Got your email but for some reason I cant reply, no problem with the room see you for a beer next time.
OMG that was one amazing trip. Thanks to all the lads and lasses that made the trip what it was.
I was supposed to be out on the Wednesday, 1920 from Gatwick, but i went to do online check in and could not check in from London. I phoned Malev airlines, they told me LGW was closed. Gaz also let me know his flight was cancelled from Luton and that some of the people who had flights cancelled at Luton were trying to make it out of Heathrow. Gaz also told me he had rebooked on the Romanian airline, that already had a 5 hour delay.
I got put on the 09:00 Thursday Malev fligh from Gatwick, but started to see that as a bit of a risk. The wife also suggested i look at flying from Heathrow as no snow or cancellations. So i looked into it. BA wanted 1080 quid, and there were other airlines flying via Paris or Amsterdam for about 400 to 600 quid. Then i realised i could try and use up some airmiles, so 20000 airmiles and £80 later i found an alternative. I asked my mate at work if he could drive me to T5 Heathrow, and he said he would. So at 1555 i booked it and 1600 printed my boarding pass and at about 1620 i was at T5. I was so, so lucky.
Got through security and hunted down RhylRed and the boys, in one of the bars at T5. Stella in hand i still could not believe my luck. We then watched the departures board, and our flight was up and was then allocated a gate, then it went to 'please wait', then it disappeared from the board altogether. Then we saw loads of flights cancelled and we suspected the worst. All the crew with Rhylred had been up since about 3 a.m so i really started to worry for them. They must have been slightly dazed but absolutely shattered. Then as if by magic the flight came up on the board again and our departure gate, so off we went.
Looked like Wayne had taken over the rear of the plane and was having a bit of a private party.
We all got there safe and sound, with a very small delay. Got met by a few people giving out flyers for dreamers pub, then got taxis to the hotel (well someone elses hotel, not mine). When we asked the taxi driver to stick us on the meter he looked like we talked another language, well we did, but it was selective hearing. We knew we were going to get stung, but just carried on regardless. Got to the Interconti, then gave the taxi driver 100 lei, which is more than it should have been, but he wanted 20 euro each or something daft.
Met Romanian Dan and his very helpful friend Gabriel, and Dans daughter Delia and Longworth and Dubai Dave in the hotel lobby. Everyone except me checked in to the hotel, then we went for a drink around the block. Have to be honest don't remember much else as we ended up staying out until about 7 a.m.
Dave from Dubai helped me out enormously by giving me the other twin in his room. Somehow Dave managed to get the concierge to phone him about 9 a.m so he could get some breakfast. Dave not sure how you did that but fair play. Next thing i knew about anything was Dave waking me about 1300. I was still pissed. Quick shower then back to the lobby to meet everyone then back out again.
We went to the bars around the Rembrandt hotel, can't remember the names of the bars, but they were decent and friendly and reasonably priced. It took me about one sniff of a beer mat to get back on it again, but the joke was on me for still having my bag and not being checked into my hotel, the boutique hotel moxa. My intentions were good, as was going to check in later and then meet the lads back at the bar. But it ended up being such a good afternoon, and i just left it later and later, that in the end it was just all too much effort.
The best midfield in the World song got an airing, brought back a few good memories that one, as did the Luis Garcia song.
Not sure how we got to the ground, but we got there all the same. Obviously the security would not let me into the ground with my bag, so i had to put it in a left luggage bit, but the security were sound, friendly and helpful enough. Didn't see any of our stewards again, like Napoli, so not sure if any were there or if this is now a regular thing. Mind you when the game kicked off i did see 44 players and had to keep one eye shut for most of the game, so you would have thought i would see at least two stewards!
The Jovanavic goal was a big highlight, with a sublime cross from Babel, it looked so easy. The Reina mistake not so good, but with my clouded judgement i was adamant it was not over the line (but it was).
It was great to see how many people were able to make it, well done to everyone and there were a few locals as well. So sorry for those who didn't make it, we know you all tried really hard and were there in spirit. I met two lads before and during the game who had been trying desperately to get the club to recognise them as an official supporters group in Romania, but had not succeeded. They told me they ran a bar called 'The tavern' at 51 Viesparilor near to the Colentina hospital. We never got chance to go there but its a reds bar run by reds, and i would like to check it out. I don't know the reason they cannot be part of an official group, but i hope they succeed.
After the game we caught a taxi back to the centre. I went with Dan, Delia and Longworth and John (i think) to that C C restaurant. That was amazing, a really grand interior with high golden gilted arches and wooden structures. Tried some local Romanian delicacies including some really hot raw horseradish and a really large couple of joints of pork, all washed down with a few beers.
Then we met up with the others and drank the night away. A few more renditions of YNWA and that bloody 'Barbara Streissand' song. Everyone peeled off gradually and i was left thinking i really should check into my hotel now.
I got outside the bar we were in and didn't know what hit me. A girl came up to me to ask me if i was ok, and i really wasn't. So she asked me what was up and i told her i didn't know where my hotel was and what i was doing. She asked for the name of the hotel, and her and a guy helped me find it on a map. The guy then flagged down a taxi and told the driver where to go. I was really lucky and i really want to thank those two people for helping me out.
The woman at the hotel was amazed i did the check in at 6.30, two days after my origirnal check in date and thought i was a no-show. She probably thought lots of other things as well, but...She took me to my room, i was lucky they kept it for me. The boutique hotel moxa was a very nice hotel. I slept there pretty much all of Friday, then went out for a bit of local food at a local restaturant nearby called 'la mama' near the radisson blue.
On Saturday, i walked through the wind and the rain to find 'Dreamers' but it was closed, so still not been there. It absolutley chucked it down on Saturday, so i was like a drowned rat.
The hotel arranged a private car to the airport and it cost 80 Lei door to door. No delays on flight back, but was glad to get back in one piece.
Got back yesterday night.
I have just checked into the Priory, as i stand up and say 'My name is Kev Lumley and i am an alcholic' with my bag still on my shoulder!
Thanks to everyone again for a great time and for looking after me. What a mess.