The show goes on! Some people have all the fun-and we are having it over in Bavaria.
Last couple of days have been hectic for our groups. One group, from Massachusetts took off to see Switzerland in 2 days and are returning to Munchen 'cos they have tickets for the less than exciting Serbia vs Elfenbienkuste (Ivory Coast) tonight at Allianz Arena. Then they go to Bamburg, The beer capital and well preserved old city in Northern Bavaria.
Another group, from Virginia, just returned from Innsbruck, Austria and a mini soccer tournament with refugee teams. Yesterday I led them to Neuschwanstein, the fairy tale castle of Mad King Ludwig, then on the sommer rodelbahn, which is one man luge. You are pulled up the mountain and then released to speed 1,000 ft down a twisting metal course surrounded by Alpine flowers and munching cows with their cowbells making a chorus.
Later to WIESKIRCHE a fantastic rococo church, a UNESCO World heritage site, and then return to watch England vs Sweden on the big screen in the Gasthof Hoehensteiger beer garden, with lots of fans sitting and watching from the rooftops.
Meanwhile, the team from Wisconsin went to Innsbruck and then over the Brenner Bridge and autostrada in the sky to Vipiteno in the Sud Tirol of Italy, watching the World Cup with a bar filled with Italian Alpine troops. Great pizza and gelato-delicious Italian ice cream.
Today I went with Neil and Dustin Cohen to visit Bayern Munchen training HQ with their fan shop and trophy room, and Neil showed where he used to train and play with Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller and their European championship team a generation ago. Ryan Swiontek rejoined us after going overnight to watch a match in Hamburg
Then to the FANFEST at OlympiaPark. Thousands of friendly fans from all nations in the baking hot sun, but we found some shady trees. The giant screen and stage juts into the lake with live bands and dancing girls pre game Portugal vs Mexico. Aron Lopez from UCLA and Chivas USA was with us and was interviewed on a Latin LA TV station in Marianplatz in the city center beforehand.
There were lots of food and beer stalls with food from Germany, Greece, South Africa, Poland, China, Serbia, Italy , France etc and a great atmosphere. Across the lake there is the big hill that some of you might remember from previous trips. Well, they mowed the grass. lined a soccer field full size at 45 degree angle, complete with goals and nets, for a great back drop. Some of the fans were getting flattened card board boxes and sliding down the steep hill for fun.
Everyone respects each others national anthem over here. A far cry from USA vs Mexico 'friendlies' when lots of Mexican fans behave like, well- behave like Mexicans and boo. I havn't heard anything like that at this World Cup.
Well, off to soak my feet in a fountain and enjoy the second half of Argentina vs Holland.
I'll keep you posted- tomorrow we go and watch USA vs Ghana at the Franken Stadion in Nuremberg.