We decided to take a different route on our way down to Dover this year. Instead of taking the main highway through the center of England we drove down the West Coast on smaller roads along the edge of the coastline. It was a beautiful drive and although projected to take about the same time, the six hours seemed to zoom by. I think it was because we were so busy looking out of the window.
We arrived at our hotel in Folkestone only to find ourselves surprised that we had stayed here once before. Since that stay was two years ago during the World Cup it was very convenient that we knew exactly where to go to watch the football. There is a great little Indian restaurant around the corner from the football bar so we re-traced our steps of two years ago and had a very similar evening.
We were up very early the next day to catch an early ferry to Paris as we had a arranged a definitive check-in time with the host of our lovely little Homeaway find. Normally we stay in the same hotel in Montmartre every year (just below the Moulin Rouge) but since the European Cup is held in France this year we decided to extend our stay and enjoy some football in the unique atmosphere. Unique it was. Paris was full of Swiss and Irish football fans as their game was being played just outside the city while we were there. While trouble brewed in the streets of Marseille and Lille with English and Russian fans, the Swiss and most especially the Irish just drank very large quantities of alcohol, got happier and played together. The bar in this video (one of the funniest of the scenes in Paris) was a short walk from our little apartment. I can only imagine how befuddled this poor Parisian who just wanted to smoke a cigarette must have felt.
Of course the scene changed a little in the Fan Zone (where we actually watched the Swiss V Irish game) and it was sad to see a few fans missing the game due to over-intoxication. I was also glad that we decided to watch the game sitting on a small rise to the side of the main pit/standing area as during both goals large plastic cups of beer were thrown high in to the air and the beer cam down like rain on the crowd. I don’t think beer is my best scent.
It was a great atmosphere though and incredible watching the game on a gigantic screen with the Eiffel Tower looming over us.