted by wc2006 00:05 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Day 14 (June 21st)

Great Game Day ?

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06_17_Fra_G 015.jpg This was a long anticipated day of great games – Mexico verses Portugal and Netherlands verses Argentina (and of course, the other games in their groups). We headed to the fan fest near downtown Frankfurt.
06_17_Fra_G 025.jpg The setup there was interesting with the big screen TVs sitting on the river – and viewable from either side.
06_17_Fra_G 031.jpg It was a sea of orange everywhere we went – the fan fest, the squares, the streets. I’ve been getting grief from the Germans whenever I’ve shown my support for Holland – but this day, they were playing my pick for winning the cup, so now I was getting grief from the Hollanders for support Argentina – oh well. Next to the England fans, the Hollanders were probably the drunkest and crudest fans we’ve seen – not a good thing. But after missing the cup last year, I guess they were just really excited to be there.
But first was the Mexico game. We finally found out that Borgetti was done due to injury and so we figured Mexico’s chances were getting slimmer. But nonetheless, they could still win their group by beating Portugal. Mexico didn’t play too poorly, but conceded an early goal after dominating the first several minutes of play. And between Bravo missing the PK and then dropping to 10 men, their chance was over. But as luck would have it, they made it through even with the loss. But unfortunately, they’ll have to face Argentina next.
Tickets for the Netherlands/Argentina game were rumored to be selling for about 1000-1200 euro – way to high – especially for a non knockout game. Both teams were cautious and chose not to play many of their key players (especially those that already had a yellow). So, with both teams already in, the game really wasn’t very good despite the big billing – but perhaps these teams could meet again in the finals and it will be a better game? The next games should be really good with Argentina/Mexico and Netherlands/Portugal – once the groups were drawn, we knew that these first round games would be great games regardless of how these four teams finished.

Posted by wc2006 00:10 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Day 15 (June 22nd)

Absolute Last Chance for USA

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06_17_Fra_G 041.jpg Well, on to Nuremberg from Frankfurt for the USA game. Another mix up over the train schedules, so we got separated from Ivan and Dean, but luckily the stadium was pretty convenient (and close) so it wasn’t a problem. Nuremberg’s inner wall city was interesting.
06_17_Fra_G 038.jpg The USA fans were sporting lots of fun outfits and we were all happy to join in the fun.
06_17_Fra_G 034.jpg Daniel’s hair/look was the best, but we all looked great! At the beer garden just before the stadium, we added our final touches.
06_17_Fra_G 039.jpg We had some leftover hair color, so Kate got conned into decorating a couple of strangers, too. The fans seemed ready – would the team be?
06_17_Fra_G 051.jpg Well, as you probably already know, the team wasn’t ready. We came out flat again – more like the Czech game instead of the Italy one. Once again, Bruce didn’t put the right players on the field either. The fans did a decent job, but not the same energy that was in Kaiserslautern. 06_17_Fra_G 085.jpg Sure, the USA got ripped off on the PK call for Ghana. But in the end, they have to overcome these things – I’ve seen worse calls in this tourney – though none of course against any key European team ;) It was a shame that the USA couldn’t manage just a win, tie, and lost to get through. A crying shame. All the effort for the Italy game went to waste too. This team seemed to play arrogantly (for no good reason) and without any real desire – save a player here and there. 06_17_Fra_G 105.jpg It’s time for the USA to clean house, coach and all. We should only ever see a handful of these players again. And since Bruce didn’t showcase any of the young players, we probably haven’t helped any of them for the future – USA will probably suffer quite a setback.
06_17_Fra_G 127.jpg The Ghana fans were very gracious winners and despite the horrible USA showing for the cup, we still went out and enjoyed the festivities after the game. 06_17_Fra_G 141.jpg
Nuremberg was a good place – the fans/people were nice and their area, though small, was really nice.

Posted by wc2006 00:16 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (3)

Day 16 (June 23rd)

