Salzburg Auf Weidersehen
Routine European fixture? A Routine European trip then? Actually, travelling as a blue as we all know is never easy, but this, was as adventurous and hectic as a simple European trip could get.
As soon as the Salzburg fixture was drawn we were there. A picturesque City in Europe, the first group stage fixture of the campaign and the possibility of an enthralling game were all contributing factors to why we attended this fixture, but with the peaceful nature of the clash- compared to what could be in store in the more aggressive clashes with the Italian Ultras and The Poznan crew, it was logical.
As the alarm clock rang, 5.30 am Thursday morning, I slumbered out of bed. I`m not usually an early riser but knowing what was in store meant I had no problem. I grabbed my bowl of Cookie crisp and travelled to Stalybridge station. A train from there to the Airport and a flight to Singapore via Munich- obviously we didn`t travel to Singapore- but the nature of the long flight meant that even though we were just travelling to Munich it was free drinks on board and movies all the way. Singapore slings were flying off the shelves, lethal as well I heard, hence the song "You only sling when you`re winning", very original I know.
12.00pm Local time we arrived in Munich. Only a train journey a way now until we stepped into the lovely Salzburg. As we entered the train, the City fans were gathering, it was looking like many City fans had planned the same journey as us.
When boarding the train to Salzburg something wasn`t right. It was quite warm in Germany, so I had taken my big, bulky trench coat off and laid it beside me on the platform. Half an hour in, it dawned on me. As i reached to get my jacket it wasn`t around me, it`s only a jacket I suppose not the end of the world. What would have been disastrous is if for some reason my passport would have been left in y coat, at Munich airport, with no way of retrieving it. Surprise, Surprise it was. "Mein Passport und Jacker Verlossen", a little extra for all our bi-lingual readers out there.
After the realisation of how disastrous losing a passport is we settled back into the seat and headed on our way. We had no option, the main event was the City Match, we continued the long journey desperate to get in touch with lost and found.
With no sign of the passport returning we arrived at Salzburg train station. It was a brisk 5 minute walk where we dropped our hand luggage off and headed for the Red Bull Stadium. We managed to flag down a taxi and the journey, the ultimate European adventure was to begin. The Blue army was gathering in numbers, some in a bad situation themselves, if they were let into that ground believe me it would have been a miracle.
We clambered through the turnstiles and the volume of the City faithful was electrifying. "Blue Moon", "Never Felt more like singing the blues" and other classics were echoing the arena, the line-up was announced and carrying our Bratwurst- a delightful German sausage- we stood in the growing crowd and enjoyed the encounter.
The match was as simple as I had hoped, Salzburg couldn`t deal with the English Leagues tempo and we asserted our authority with ease. It wasn`t long until City opened the scoring, David Silva entering the box and finishing calmly, right footed into the bottom corner. After a whole host of chances missed and the possession considerably in our favour Jo killed the game off. The Brazilian forward had been woeful for the whole evening and must have been baffled as to how he had stayed on the pitch for so long. After Tevez glided past several challenges and hit his arrow like shot on target, the keeper parried, allowing the hapless Jo to score-unlike against Blackburn- from two yards out.
With the game over, a thoroughly enjoyable game I must add, we headed to the Tram Station. We eventually got home and settled in, grabbing a snack from the restaurant and getting an early night after such an exhausting day.
When we awoke the next day we knew we had so much to get through. The flight wasn`t until 6.30 am Saturday morning, nearly 24 hours later, we had left the hotel and now had time to kill, I thought the 24 hours would drag, how wrong I was. With the hope of me ever being reunited with my passport fading fast, we had to use a different approach. We finally got in touch with the British consul at 2.00 pm; the consul closes at 3.00 pm. Scurrying for a taxi, desperately running out of time to come home, we got there. What was next in store was nothing short of miraculous. After filling in my details, we had to get passport photos and report the passport lost to the local Police station in Munich. 20 minutes remaining and the possibility of arriving on Tuesday instead looked nailed on.
One hour later and after losing the police report, we entered the British Consul again. This was already after closing time, the fact they eventually did 3 hours over time was unbelievable and I was extremely grateful.
6.00pm, the passport was sewn up. 120 Euros for a one way trip home, certainly not a mistake to make again. We left the consul relieved, finally some food, the first meal of the day.
With no hotel for the night, sleeping rough around Munich airport was the only option. After we took in the sights around Munich- not my kind of thing- we gathered all our stuff, triple check for the passport, and departed on the S-Bahn to the Airport. Only a couple hours left till the European tour was over and it was a well earned rest- that my dad mainly deserved-.
Hopefully after we sail through the group stage, or a premature fixture in the group again we can head off on another world round trip. For now, the priority is to keep a hold of my stuff.