Arrival in Germany
Gelsenkirchen Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
The timing was perfect,
I'd just quit my job and split with my girlfriend. I needed a holiday. My mate Dave, my cousin and I jumped in the Peugeot and drove to Gelsenkirchen the day before England's match with Portugal.
After the long drive via ferry to Calais, through Belgium and Holland we arrived in Gelsenkirchen and the place was dead. Where were all the fans? The parties and pre-match madness? It was midnight already, and I was tired from the long drive, but we were determined to make something happen (and we didn't have anywhere to stay!).
We followed a minibus of other England fans who promised their hotel was nearby and that there was a bar there.
At a set of traffic-lights a big black Mercedes pulled up with the top down. My cousin wound his window open and shouted, "Oy! Where can we go out round here?!".
"Follow me," said the big guy in a carribean accent.
So, it was decision time, stay lost in a dark quiet town and go to sleep in a car on the side of the road, or gamble. It could have gone one of 2 ways...he leads us down some crack-alley and kicks off, or...
the lights went green and we followed him.
We followed our new friend directly to the front of the queue and walked straight in for free. This guy was obviously 'the man'. Germany had won their match that day so the underground club was rammed with drunk celebrating Germans. At first we kept our voices low, found a table in the corner and began with the beers.
A few hours later we were in the dance-floor chanting "EN-GER-LAND!", then at about 6am some German giant and his mate asked us if we wanted to go to the Kneipe/the pub.
At around 10am I saw my cousin riding past the front of the pub on a bicycle (god knows where he got it from). Then finally the three of us crashed in the small car for a couple of hours of uncomfortable sleep. The other two in the front 2 seats and me in the back with my legs sticking out the door.
We had about 2 hours sleep before the heat was unbearable. The good thing upon waking was that none of us had hangovers...we were still drunk. The mission then was clear, get back to Gelsenkirchen and get in the mix with the event we came to see... (more to follow)