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We had time for some sightseeing in Marseille and chose to visit Notre Dame, the highest point in Marseille, for it’s church and views over the city.

Notre Dame, the highest point in Marseille.

We caught the train, after checking it was running the night before, at lunchtime and made our way to Lyon as rain appeared on the Windows.

Steve called an Uber cab (I hadn’t used it before and so was interested to see how it worked), to pick us up from our location, so that we could meet up with friends to watch the afternoon’s game in Lens. Learn more about Judi Qq

Ukraine v Northern Ireland, Lyon.

After 15 minutes, and us phoning the driver a few times we were united with the car and made our way. I can see room for improvements with the Uber system, these days with technology you should be able to get the driver to come to you.

After that there was a long bus journey to the stadium which is situated some 12km out of town.

Hail in Lyon, Euro 2016.

During the game fans abandoned their seats in scenes reminiscent of Ukraine v France in Donetsk four years ago, as the rain and then hail poured down. Play was suspended.

Thankfully it was nowhere near as bad as four years ago although it was for Ukraine as, like last time they lost 2-0. With Northern Ireland’s boys in green on fire.

We decided to head to the old town and eat at a Bouchon rather than watch the football that night.

Bouchon, Lyon, France.

On the menu Fruit lets d’escargots aux asperges blanches, Crème d’ail et jus de persil (snail pastry with white asparagus garlic cream and parsley sauce). Followed by Andouillette Bobosse à la Fraise de veau sauce moût de raisin (Chitterlings sausage grape with a mustard sauce). And finally a strawberry soup. Excellent fayre for the evening unlike the 0-0 draw between Poland and Ukraine.

Northern Ireland v Ukraine, Euro 2016.

Ukraine fans in the rain, Lyon.

Ross Clegg

Posted by Soccerphile at 3:04 AM 0 comments

Labels: Euro 2016, food, Football, France, France 2016, French food, Lyon

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FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2016

Marseille

Once again we had to check the train timetables to ensure our train was running. It was, but it departed 40 minutes late. So far our journeys have been by TGV, but today it is an inter regional train which means a slower journey, which should take about six hours.

France v Albania, Euro 2016.

We have been spoiled by the efficiency of the TGV network, as it has made travelling easy and by booking months in advance we had some bargain prices.

Of course whilst on the train we saw the best weather of the tournament as we travelled from Bordeaux via Toulouse, Montpellier and Nimes to Marseille. The train was over 30 minutes late and staff handed out letters to be completed for refunds.

France v Albania, Marseille, Euro 2016.

Needless to say we were greeted by clouds, and as we sat down to Bouillabaisse in the Vieux Port, the heavens opened.

There was a heavy police presence, and some bars appeared closed but alcohol was being served. The scars from the weekend were still evident with the glass shattered on the front door and a plaster on our waiter’s face covering his six stitches after he was attacked with a bottle.

France v Albania, Euro 2016.

You would hardly have known that a major football match was about to take place just a few miles down the road.

We took the Metro and arrived at the impressive Velodrome in plenty of time.

My night almost ended there after someone collapsed on me. Sending me over the seat in front with two rather large blokes on top of me. The culprit lay there upside down, apparently the victim of smoking something he shouldn’t have been, in the stadium.

France v Albania, Euro 2016.

Albania once again gave there all, and were only beaten by two late goals.

Ross Clegg

footballtravelswithross.wordpress.com

Posted by Soccerphile at 10:42 AM 0 comments

Labels: Albania, Euro 2016, France, France 2016, marseille, Ross Clegg

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THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2016

Bordeaux

The night before had been unkind to Ivan. As we left our apartment and headed for the earlier train he commented “Even the local tramp looks better than me.”

Hungary players celebrate with their fans.

Due to the strike the train was always going to be crowded so we thought of ways to find a seat. “We could sing English songs, that usually works!” Guess who said that? I think you know that was not going to happen.

Despite having to play musical chairs we managed to sit for the two hour journey to Bordeaux.

Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux

As we got nearer to our destination the rain started once again.

Lunch today was at La Petit Commerce, a fish restaurant, the set menu with hake, was followed by the biggest Creme brûlée you have seen.

And as for the coffee.

Bordeaux, France.

Near the stadium the touts were out in force, as they have been at every stadium, but the demand seems to be decreasing match by match and it was no surprise to see plenty of empty seats in the stadium.

Tickets were exchanging hands at less than face value, with top category tickets going for €50. Normal price €145.

Hungary won the match, and we made our way back to town. For the first time we encountered delays and it took an hour to get back to town. Where we decided to go to a quiet restaurant as opposed to a bar to watch the game like the night before.

Le Miroir d’eau, Bordeaux, France.

On our way home we once again went to see Le Miroir d’eau, (the world’s largest reflecting pool), where we had been earlier in the day. At that time we weren’t impressed mainly due to the rain. This time the view of the Place de la Bourse was rather different.