I’m TERRIBLE… I have not been keeping up to date with my
adventures at all because I basically keep getting distracted. I STILL haven’t
filled you lot in on the second part of Euro 2016 for me and I’m sure it’s old
news by now, but nevertheless, I still do want to tell you about my time in
So we flew into La Rochelle, one of the teeniest little tin
sheds of an airport and picked up our rental car for the week. Of course we
firstly had to decorate it with Irish flags and wing mirror covers – God forbid
that people might think that we were French!
We weren’t alone with our public display of patriotism and
we spent most of the journey beeping at fellow supporters all heading to Bordeaux
for the game. While stopping at a petrol station for reserves, we bumped into a
hilarious group of lads driving the wittingly named “Wes Hooley Van”. There were
12 of them all bunched into this minibus and they kindly gave it a wash when I
asked them for a picture. Sound lads!
We stayed in the Ibis Budget hotel in Bordeaux…. That’s
right you heard me, the Ibis budget.
We were made immediately aware of this when we arrived to check in and were
told that our separate “budget” reception was around the back….. so we checked
into our tiny lime green room and made a mutual decision not to spend too much
time in the room! We headed off to explore the city and found a few poor
Scottish football fans who were clearly lost.
The excitement got a little too much for me when I bumped
into Matt Holland on the street. I totally fangirled it, and without shame
jumped in for a photo!
The Irish had well and truly descended on Bordeaux and you couldn’t
move for green shirts and Irish accents, but the Belgians were out in force too.
Every bar was full, and the fun was incredible, so much so that the fanzone,
set up to house thousands of fans was almost empty. The craic was in the Irish
A short walk from our hotel a local police man began to sing
along with the lads and a chorus of “Stand up for the French Police” started
up. I also had to drag my other half away from a group of lads who decided that
he was the image of Martin O’Neill and told me how lucky I was to be with him.
We exited just as they began to chant and made a lucky escape before the
thousands of others joined in.
On match day we hopped on the tram out to the new Stade de
Bordeaux, an interesting box shaped stadium. Here we mixed with the Belgians in
stark contrast to the reports of fights between English and Russian supporters.
There were dance offs, brass bands and general merriment. I also saw some good natured
political activism, who said sport and politics don’t mix?
We were literally sitting in the back row of the stadium and I had to climb up like a mountain goat, but the view of the game from up there was pretty decent.
Sadly the result didn’t go our way and the Belgians trounced
us 3-0. Somehow, this didn’t dampen our moods much and we enjoyed some friendly
banter with the Belgians after the game. I want to tell you more about our tour
de France and I will! But that’s all from me for now!