The best bit about Brussels Charleroi Airport not being particularly close to Brussels is that it is quite convenient to Lille in northern France. There’s even a direct bus transfer operating. The bus arrived in Lille, along with 20-odd pissed-up Scousers onboard, at dinnertime. Is was somewhat of a novelty of spending a morning in three different countries.
Euro 2016 fever was alive and well in Lille. The city centre was well decorated in football paraphernalia, the buses have the “Allez les blues” signs out and the Fan Zone was carrying out a sound check, complete with the long line of police riot vans parked up around the corner.
The hostel in Lille is something else. Although a bit of a trek out of town, it kind of resembles a fancy modern art gallery. I’d have probably walked past it if it wasn’t for the array of international flags adorned outside. Inside was pretty swish too with everything seemingly brand new, although the garish bright orange paint of the corridors was a bit too much.
The opening game of the tournament, France v Romania, was shown in the hostel bar. It was a somewhat bizarre setup as the room was shared with the dance class who were also having their regular weekly meet-up. Being so committed to their hobby, even the excitement of Dmitri Payet’s late winner did not distract the dancers.
During the football, my roommate had arrived. Eddie from Edinburgh, a more mature gentleman who was over here for the football. Eddie explained that he was travelling alone as his wife didn’t fancy going to fifteen football games. He’s a nice fellow who certainly knows his football. Not only has Eddie heard of Tranmere Rovers, he’s also aware of their current predicament too. As an aside, Tranmere has been flagged by the WordPress spellcheck facility. I’m not impressed!