MISJA 21: Podróż dookoła Polski w 21 dni Euro

Nasi wysłannicy z Londynu i Łodzi - Petter Larsson z City University i Maciej Stańczyk z Gazety Wyborczej - przemierzają kraj w poszukiwaniu największego sukcesu i porażki Mistrzostw Europy w Piłce Nożnej UEFA - Euro 2012.

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  • piątek, 22 czerwca 2012
    • The game of Zones

      Because of different weather, different games and different days it is impossible to make a fair summary of my impressions of the Fan Zones we have been to. So I’ll make an unfair one.

      Gdansk’s Fan Zone is big and had a very friendly vibe when we were there. The toilets and bars were easy to get to even when it was crowded.

      Plus features: Big food and bar tent with TV screens, playgrounds for the kids, handwash by the ToiTois, PayPass cards and great food variety. Good entertainment between the games, related to who was playing.

      Minus features: Could get muddy when it rains. A bit outside the city centre.

      4/5 PPT (Polish palm trees)

      Warsaw’s Fan Zone was as good as they could have made it for such an amount of people. It had many big screens and areas for people to watch the games but that came with a withdrawal of the funny things other Fan Zones had. I guess Warsaw is a city where one can find fun everywhere anyway.

      Plus features:  Massive area. The only area that could really take on a big enough crowd for a Poland game. Easy to get to.

      Minus features: One hour queuing for a beer when Poland played and a beer/food currency that didn’t work in any other Fan Zone. Once, most of the toilets were shut so people had to wait for 15 minutes for the ones still working. Lots of firecrackers were somehow let in during the Poland-Russia game and the kids didn’t look too comfortable with them exploding every other minute.

      2/5 PPL

      Krakow’s Fan Zone didn’t do its best performance when it really needed to (when we had our eyes on it). The weak spot – the grass field that looked more like a mud bathing spa after the heavy rain – was exposed just as we came there and I am sure that it during a nice summer evening would have been very nice. There must however be a reason why everyone I spoke to there was there for the first(and possibly last) time.

      Plus features: Easy to get access to toilets and beer stands (because it was completely empty of people), lots of space (because there it was completely empty of people) and very nice atmosphere between staff and visitors (because it was completely empty of people).

      Minus features: It was completely empty of people. The mud zone was located too far from the city centre and didn’t have anywhere to watch games covered from the rain apart from under the front row of the tables with umbrellas. We got a table at the second row and saw nothing. They also had a different beer/food currency – coupons – that didn’t work anywhere else. It was probably mostly the people who’d already paid for a lot of coupons who decided to stay.

      1/5 PPT

      Wroclaw’s Fan Zone was nicely located in the city centre. Its stone ground was good when it started to rain, but it doesn’t have that much nice food – the only extra Wroclaw offers is a candy stand and pop corn – and it is not big enough. During Poland’s last game in Wroclaw, the Fan Zone was divided in two – one for people standing outside the fences and one for people inside. Outside was almost better as people could bring their own drinks.

      Plus features: Good location. Nice ground to stand on even in rain. PayPass card worked to buy food and drinks with.

      Minus features: Too small to get everyone enjoy those plus features.

      3/5 PPT

      Poznan’s Fan Zone was nice and cozy, in the heart of the city. It had a fountain and stairs for people to sit on which was perfect during our stay in the city when the summer evenings were warm and it wasn’t too crowded. It didn’t however have a big variety of food and we had to go for either sausage or zapiekanka.

      Plus features: Cozy, small and not on grass. One paid with PayPass and there were some options to sit watching games when it wasn’t crowded. Nice parties in the evenings.

      Minus features: When it was crowded, however, I have heard it could become full three hours before the game and be quite difficult to get around inside. A big glass house taking up a lot of space, for people who want to be there but still pay for not having to stand around people, doesn't help. It's cozy but not effective.

      2/5 PPT

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      piątek, 22 czerwca 2012 15:55
    • Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań

      Byliśmy, zobaczyliśmy, pora porównać.

