Wed 5 July
After missing the Germany v Italy match, I was offered 4 tickets for the France v Portugal game in Munich as a consolation. It was a great game in theory - France were playing really well, and a likely contender to win the tournament (and who wouldn't want to watch Zidane in the flesh), plus who wouldn't want to see Portugal get a slap after their dirty, cheating behaviour against England.
Problem is, we're in Dortmund and the game is in Munich - that's a big journey (6 hours on ICE). Even worse, though, is that it's an even bigger journey the next day to get to Berlin (7 hours on ICE).
However, I have a friend, Caroline, from my Shepherd's Bush days (for those of you in the know - "the German girl"), who by sheer chance had just written to me that day telling of her change of address in Munich. So it must be fate I thought, and I bought my train tickets and headed for Munich.
Actually, Munich was one of the places I'd really wanted to go anyway. It's home to the Munich Allianz Arena (and home to FC Bayern München and TSV 1860 München), and it's a quite spectacular structure that looks like an inflatable UFO has landed in the outskirts of Munich (nicknamed Schlauchboot or "inflatable boat" by the locals). It's made even more space-age by being across the road from a giant wind turbine.
Like Berlin, the stadium is more oval than rectangular, so we again had a great view - this time of France beating Portugal 1:0 which delighted us - almost as much as it amused us of Ronaldo being booed every single time he touched the ball.
After the game I got Caroline and her pals (whose day she made by offering them free tickets) to do the after-match report, along with a couple of friends of Jeremys who lived in Munich and came to the game.
Great to see the game, even better to see a long-lost friend.
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