Still some fun left

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06_17_Fra_G 164.jpg Still in shock over how poorly the USA played – hard to believe. If someone had said, that the USA could get in 1-1-1 and that they would tie Italy with only 9 players, I’d thought they’d make it through for sure. Heartbreak. And if they had made it, we would have got to seen them play Brazil! But obviously, we seemed to care more than the coaches and most players, so it was time to let go.
06_17_Fra_G 162.jpg And besides, we had to go pick up our playoff tickets. So another trip out to the Nuremberg stadium to get the rest of the follow your team tickets. Part of the old stadium is still standing and it was interesting to see it. With the long walk and fewer trains (not a game day). It took a while to get there and back, but we got our tickets for the next 3 matches. With Germany winning the group, we’ll be following them, that should be great fun.
06_17_Fra_G 165.jpg Nuremberg was a bit calmer (as were we) this day, as the final games of the first round were completing. Of course, the Spain fans were happy with their expected win. Their team is young, so Spain seems to be poised for the future – and if they keeping playing so well, their future might begin really soon.
06_17_Fra_G 166.jpg Ukraine and Tunesia were fighting to get through, and it was too bad that that game was decided by yet another really poor PK call. But even with a tie, Ukraine would’ve made it through. Togo managed to hold off France for the first half, but unraveled quickly after giving up the first goal, their dream had ended too. Switzerland made it through as expected as well.
Gwen, Daniel and I had to travel to Munich today (rest are staying in Nuremberg) because they have a early morning flight (Gwen’s going back to Konstanz for a day) and Daniel is heading home – it’s been a whirlwind tour with it seeming like a very short and very long time that he was here. We’ll see how long his pink hair stays back home.

Posted by wc2006 13:06 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Day 17 (June 24th)

Round of 16 Begins

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Germany verses Sweden – wow. The rest of the group arrives in Munich for the day. It will be interesting to see the split at the stadium. Sweden fans have had a strong presence so far and were some of the loudest at the games so far (in a good way). However, you would expect the crowd to be mostly for the home team.
06_24_Muc_G 001.jpg Back to the stadium in Munich where it all began – fitting to begin the cup and then begin the second round here. It really is a nice stadium. Germany was there in droves as expected. There was a corner dedicated for the Sweden fans, but they were rarely heard as Germany jumped out to any early lead.
06_24_Muc_G 009.jpg The Germans played there best game yet and as Phil said, they looked like Men verses Boys. The Swedes got a back break on the soft red ejection, especially since the first yellow didn’t seem to be a foul, much less a card. But down a man and the entire crowd behind them, Germany dominated the play.
06_24_Muc_G 017.jpg The Sweden goal keeper played an exceptional game, otherwise the score would’ve been much worse.
06_24_Muc_G 008.jpg Back to Marienplatz after the game to watch the Argentina/Mexico game. This was the match up that we didn’t really want. Mexico should’ve played better, won there group, these could’ve both gotten through. But now only one of them would. Mexico played their best line-up and their best game by far. The Paulander im Tal was packed as we kept having to chase people out from in from of us. It was funny to see all of the Germans pulling for Mexico – they are all afraid of the Argentina match-up. Ivan was sporting Mexico and I had Argentina, though we both were torn on which team to really cheer for. Numerous Germans approached Ivan and wish Mexico best of luck throughout the game – funny.
06_24_Muc_Gb 01.jpg Well, this game didn’t disappoint as it was a pretty even match with the control, pressure and chances changing back and forth. In general, the referee was much different from the earlier rounds and let a great deal of hard play go on, and Argentina got lucky to only receive a yellow for a very hard foul at the top of the box. In the extra time, Tevez’s goal was an excellent aerial play and a great shot to decide such a close match. The Germans were very disappointed.

Posted by wc2006 13:15 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Day 18 (June 25th)

Battle of the E’s

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06_25_Stu_G 005.jpg The E’s (England and Ecuador) battle in Stuttgart today, so the group travels from Munich to Heidelberg (no hotels were available in Stuttgart). To avoid all the English fans demanding to “Stand-up for the En-g-land-ers”, Dean chose the Italy jersey instead of the England one. Ivan’s for South America.
06_25_Stu_G 011.jpg I like the England team, but the English fans are hard to take (excluding my English pals back home of course). Ecuador never really showed anything and the British just a bit more than that.

06_25_Stu_G 006.jpg The late game was Netherlands and Portugal which should be the better game of the day (maybe one of the better R16 games). Storms blew in shortly after the first game and caused problems for us. Gwen and I had headed back from Stuttgart to Heidelberg but our train was re-directed and then had a 45 minute delay in the new change over – so we missed the first half of the game. Ivan and Dean stayed in Stuttgart for the fan fest there, but it was shut down before the game due to the weather as well. They bounced from different bars to pick up the game (Satellite reception was going out). Not a good game to miss – 20 cards given out – amazing. I didn’t see the fouls in the first half that lead to the violent of the second half, so I didn’t know who had started all the mess. The referee obviously was a major player as he lost total control and never regained it. The second half seemed more like a hockey match or something. But the play between the fouls was pretty intense as well. Portugal made it through, but will be hurting for the next match due to missing good players. We almost missed the extra time because we were watching the game in our hotel room when the fire alarms went off. I hurried down stairs and caught the end in the hotel bar.

Posted by wc2006 13:15 Archived in Germany Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

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