Leipzig to Dresden & our first win!
Trip Start Jun 26, 2011
17Trip End Jul 18, 2011
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amusement of everyone in the cafe. It was obviously one of those mornings.We caught the 10.25 ICE train to Dresden. It was 10 minutes late - first delay we've had since
we've been here. We sat in 2 jump seats by the luggage store, all other seats seemed to be taken, but we weren't on the floor this time
holiday. They were off to find a car hire place as Gav & Glenn had an early flight home from Berlin the next morning & the first train out only gave them 20 minutes to get from station, through
check-in & onto the plane - a little too close for comfort.
Our hostel is about a 10 minute walk from the station, and the pavements weren't kind to the cases - the tyre on one wheel of the case I was pulling blew & ended up wrapped around the wheel. We reached the hostel & checked in, but couldn't get into our room until 3pm (it was about midday when we arrived). There was a luggage area in the lobby (by luggage area, I mean space in the lobby where people had decided to leave their bags) so we left our cases there & headed into the
city centre. We had been told where there was a Starbucks (they have free Wifi there, so we can have a check up on the world whilst we have a coffee!), so wandered back the way we came heading vaguely for the Starbucks
at Starbucks. We still had about an hour before we could get into our room, so we walked back via the stadium, so we knew where to go later on.
Back at the hostel, we changed & got ready for the game – we had heard on Twitter that the squad
were wearing the away strip, so out came the red shirts, topped off with The Gang hoodies & off we went.
We met Pav outside the front of the station & slowly we were surrounded by familiar faces. First to
arrive were the Cheeky Girls & the Gooner, armed with an air horn. They announced their arrival by way of the air horn, right by me. Needless to say I was a little startled. 2 of the Cheeky Girls
had full face make up on, and made sure that they transferred as much as they could onto our faces as they left to find their seats
We walked round to our seats with Mike & Anna. We got to the ticket points, where you have to get your bags checked after going through the turnstiles. Lis had brought 2 lenses with her to this game (leaving the biggest lens at the hostel). We both went through the turnstiles with open bags, walked past 2 sets of stewards & volunteers & then both closed our bags. No bag checks for us this time! No idea quite how we managed it, as everyone else had their bags checked, but we did. This meant that Lis had 2 lenses that she might be able to use in the ground. We stopped off at the merchandise stall (didn’t have time at the last game to buy anything, thanks to getting caught up in all the traffic), so this time we treated ourselves to a couple of things. We bought drinks & headed to our seats. The Pinkless One appeared behind us, so we had a quick hello chat with her & went and sat down.
We checked our phones & the line-ups had been texted through to us: KB in goal, Alex, Casey, Faye & Unitt holding the back line, Fara and Jill causing trouble in the centre of midfield, and Eni, Kelly & Ellen making room for themselves up front
Half time came. There was a little bit of doubt beginning to creep into our minds, not being able to score would prove to be a real problem if we wanted to get out of the group stages. We met up with Mike, Anna & Lindsey and none of us could really talk about the first half, we just didn't understand how we could have the better of the play & yet be a goal down.The second half started
cheering. Get in! This was game on! We had drawn level – winning was possible, there was just under 30 minutes to go. Yanks was subbed off shortly after the goal, bringing Jess Clarke on in her place. And just over 10 minutes later she doubled our tally, Jilly set her up & Jess calmly blasted the ball into the net. We were 2-1 up! Come on! We were all up on our feet celebrating again. This is what we wanted to see, a composed & calm team, doing what they do best. The last few minutes of the half saw Sophie Bradley replace Faye & a great shot from Fara. The final whistle went & we had done it! Our first win of the tournament! Get in there girls!The squad were celebrating on the pitch and we were all celebrating in the stands. Our tournament was properly under-way with our first 3 points under our belts.
