Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Most people will never have heard of Rzeszow, I suspect. The city has a spanking new international airport terminal, which is located around 10 kilometres from the city centre. We wait half an hour for an airport bus and jump off near Rzeszow train station, close to the towering Revolution monument, before bumbling around the city centre asking locals where our hotel might be. MTAG is not a big fan of booking too much accommodation in advance at football tournaments as experience tells us that plans change very quickly but on this occasion we have booked ourselves a decent two-star hotel just off Rzeszow’s attractive Rynek Glowny for the first night of the tour.
Bags dumped in the hotel, Rzeszow’s colourful central square is buzzing with outdoor terraces. Workmen are in the process of erecting a giant screen to show the Euro matches which begin in Warsaw on Friday and every other advertising poster around the city is Euro 2012-themed. There are also a few comical sign posts including City Wok's 'Feel the China' and an eatery that goes by the name Restaurant Grotesque:
This gorgeous medieval square with its fountains, cobble stones, gorgeous architecture and chilled-out café terraces in the perfect intro to Euro 2012. Inevitably, a quiet first night out soon becomes additional drinks in one of the adjacent bars. We both find ourselves commenting that with the prices here and the dozen or so classy bars all adjacent to the beautiful square, Rzeszow is clearly a weekend-break destination in the making: sixty quid will get you a return flight here, thirty quid a decent hotel room and a night out will likely cost you around a third of the price of the UK.
Day one of Euro 2012 ends in a Polish night club where, aside from two tiny incidents of xenophobia from the local lads, the majority of the clientele are friendly and up for having a good time. A solitary Portuguese and lone German become the first two football fans of the tour to make our acquaintance and, with it already light outside, we crash back at the hotel at around 4.30, having made no travel arrangements to Ukraine for the coming day.