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Day 3 Continued & Day 4- Moscow

May 22nd, 2008 by sneedlestone

This was my first day in Moscow and arriving from Riga around mid-day I did my best to follow the crowd via the metro service in to the centre. The Metro although very fast, and efficient can be a bit confusing at times. All the station names are in Russian and the stations inside seem to be quite large with a number of different entrances and exits. I paid 155 Roubles for a 10 trip pass, a little over 3 pounds in British money, which seems like good value.

Having made my way into the city centre. I found myself walking down a large street full of bars & restaurants. I stopped here to have some lunch, sitting outside a well know Italian restaurant watching all the football fans go by. With a good eight hours or so until kick off I was in no hurry to go anywhere!
Soaking up the atmosphere I began to notice that it was quite clear that Manchester United fans outnumbered us Chelsea fans. Or at least where I was sitting anyway. So off I went in search of a Chelsea pub. After walking all the way up the street and the round the block I started to wonder where all the Chelsea fans had gone?


Moscow is a pretty big city, so rather than worry about where I was going I decided just to go for a walk around the centre. Seeing army,guards and police on every street corner is an unusual sight, I’m not sure it gives Moscow a very friendly feel! After visting a shopping centre and a Russian supermarket, I bumped in to a large group of Chelsea fans, and tagged along with them for a while before deciding it was time to get a bit of food in, before heading off to the stadium.

Luzhniky Stadium/Chelsea V Man U

After following the large flow of fans through the metro to the Sportivnaya station home of the Luzhniky stadium, and I am also told Torpedo Moscow. I make it to the ground for around 8pm, a little under 3 hours before kick-off. With such a huge police/army presence everywhere the atmosphere is a bit strange to say the least. Fans are singing and dancing, however there is definately a sense of tension in the air. As for myself the nerves have now started to kick in. This is it, I have travelled for three days across three different countries to get here. And now finally, I am here standing outside the Luzhniki stadium, unbelievable!

I don’t suppose I need to explain to you what happened during the game. As I am sure you all watched it for yourself. Needless to say after 90 minutes, extra time & those cruel cruel penalties I was absolutely shattered. With nowhere to stay for the night and the weather taking a turn for the worse I sought refuge in Moscow Sheremetyevo airport. With a free direct bus service running from outside the ground,and the alternative being a night on the streets of Moscow. I would say the decision to stay there for the night was a pretty easy one.

As you can see from the following picture, the airport was full of tired fans. With many having to wait ages for their scheduled flights, were talking afternoon or even evening flights(and this was the early hours of the morning). It was no surprise really to find people asleep just about anywhere and everywhere inside the terminal building.


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