Friday, 14 September 2007

From beer glasses to goggle eyes

The retreat from Reykjavik

Well the last night of druken revellry is now behind us and what remains of the "Tour of the North" begins the long trip back home.

Its a lovely sunny day here in RYK and I had a short walk around the harbour. The town is quiet but you get a sense that something is winding up for the week-end. Im just sorry I will miss it. Also spent my last few Krone going up the tower of the Church of the Holy Buck Rodgers. Nice view up there but probably not a good idea to go up a few minutes before the hour. Bong! Bong!

I keep getting a tune that is running through me head at the moment. Now what is it? Ah yes, its The Dambusters. Must be something to do with this flying back and forth to Berlin!

Well as I wrap up the Blog I would just like to thank a few people:

To Al (Just call me Al) the other part of the TOTN for joining me in Riga and keeping me up to date with back home.

To Squid whose company I enjoyed while passing through that sysmbol of Tuetonic efficiency Schoenefeld Airport.

To Jonny and his South of England group whose fancy flags and comic hats kept us all amused. Keep writing those songs Jonny, thats the sort of talent we need.

To all those people I bored telling the Battle of Riga story to.

To all the people who read and contributed to the blog

And most of all...

To all the GAWA who make all this madness possible.
You are never alone with a green shirt on your back!

And remember:


Thursday, 13 September 2007

Reykjavik Blues

Well what a disappointment yesterday was. Another poor performance, enlivened only after the penalty was scored and some of the magic seemed to return for a short time. The GAWA had strong opposition from the local fans, who at one point, were singing " Stand-up for the Ulsterman", well the tune anyway. Nice to the Police chief strolling round the pitch like royalty beaming and smiling. He even saluted the GAWA as he passed! Nice touch. Maybe he could phone his counterpart in Riga for a chat about crowd control.

Well we expected a stiff match here but I hadn't expected that the Atlantic ocean had put its boots on and decided to play. Hour after hour of heavy, soaking, drenching (almost comical) rain.
But it didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the GAWA as the result put behind us and everyone headed back into town to begin the Nachspiel. Bellys Bar seemed to be the place to go and was stuffed full of GAWA and also Blue & Red army all having a great time together. Thats how it should be. Great, also, to be able to put a face or two to the posters on Ourweecountry site. Its the only time I've ever walked back to the hotel in the main street at 1:30 with a pint of beer in hand. Here, you get a plastic cup to finish you beer outside.

Today its much better and the sun has even come out. But boy is it cold. I dread to think what its like here around Dec-Jan being 66 North. No wonder the people here go a bit mad at the week-ends. Managed visit a couple of caches this morning, one of which took me to a place which has the best views of Reykjavik.

Just off now to get some lunch and a beer.


Wednesday, 12 September 2007


Don´t know what the girlies look like yet as they are all covered up.

Wet and wild Reykjavik

The "Tour of the North " continues. Arrived in late Tuesday night got the Flybus which takes you right to the hotel. Great value (Icelandwise at 16pds return trip). The hotel (Floki Inn) is small about a dozen rooms but packed with GAWA. They have found a place which reputedly does pints for around 3,70 - a bargain, so we are meeting up there later on.

I imagined when I booked the trip that RYK in September would be wild and wet and I wasn´t disappointed. It is not only raining cats & dogs but cod & herring as well. The town is gradually filling up with GAWA all looking sodden & bedraggled and all searching for cheap beers & eats. I met the UTV crew who have been here since Sunday who descibe RYK as pretty but dull (at least through the week)

I have just raided the ATM (again) and am now on a recce mission in the town centre. Just as well I invested in new wet gear before the trip. Best tenner I ever spent.

Just a quick post and will report back after the match.


Monday, 10 September 2007


You would easily know you are back in the West. I find myself standing there studiously obeying the Ampelman (even when the road is clear) while everyone else just charges on. And what's happened to the women? Its like being back home.

You would also know you are in East Berlin, with wide sweeping streets, trams and a legacy of fine communist architecture. Having said that, the area is very cosmopolitan and there are lots of bars and restaurants. Also it is fairly inexpensive and very handy to the trams and trains.

Just resting up for a couple of days before resuming the Tour. Fly out to Reykjavik tonight and hope the weather is better, as it rained most of yesterday here in Berlin.

Bis bald

Sunday, 9 September 2007

The Battle of Riga

The tour continues. We spent a couple of pleasant days walking around Riga, sampling the local bars and trying out some local restaurants. Think the custom of padlocks on the bridges for newly weds is really cool, but I can't see it working on the M3.

The Sky lounge bar at the Albert hotel is a great place to relax with a pint, overlooking Riga town and at 2pds a pint not overly expensive.

Things were going swimmingly, until the Latvian "Robocop" Eleven decided, early on, to take the game to the opposition (is that the right expression?). They indulged in some agressive play involving hard tackling, elbowing and some fancy footwork. Referring decisions had the GAWA, locals and visitors somewhat perplexed, annoyed and a little bit miffed. Heinous off the ball infractions such as staggering to an offside position, singing and er... walking on the grass involved numerous red cards.

Protest were, of course, ignored but names (and videos) were taken and are now with the adjudicators (Mark Sidebottom, et al). Still the Vorspiel ended promptly with both sides playing for time and settling for an inconclusive result.

Now onto the football. Well, what can I say, even a non footballing nut like me can see that the lads were not firing on all cylinders. Not for a lack of support from the GAWA who did all their usual numbers, massively dominating the home fans whose only contribution seemed to be LAT-VEE- YAH, LAT-VEE-YAH. A most disappointing result all round.

Still, on with the tour, and after parting with Al (Just call me Al) I am now in Berlin to rest for a couple of days before pushing onto Reykjavik.

Green White Army, Green White Army......

Friday, 7 September 2007

Arrived in Riga

Travel plans spot on. Arrived on time no hold ups - caught express bus into Riga.
Hotel good, excellent lounge on the top floor. Met Mark Sidebottom and got preview of BBC report from Riga - BBC crew staying at The Albert.

Sunbathing yesterday should have brought the sun cream. Riga is a pretty town and is not too touristy - yet! Beer cheap 1 - 2 Pounds /pint
Women very stylish (models everywhere), and everyone friendly enough.
The Green & White army now filling up the town and it sets the scene for one heck of a party tonight(Friday)
Just hope I'm recovered enough to catch the match tomorrow!
Off now to party, party, party.....
CT & Al (Just call me Al)