      

      W czasie naszej podróży odwiedziliśmy wszystkie miasta - gospodarzy Euro w Polsce. Ostanie półtora tygodnia spędziliśmy kolejno w Krakowie, Wrocławiu i Poznaniu. Krakowianie co prawda nie miał u siebie żadnych meczy, ale kilka drużyn wybrało to miasto na bazę noclegową.

      Odkąd Polacy odpadali z turnieju, zostało nam już tylko kibicowanie krajom, które ciągle są w grze. A z każdym kolejnym meczem będzie ich ubywać. Kibice wyjechali już z Poznania. Po przegranej Czechów opuszczą też pewnie Wrocław. Najwyższa więc pora podsumować - i porównać - Euro w tych miastach.

      Dwa dni spędzone w Krakowie utwierdziły mnie w przekonaniu, że na Mistrzostwach Europy naprawdę zyskały miasta w których rozgrywały się mecze. W dawnej stolicy - jak zwykle - spotkaliśmy w wielu turystów z zagranicy i kilkanaście wycieczek szkolnych, ale samych kibiców, którzy byliby w mieście dla samego Euro - jak na lekarstwo. Kraków wykorzystał swoją szansę na tyle, na ile mógł, ściągając do siebie piłkarzy. Ale gorącej atmosfery, ekscytacji i miasta które żyje Mistrzostwami Europy nie było.

      Poznań i Wrocław na Euro przygotowały się perfekcyjnie. Widać to w nowych, imponujących wyremontowanych dworcach. Widać w oznaczeniach po angielsku i komunikacji miejskiej zorganizowanej tak, że wszędzie taksówkarze narzekali na mały utarg. Do tego trzeba dodać armię wolontariuszy zawsze gotowych do wyjaśnienia w którą stronę należy się udać.

      Mimo wszystko to Poznań - moim zdaniem - pokazał się podczas Euro z najlepszej możliwej strony. Zaczynając od bardzo klimatycznej strefy kibica, która była czymś więcej niż ogrodzonym płotami kawałkiem przestrzeni. W środku zamknięto fontannę. Po meczach mieszkańcy i kibice bawili się przy imprezowych hitach. I jeszcze jeden drobny szczegół - tylko w Poznaniu widziałem sprzątanie jeszcze podczas meczu. Butelki, kubki czy inne śmieci zbierane były na bieżąco. W innych miastach z porządkowaniem czekano do zakończenia spotkania.

      Wrocławska strefa kibica była najsłabiej zorganizowana. O ile w innych miastach ustawiono je w miejscach blisko centrum, tak, że nie ograniczały zwiedzania najciekawszych fragmentów Centrum, we Wrocławiu postanowiono ogrodzić płotami niemal cały Rynek, tworząc zygzakowatą konstrukcję. Szczególnie irytujące było obchodzenie jej dookoła.

      Nieco denerwujące dla kibiców, którzy tak jak my odwiedzili kilka miast, były różne sposoby płacenia w strefach. W Warszawie trzeba było kupować żetony. W Krakowie - talony. W pozostałych miejscach - założyć sobie kartę paypass i na nią przelewać środki. Ostatecznie zakończymy Euro z talonami, żetonami i kartą w kieszeni.

      I na koniec rzecz najważniejsza - czyli my, gospodarze.

      Za równo we Wrocławiu jak i w Poznaniu widziałem dumę w oczach mieszkańców i smutek po zakończeniu ostatniego meczu. Fenomenalnie zachowali się poznaniacy, którzy błyskawicznie zorganizowali happening dla gości z Irlandii. Oni z pewnością do Polski wrócą. Obiecywał mi to każdy Irlandczyk z którym rozmawiałem. Wrocławianie również przyjęli Czechów jak należy.

      

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      piątek, 22 czerwca 2012 12:56
    • Germany's first bicycleta in goal this tournament

      We didn’t meet that many Germans on Gdansk’s streets today and when we did, they were not all here for the football. Werner, who just came with the ferry from Gdynia, had come to Tricity by bike and deserved a cold beer in a café by the harbour.

