My Bavarian friends thought I was crazy; I got up at 5.00am for a taxi that never arrived, and I had to hitch hike to Rosenheim Bahnhof. I was going to miss my train! 5 minutes later an angel showed up. She was a religious nurse driving a VW and the lord told her to stop and help me. THANK YOU LORD! I just made the 05.28 to München (the lord had delayed it for 5 minutes). Four trains later I was in Aachen near the Belgian border, including up to 280 km per hour on one stretch with the ICE train.
Two buses from Aachen Hbf to TIVOLI STADION including the 3 section BENDY bus, crushed with fans, including a couple of TSV 1860 fans trying for the Guinness record for longest kiss on a bendy bus. Surely NOT a great idea to have visiting fans having to change buses in the city centre?
Alemannia Aachen; fantastic new stadium, bright yellow all over and only 3 matches played there so far, with a 30,000 seat capacity. In fact Bundesliga 2 has some really big stadiums, FC Koln, Dusseldorf, TSV 1860 München, Kaiserslautern, Augsburg etc. Two hundred metres behind it is the huge Aachen Arena for the world famous Aachen International Horse Show, the Wimbledon of Equestrianism. Then the problem fraulein. I had emailed in advance for accreditation, backed up by TSV 1860. Some young ERMO, (easily replaceable minor official) told me they had not received anything, it was too late on the day- go outside and buy a ticket!!.
I had travelled 8 hours and EVERYWHERE I go in the world I get a friendly welcome. First you must smile, second you must show respect for your elders, third you must say welcome and at least offer a glass of water, and fourth you must solve problems. After much persistance I prevailed, took the elevator to the roof top press area and found about 80% of the seats were empty. There was a guy and his 11 year old looking son, a 20 something in black with tatoos all over, and on crutches, and maybe half a dozen were actiually writing or typing.
The Chairman should send her to the horse arena to 'muck out' the 4 legged friends for a month to learn some manners, and then I found that Alemannia don't have a chairman right now. Their fans were fantastic, with a decent crowd of 25,000 and few from Bavaria. I expect sell out signs when Köln, Kaiserslautern and more local clubs come and visit. Aachen has history with a capital H and for almost 600 years, from 936 AD-1531, 30 German Kings and 12 Queens were crowned here and it was the residence of Charlemage. Alemannia is the ancient name for Germany, and the French name for the town, Aix-La-Chapelle was the name of a famous treaty. It was also the first German city to be liberated by the Allies in 1945.
Well there was a game to watch, AND the referee was worth watching as well. 30 year old and drop-dead gorgeous blonde Bibiana Steinhaus, a policewoman from Hannover. Alemannia were an exciting, attacking side while TSV were poorly organized in defence and were lucky to survive so long. However in the 43rd minute Benny Auer scored a simple side foot from a pass by Manuel Junglas with the light blue defence on vacation. Without their Hungarian goalie Gabor Kiraly it could have been 6-0 and on 90 minutes Benny got his second on an assist from Thorsten Burkhard and the Beetles fans and their drum playing cheer leaders left happy. www.alemannia-aachen.de.
The only real chance for the Bavarians was when Kenny Cooper Jr hit the upright in the 69th minute. Die Löwen Coach Ewald Lienen has real problems with maybe 5 players not worthy of a place on the squad. Kevin Kratz, Babacar Gueye. 25 caps for Senegal and others were exciting to watch and goal hungry. Back to Bavaria by ICE and THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH, München Hbf after 11.00pm as the Oktoberfest crowd were drinking, singing and dancing after a day at the world's biggest party.