Before leaving the pitch, the New Zealand team performed the female Haka to their fans. The only time I’ve seen the female Haka performed live was when I used to drink in a Kiwi bar in London, and then it was always performed by the staff (male & female) when they were drinking & watching the rugby. This time it was a little different, and I have to confess I was a little choked by it. I love seeing this kind of tradition out on the pitch.Finally we (us, Mike, Anna, the Pinkless One, Pam & Kylie (not Minogue, the other one)) were told
by the stewards we had to leave the stands. So out we went & decided to go back round to the front of the stadium to clap the girls onto the bus & out of the grounds. On our way there we
bumped into Carol, Andrew & Tina. We all stopped & had a catch up with them. Then went our separate ways. We arrived at the front of the stadium just as the squad were getting onto the bus.
There were loads of people by the coach, so we decided to stand in the road on the other side to applaud them (the police had blocked the road, so we were fairly sure we would be safe). We clapped Hope onto the bus, who in turn applauded us lot & waved. Then Pav got on the bus, had a chat with Hope & got off again. She walked round to our side of the coach & beckoned Lis over to her. They had a whispered conversation & Pav got back on the coach. Moments later, Pav was back off the coach, beckoned Lis over to her again & they had another whispered conversation. Then Pav got back onto the coach & it drove off to the sound of our applauses. Lis then told me that the main fans were invited back to the team hotel. We then told Mike & Anna, the Pinkless One and Pam & Kylie (not Minogue, the other one). Mike decided he was going to go to a local
bar instead, Anna went with him. That left 5 of us. Pam & Kylie (you know which one by now, surely) had a car, so we walked over to the car park, piled in, plugged the postcode in their sat nav & off we went. When we arrived we saw Hope, she told us the squad were eating, but to go in & get a drink. The only problem was, security wouldn’t let us in, no matter what we said. So we decided to wait outside, knowing eventually Pav would turn up & get us in. Whilst we sat there we said “hi” to Unitt, Jess, Dunia, and had a chat to Alex. Then Jilly & Pav arrived. We stood having a
chat to Jilly whilst Pav had a word with security & then we were allowed in. Thanks Pav!Once inside we chatted to the Stoneys & Casey in the lobby, then with Browny, Tim & Margaret in the bar. We nipped out & on our way in stood talking with Ellen about the game, the last World Cup & The Gang, she admired The Gang hoodies, saying the slogan was very apt! In fact, most people admired the hoodies & especially the slogan – both Michelle & Steve have asked for one, so we’ll see what we can organise with Kathy! Finally, after talking to Bern & the boys, Steve & the dad of one of the New Zealand keepers, we grabbed a seat with the Carneys, Bass’ family & Carol. We were joined by Kaz, Alex & Kate Markgraf. Bass turned up eventually, still wearing her boots & carrying her shinnies, after having to go for drug checks (she has been picked out of the hat for both games now & hasn’t kicked the ball! A little unfair if you ask me!). Time ticked on, and
eventually the Pinkless One came over to say she was going, we said we would join her as soon as we finished our drinks. So the three of us attempted to walk back to our respective hotel/hostel, from a starting point that we weren’t 100% sure where it was on the map. We walked down the road, which slowly got darker & darker. We then heard a party in the blackness of the river bank nearby. We walked a little further to a street light where we would be able to see the map. We found where we were on the map, and it we were going the wrong way. So back we walked, a little relieved not to have to carry on down the ever-darkening road, as it was a little spooky to
be honest. We reached the hotel & met the Browns. We had a laugh with them about going the wrong way & then parted company (they were walking in a similar direction to where we had just been). We got to the next junction & got the map out to work out which way we needed to go next when we were greeted by a blast of a car horn. It was Pam & Kylie (do I have to explain which one she is still?). We told them how we’d gone the wrong way, so they offered us a lift back to the station. In we got & we drove the way that we had walked. We all then agreed we weren’t in the right place, so Kylie turned on her sat nav & off we went, back in the other direction! Finally, we reached the train station & out we all got, thanked Pam & Kylie, said goodbye to the Pinkless One and walked wearily back to the hostel.Free day tomorrow, so a little walk around the centre – think we’re going to meet the Carneys, Bern & Steve in the Irish bar (the Dubliner) tomorrow night to watch the David Haye fight, so no blog tomorrow as we’ll be too tired!
Until then: Come on England – We Believe!
p.s. Sorry about the lack of pictures, but it's taking forever to upload them. Will add more when internet is faster!