      The trip had taken him three weeks and one bicycle chain, but apart from that it had all gone smoothly. Looking out over the sea that he’d had on his left side on his trip here, Werner enjoyed his beer and didn’t look too sad that his boat back to Germany will leave tomorrow before the game.

      He said: “Well, I have to go back to work.”

      I guess someone needs to run the country while the rest is watching football.

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      piątek, 22 czerwca 2012 00:52
  • czwartek, 21 czerwca 2012
    • Gdansk is getting pretty...

      ...because the Germans are coming!

      Gdansk wasn’t exactly like I remembered it. Last time we’d been greeted by Spanish, Italian, Irish and Polish people who were having a street party in the sun. Now it was grey, cold and empty and the only thing telling us that there will be a quarterfinal in the European Football Championship here tomorrow was an occasional Germany cap.

      The Poles were back work and the foreigners arriving seemed quite happy with a break from being a fan and just buy souvenirs for a day.

      Tor Filiper(right), from Germany, said he was surprised over his experience in Ukraine. He said: Ukraine was very nice. People were very friendly and helpful. In Kiev we were couchsurfing and the people were nice and showed us around.”

      Tor, travelling with a camper van, said he liked Gdansk too. He said: “It’s very nice. We are just walking around today, watching the city and it’s very nice.”

      He said he didn’t mind a break from the Euro pulse in Ukraine. He said: “Today you see some football fans but not so many, I think tomorrow there will much more. But I am happy about that so that I can watch the city.”

      Tor’s friend, Seggi Kasteleiner(left), said: “Gdansk is a very nice city. We enjoy our time in Sopot where we only have hundred metres to the sea. I don’t really feel the Euro vibe at the moment, I think it’ll be more tomorrow. But in Kiev there was a really big Fan Zone with maybe five hundred thousand spectators. Well I don’t know exactly but there were a lot of people and it was really fantastic. We hoped for Poland and Ukraine to do better but they went out and we are a little bit sorry about that because it’s not good for the tournament.”

       

      Dimitris from Greece had just arrived with a bunch of friends. He said: “We have just been to the old city but it is very nice here.”

       

       

      Dimitris, who’s been to Warsaw for two weeks, said there was more pulse in the capital. He said: “When we were there, Poland was still in the tournament so it was more alive, because of the Polish fans. Now that Poland is out of the tournament and the foreigners haven’t arrived yet, things are a bit quiet, but I think tomorrow will be fine.”

      I hope so to, because Euro should, according to my research, last for a little bit longer.

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      czwartek, 21 czerwca 2012 18:51
    • Nieszczęśliwi Niemcy

      Po blisko dwóch tygodniach wróciliśmy do Gdańska. Ostatni raz byliśmy tu krótko po meczu otwarcia, gdy o punkty w grupie walczyli Hiszpanie i Włosi. Dziś na ulicach nie ma kolorowych tłumów. Kibice niemieccy i greccy albo jeszcze nie przyjechali, albo skutecznie chowają się w hotelach. Pogoda nie zachęca do spacerów.

      Kilku Niemców udało nam się spotkać. Po raz pierwszy usłyszałem niepochlebne opinie o Euro w Polsce.

      - Byliśmy wcześniej w Kijowie, tam dało się odczuć gorącą atmosferę Euro. W Gdańsku na razie tego nie czuje - mówił  Burkhardt, doświadczony kibic niemieckej reprezentacji. - Pamiętam Mistrzostwa Świata w naszym kraju w 2006 roku. Wszyscy ekscytowali się turniejem. W Republice Południowej Afryki, gdzie też byłem, cały kraj żył piłką nożną. Mam nadzieję, że przed meczem będzie lepiej - dodał.

      Burkhardt wspominał też, że celnicy na granicy nie byli przesadnie mili. - Miałem wrażenie, że są wkurzeni, że wjeżdżamy do Polski.

