Poznan is in a great location, half way between Berlin and Warsaw and I took the 2 1/2 train journey from Szczecin on a Sunday morning for an EKTRAKLASA LEAGUE match.
I rushed straight to the stadium without securing accommodation first, a big mistake. I took tram number 6 to the Stadium Miejski on Bulgarska Street. It's the home of KKS Lech Poznan and their stadium is a building site getting ready for EURO 2012. It will be an all covered stadium seating 48,000 and is a sea of mud outside with two triple level stands completed but only one covered so far. LECH was the founder of Poland and their blue/white fans are passionate. EVERYONE wears a blue and white scarf which they twirled and then held high and waved in unison, and the whole stadium rocked. One end chanted - and the other end responded. THE WHOLE MATCH. Amazing, WHAT FANS. They chant for Kolejorz- the railwaymen- due to their former owners PKP Polish State Railways.
The visitors were league leaders Polonia Warsawa but, two goals in the first few minutes from Peruvian Hernan Rangifo -Charapa-the turtle, put Lech on the way to a great victory and up to third place, 1 point below Polonia and challenging new leaders Wisla Krakow.
Lech are still in the UEFA Cup and recently tied AS Nancy Lorraine 2-2 and also have CSKA Moscow, Deportiva La Coruna, and Feyenoord Rotterdam to play home and away. www.lechpoznan.pl and they have an English and German section. Public transport is superb in Poznan-and in all Polish cities, and is a BIG PLUS for visitors to EURO 2012.
It was so cold even in my winter coat high up in the press box where the Polish journalists' fingers were too cold to type. At half time I discovered the temporary press tent and LOTS of complimentary hot Polish sausages, the length of a donkey's-tail. I ate THREE of them with the buns and felt a lot better - AND some hot coffee-no cold beer today thank you. Back in town it rained sideways and my little city map started to disintigrate as I tried to follow directions. Finally soaked, with my spectacles rain spattered, I stumbled into a bakery. The lady drew me a simple map on a paper napkin. I remembered the directions.
Outside again the napkin disintegrated but I had the directions in my head, and found a hostel, FROLICK GOATS on a side street. A goat is the city and also Lech Poznan's mascot. A four bed room just for myself, a hot shower, free tea and internet-PARADISE - and a great nights sleep.