Watto's Euro 2004 Diary

  

Paul Watson experiments with travel logistics in Portugal.

  

 Day 11: Sunday 20 June 2004

  
Wake up at 6am.  Metro at Baixo Chiado is closed.  Taxi to Oriente, the main railway station.  I can still taste the sardines...  Meet a yellow-shirted blue, he went to Italy v Sweden (I could have been there); he has slept in the station.  He is waiting for the Faro train at 8:21.

If you do not like seeing corners not get past the first man, loss of possession at throw-ins, our players slipping over due to wrong stud choice, or Paul Gerrard colliding with one of our defenders, then please do not read the account of the next 90 minutes.

Faro train at 8:21, I am going to get the express.  I look around, Lisboa SA (San Antonio) seems to be the main station for the south. I will go there.  There is an express at 7:41.  I go to the metro...

"Por Favor Stacao San Antonio."  "Que?"

"Por Favor Stacao San Antonio?"  "Que?"  (Why do they do that?)

"Por Favor Stacao San Antonio?"  "Ahah, Stacao San Antonio," he points "Abu Dhabi" ...

I look at the metro map: Alvalade.  No time to waste.  I get out at Alvalade.  No sign of the station... strange.

"Por Favor Satcao San Antonio?" Points up the road.

I keep going. Still no station.

"Por Favor Stacao San Antonio."  Someone points up the road.

I get there at last.  Dark, black, dominating the skyline, the statue of Saint Anthony.

Back to the metro.  Lisboa SA must be San Appolonia.  Get there, no good. 7:31.

Taxi, "Faro expresso Por Favor," the guy starts talking about boats and ports.  It is on the other side of the river.  10 minutes; I am not going to make it.

Get the metro to Oriente, main station.

"Por Favor Metro?"  Doesn´t know.  "Por favor Metro?"  "Ahah, May-tro!  Si."

I get there eventually: Baixo Chiado.

7:51, only got 30 mins to get to Oriente.  8:15 I get to Oriente.  No queue for tickets this time, can use last night's ticket.  8:20 I am on the train.

It is now safe to continue.  8:21 train leaves for Faro.

The train crosses the river, I can see some posh trains, they might be the expresses.

Sleep on the train, next stop is Faro, I have to go to the ground to get the ticket for Russia v Greece.

Train stops at Loule.  I get out no taxis, but some Brighton fans give me a lift into Loule.  They are booking train tickets for a special tomorrow (England); all the trains and coaches are booked up.  Loule taxi to the ground, taxi waits.  Nice ground, buy my ticket, treat me like a criminal — all I am doing is picking up a ticket.  Ask some lads for a lift, car full.  Get taxi back to Alvor: 55 Euros.

Second Group D games tonight: Czechia v Holland; Germany v Latvia.

Paul Watson

  

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