What a lovely visit. Here’s my tale!
I came into Switzerland from Havana after spending four months there with the purpose of developing my salsa and rumba. I was going to stay there until august but unfortunately I developed a plantar fasciitis injury and thus I decided that instead of doing more rehabiltation in Havana I would go to Switzerland to see my favourite team play.
And do i regret it? Not the slightest. It was an absolutely amazing weekend.
Friday the 23rd
I stayed in a hostel called Depot 195 and as I arrived already a few fellow FC:ers were turning in. I had hardly walked into the kitchen before I was offered a beer from a fellow red. Genuinely nice people, our crowd. The hostel had a very interesting mix of FC-supporters and cartoon characters ’cause apparently there was some kind of ”dress-yourself-up-as-a-japanese-cartoon”-festival in town. Well, I’ve always liked polarities.
After that first beer I was off to meet a good mate of mine and a fellow blogger, Erik Kunert. He lived at the Ibis with his father and his father’s girlfriend and as we departed from their hotel the player bus arrived. We were both amused and surprised by the fact that they were all staying in the Ibis Budget rather than the ordinary Ibis. No flash here, that’s for sure!
We had a quick bit to eat at an Irish Pub where we also met up with a few more of Erik’s german FC-friends. Also at the pub was Mark, another FC fan, whom I had chatted a bit with on the forum. Good lad, nice to meet him. FC away – making new friends every day!
Off we were then to Widder’s bar which would be home to most of the FC fans throughout the weekend. It was a small but very nice establishment packed with reds. It was a great night with constant singing and some nice chats in between. Marginson and some of the players (if you were there, you know who) had a few pints and some had more than others. Walsh was also there along with other FC legends but really it never feels hierarchical – it feels like a family. Nobody is any grander than any other, as long as you paid your member fee, you have equal standing in the club, and that’s what I love so much about FC. I had a good chat with Swampy who had also recently been in Cuba (and many times before), talked with Margy about the possibility of a future interview and enjoyed the company of so many great new and old FC friends. I met some of the Yorkshire lads that I hade previosly shared beer jugs with in Babelsberg and we shared some stories and some more beer. As Mickey O’Farrell sat the athmosphere with his guitar-playing we all joined in singing making some of the locals stare and smile with great admiration of our family.
Saturday the 24th – Match day
The day after was even better. We all gathered early at The Widder’s and sang and enjoyed ourselves even more. I got adopted by some of my newfound Yorkshire friends (the ones with the horn who was constantly asked to f*** off). 🙂
Great athmosphere again as beer coasters where flying from everywhere every time the horn blew. I also had the opportunity to put a face to my online friend Jon Clegg whose videos we’ve often blogged about. It was a lovely bunch of lads who were especially fond of knocking at the table every time they saw a beautiful girl. Anyway his videoclip of the weekend is one of the best ones I’ve seen so far. Check it out here:
The match was brilliant as well, even though the score didn’t go in our favour. Lots of cheering and a new brilliant song about a spaceman who’d come to see United play in Switzerland. Brilliant! Or did I say that already. In the end the whole team went towards us fans and starting a few songs for us and in the end we all sang together. The match also went to history as the first ever time a woman played in the FC United first team!
The party then went on together with the overly nice Winterthur crowd and as the night beckoned the police came and forced the party to stop. The people at Winterthur were great and so very welcoming and I was really feeling a sense of comradery at the end.
For me it turned into a long, long night which I won’t go into details with. But I didn’t go to sleep before 8.30 am after being shown by a young suiss couple to a brilliant viewing point over Winterthur .
Sunday the 25th & Monday the 26th
The next day lots of people went to Widder’s bar once more, I slept the whole day. The last day I went with Jon and his friends to have some last pints at the 24 hour bar. A great group of lads full of banter and humour. We ended up sitting there knocking at the table (for obvious reasons) and asking people where the train station were. It was right in front of us.
Looking forward to next year! And a big thumps up to FC Winterthur!