I have arrived in Germany. Currently in Essen, which is a nice town only about 10 minutes away from Gelsenkirchen where the first USA game will be played on Monday at 1800 time local, that is Noon for my folks on the East coast of the USA. It will be on ESPN2 and I expect everyone to take a long lunch break to watch the opening game and us beating the Czech Republic. I will post tomorrow on my full thoughts on the game. Already world cup fever you can feel it here in Germany. In just a few hours walking around Essen, I have seen groups of fans from Ecuador, Italy, Argentina(very happy fans as they won their game vs Ivory Coast), Brazil, Germany. People are all wearing colors, flags, and showing team spirit. I will do my best to be patroitic and might even try to paint the USA flag on my face, and hopeing I can find a flag.
I must say the last 3 days of travel have been grueling. I did 3 cities, 2 flights all in 2 days. Now that i'm in Western Europe things should be more smooth. I will be in Germany till the 13th and then a side train trip to Amsterdam, Belgium and Luxembourg before coming back to Germany for the USA vs Italy game on the 17th. The trains here are amazing, both in comfort level and service. The trains leave at the exact minute and even in the 2nd class car, on the train I took last night from Cologne airport to Essen, it was more like a plane, with headrests, music selection and overall comfort. If all the trains trips are like this, it will be a blessing. While they are not as cheap in the past, I have an 8 day railpas for Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, so that should cover me for the month of June.
I know the blog updates have been sporatic of late, but without my own laptop internet access is spotty at best. Right now I'm staying with people I met on the Internet on a soccer website and using their laptop, so today i'm in the process of uploading all my photos, my videos and I have a list of 3-4 posts that I want to get done today. Including one of the beers I've had so far with reviews of them. Just waiting for the pictures to get uploaded.. Also working on an interactive map of my journey so far, as I know alot of Americans are geographically limited and don't know the difference between where Romania and Russia are.
The weather today in Germany is totally lovely, about 28 degrees, no clouds in the sky. The plan is to goto a BBQ in the park and watch the first game at 1500, and then might go up to Dusseldorf for a SportsbyBrooks party, as Brooks is over here and will be going to the USA vs Czech game. Too bad he didnt bring the girls or the contest, as I'd be up for a chance to win events in both America and Germany.
Ok check out the Photos, look over at the Links on the side, and there is a link to both videos from YouTube and Photos on Fotki, and if you like the Photos you can even purchase them!