Miles travelled - 38
French word of the day - Fromage (Cheese - I'm eating my bodyweight in the stuff this trip)
Good day today. Explored Lyon by foot, tram and trolleybus. Since the kids have come along, the simple joy of spending holidays wandering round a new city, stopping for something to eat or drink as you want, has become a distant memory, replaced by endless kids clubs and shows featuring Anxious the Elephant and DJ Ned. Still, won't be long before I can bore them to tears by dragging them round various European cities I'm sure.
Quickly became apparent that the Belgians were hugely outnumbering the Italians in the city today. The red devils as they call themselves were packing the cafes and bars from midday onwards. Great atmosphere all day, with plenty of singing, drinking and not a hint of trouble. I'm sick to death of Seven Nation Army mind.
Dad and I have managed to go 5 days without a row, despite me putting up with some absolute nonsense from him. Here's a couple of the gems we've had from him today:
"Gareth, look here in this shop window. There's a pair of jeans for 49 euros. But next to them, there's the same pair but with a rip in the knees, and they cost 69 euros!"
"Oh no, my rain hat has got all wet....."
Also, the mess he got into ordering his breakfast in a cafe had to be seen to be believed. They had to bring him an English language menu out in the end, which in the culinary capital of France is as insulting as it gets. He assures me he got a 'pass' in his O Level French however, and overall he's been great company so I'll lay off him for now.
Can't quite work the Italian support out. The country's regional history is pretty complicated of course and I know that the national team's relationship with the Italian people is not straightforward, but hell they always bang out their national anthem, particularly that last line about their name being Italy, or something like that. And when they went one up, they suddenly showed up. Also, seemed to be a lot of English and other non-Italians supporting them.
The game was very enjoyable. Belgium started strong but Italy, the seasoned veterans they are, got a beautiful goal out of nothing, and held firm defensively before sealing it with a second in injury time. We missed the second goal as we'd left to catch the bus before the crowds hit. Always makes me wonder why the hell do we travel miles and spend ££££s to watch a game of football and then bugger off early just to save ten minutes queuing to get out.
Still, I was back in the hotel within 40 minutes of the final whistle, tucked up with a can of Sterling lager (40p a can) and my third cheese sandwich of the day, so it was a good call.
St Etiene for another night game tomorrow. Then it's time to turn our thoughts to England in Lens.