Friday, June 8, 2012
I must confess that Neil and I are still drunk as we check out of our hostel with our bags and have a coffee in the square at around noon. It is as hot as Spain in summer time and the town is filling up with football fans ahead of the first match here tomorrow. For the next two nights prices are high and there is little you can do to avoid being stung due to the overwhelming demand for beds. Our new port of call is Ghostel, close to the Lviv Fans Zone. We have bagged a double room for 760 hryvnia, which we consider to be pretty good going in the scale of things.
Ten years ago I remember there only being a handful of cafes and bars in Lviv but now the city has hundreds. We explore the city, which would give the likes of Vienna and Budapest a good run for their money when it comes to the wow factor. Lviv escaped World War II without being bombed and what remains is one of the last untouched classic European cities. Much of the city feels like it is falling apart at the seams but you can also feel the city catching up with some of its more famous counterparts such as Krakow.
Euro 2012 begins with Poland failing to get past a short-handed Greek side before being reduced to ten men themselves. The second matches kick off at 21:45, local time, in Ukraine, so we have time to watch the first game at the hostel before joining the thousands watching on the big screen in Lviv fan zone. The atmosphere is good but it soon becomes apparent that most of the local Ukrainians do not want Russia to win in their opening match against the Czechs. Boos ring out every time a Russian touches the ball while a group of Russians near the screen begin chanting back at the Ukrainians. The Russian team looks good but in all honesty this is one of the weakest teams the Czechs have ever fielded.
It does kick off between a group of Russians and Ukrainians shortly after we leave the fan zone but we are already on our way to the night clubs and miss the fighting.
If last night was an 11/10 night out then tonight is closer to ‘6’ due to the sausage fest factor. With our German mates as company it is still a top night out though and we find ourselves strolling through the gorgeous streets of Lviv at 6am as the street cleaners help spruce the city up for the day ahead.
Greece 1 Poland 1
Russia 4 Czech Republic 1