I wanted to do at least one more trip this summer and looking at different options I finally made the decision to go to Germany and Switzerland for a full week of football. First stop on the tour was in Braunschweig for the German Cup match between Eintracht Braunschweig and Bayern München. I also knew this match was to be the most difficult one to get a ticket for. A couple of weeks ago 4 German groundhoppers stayed at my place and one of them, Dirk, is a season ticket holder at Eintracht Braunschweig. He managed to find me a ticket, for which I am very grateful. When the match went on General Sale tickets were sold-out in minutes. Prices on E-bay for this match was very high too but thankfully I didn't have to think about buying one of those tickets.
The journey to Braunschweig, via Copenhagen and Berlin, went smoothly and by 5pm I was at my hotel, just opposite Braunschweig Hbf. Dirk met me at my hotel 30 minutes later and then gave me a short sight-seeing tour of the city centre. We also met several friends of him and one of them actually spoke a bit Swedish, having studied in Växjö for a year. We arrived at the stadium by 18.30 and once there I met up with another groundhopper I had met on previous tours. Robin, who I met in Stevenage last year is another Eintracht Braunschweig season ticket holder. For me it was a bit funny to see so many yellow shirts. Sometimes it felt like a Sweden international. Outside the stadium you could feel the buzz of a big match, with fans mixing and having a few drinks.
Eintracht Braunschweig haven't played Bayern München in 26 years so this was a massive match for the home supporters. The ground filled up quickly and 30 minutes or so before kick-off it was almost full. When the match started the police had to make a run for their money (see picture below) but nothing too serious happened. I had the Bayern fans in front of me and as usual they gave their team a good vocal support. Bayern had an early penalty and went 1-0 up. They then had another penalty and it was 2-0 up before half-time. The Eintracht loyals in the Südkurve did their best to help the home team but it was obvious Bayern were at a different level. The match finished 3-0 to Bayern München but the home fans didn't seem too disappointed. Through-out the match I was sitting next to some of Dirk's work colleagues and one of them (who had studied in Sweden) joined me on the tram back to Hauptbahnhof. When he left a couple of other Braunschweig fans, who had heard me speaking English, were very interested in hearing where I was from and my thoughts of the match and German football in general. I could shine by telling them Eintracht Braunschweig in the 80s had a Swedish player (Hasse Borg). Once at the Hauptbahnhof they wished me a nice trip in Germany and after making the short walk to my hotel I quickly fell asleep. Day 1 of this tour came to an end.
Those were the days
Police on the run
View of play
View of Eintracht-Stadion