Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Day 1- Travel

This was the day we'd been waiting for, starting with a disgustingly early wake up call to travel to Luton for our 8am flight. Check in and though security easily and with plenty of time to spare. I hit the Krispy Kreme Donut shop to help ease the pain of the early morning, whilst Dad made the most of the 4 bottles of Stella for£10 offer- at 7.30am! We met my uncle and the rest of the team on the way to the gate where there is a hold up for emergency medical treatment on the inbound flight. The flight was uneventful and I made the most of being able to grab a couple of hours nap- I've finally learnt to sleep on planes!
Our room in Liepaja

View from our room in Liepaja
Riga airport was easy to navigate and went smoothly apart from the idiot JP forgetting to pick his physio bag up from the luggage carousel! We met up with Andy, a 442 Journalist who joined us on the comfy Metalurgs team bus, after bumping in to the Airbus team who had flown in on a private jet! After a 3 hour journey through the middle of nowhere (the countryside reminded me of the more isolated areas of Canada) consisting of non-stop banter between the management team and attempting to get some more sleep, we arrived at the team hotel in Latvia's 3rd biggest city- Liepaja. Me and Dad were the only ones not staying at the team hotel, so we got a taxi to our hotel. The drive was a little worrying but the accommodation and hospitality was nice even if the view what somewhat lacking!
What I thought would be garlic bread
After a quick rest and change, we went for a walk towards the city centre to find somewhere to eat after Dad had researched some places. Thanks to a rainstorm, the majority of outdoor seating was too damp to sit on, and indoors in the restaurants were too warm for Dad. Plan B was put into place- ie, walk around until we found a local pub. This didn't take too long and we found a nice little Latvian pub with dry outdoor seating and English speaking waiters. The food was... interesting? I ordered what I thought would be garlic bread, but was presented with some fried bread mixed with cheese concoction. For main, I'm not really sure what I had. A mix of chicken, some sauce, a rice cake, carrots and some salad. We were entertained during dinner by a cute cat and her kittens. 
The cats entertaining us
At this point it was getting late and we knew the team had finished training, so we went back to a bar we had found earlier and joined the other fans and some of the management team there for some drinks. Let's just say you don't have to pay much for a good night out! For me and dad, a beer and double vodka/coke was just under £3. British pubs take note! There was lots of drinking, singing and sharing stories for the 442 article until the majority of the fans arrived just after midnight, a bit worse for wear. It was hard to keep track of time because I'm pretty sure there was still light in the sky at 11.15pm! Me and Dad decided to call it a night at around 2am so got a taxi back to our hotel ahead of the big game tomorrow.

Apple, Dad and Martin at Fontaines.

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