      W podobnym tonie wypowiadało się trzech młodych, nieco podpitych Niemców, z którymi rozmawialiśmy w okolicach dworca. Z początku udawali, że nie rozumieją po angielsku. Rozkręcili się, gdy Petter powiedział, że jest Szwedem.

      - Lepsza atmosfera była w Berlinie. Poza tym żaden Polak nie mówi po angielsku. Chcieliśmy zapytać policjanta o drogę, a on tylko po polsku. Jesteśmy w Unii Europejskiej, Polacy powinni mówić po angielsku - przekonywał.

      Ciekawe, czy Grecy będą mieli podobne odczucia.

       

      

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      czwartek, 21 czerwca 2012 15:09
    • Transport no sport during Euro

      The public transport during the Euro has been great. In Warsaw it felt easier to get around now than last year with plenty of buses, trams and metros. All cities have been very well organised and with so many departures all the time that we never had to wait for long. It is quite often difficult to buy tickets to trams or buses. Sometimes there hasn’t been any kiosks or automats and other times the automats hasn’t accepted notes. That is however compensated by not having anyone checking the tickets.

      Transport in the city is cheap and accessible and gets four out of five popes.

      

      If we’ve been short of time it has never been any problems to catch a cab but I have noticed that it’s harder to hail a cab here than in London or Hong Kong. Here, just like in Sweden it is more common to call for cabs. Cabs in Poland therefore gets three out of five crazy clown supporters.

      To get around in Poland it is really smooth to travel by train. We never had any problems with arriving and getting a ticket straight ahead so there was definitely enough trains operating. It is fast, comfortable and not too expensive and deserves its three out of five inner city palm trees.

      That’s what I thought until we’d tried taking the coach between Gdansk and Warsaw which turned out to be even better. The coach took about the same time as the slow train and cost a third of the price. There might not be enough space for the legs like on the trains and you can’t walk to the restaurant carriage when you want (the place the coach stopped at had run out of food on three places so we ended up not getting any) but why would you need to walk around when the bus company provides free wifi and power sockets. Next time (there must be a next time) I will travel in Poland, it will definitely be by coach. Coach travelling in Poland gets four out of fivehead statues.

      That’s what I thought until the first time we’d tried to hitchhike. What had always seemed so mysterious and difficult turned out to be the easiest way to travel. Maybe we were lucky and maybe wearing Poland shirts during the Euro helped, but it went quicker than going by train, it was more comfortable than any other way of travelling, and the price was very competitive. I hope I will get to try this more fb-status-attractive method of travelling again.

      Hitchhiking is comfortable, quick, cheap, memorable and exciting and gets five out of five riot police groups.

      The Irish went home by bus.

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      czwartek, 21 czerwca 2012 11:09
  • środa, 20 czerwca 2012
    • Modern football fans: Crosswords and Couchsurfing

      The Germans are heading north. On the train from Poznan to Gdansk I met Johannes and Chris from Berlin who proudly told me they’d bought tickets to the quarterfinal for normal price online. They were also couchsurfing and praised the site that had got them to stay with a beautiful girl in a female collective during their stay in Poznan.

      Johannes, wearing an original shirt from the 1990 World Cup Champions, showed the 3x5 metre flag they were travelling with. He said he’d been shocked when picking it up at the post office as it didn’t look so big online.

      He said: “At first, the stewards didn’t want us to bring it in to the Ireland-Italy game as they thought it’d be too big.”

      The guys said the Polish fans around them had joked saying: “Oh, no, not the Germans, not here,” when they’d hung up the flag with the sprayed letters “Berlin” on it.

      The Germans, whose goal apart from a victory against Greece is to have a bath in the Baltic Sea, said they admired the Irish for their innovativeness and humour, singing songs such as “Merkel thinks we’re working”.

      If you see a massive German flag saying “Berlin” in Gdansk this week there is a chance that it belongs to the duo that might be the only football fans spending their train rides solving crosswords.

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      środa, 20 czerwca 2012 18:08

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