>Travel Pictures

Serbia and Montenegro

World Cup Trip


One of the most 'out of left field' experiences I had in Serbia came about because I went to a play. Every year the school holds a "Shakespeare in the Park" production in May, which is held outside in the evening. People drink, eat, and walk from set to set constructed all over the high school campus. This year (2006), Susan was at home with the kids, so I went alone. As the night wore on, I found myself in conversation with one of the heads of the largest beverage distributors in the country. He was telling me about his company's upcoming trip to the World Cup in Germany. 

As the conversation progressed, he was lamenting that some of the Serbs had been unable to get visas, so there were some empty seats on the charter flight and extra tickets. He stopped mid sentence, looked at me, and said, "Americans don't need visas to Germany, do they? How would you like to go to the World Cup in 2 days and watch Serbia play Argentina?" Well, when given a beautiful offer like that, how could I say no?!!! It was on the last day of school, and once I got permission to go, I could hardly wait!

the huge travelling flag unfurled at the airport
Friday morning at 4 am, I found myself on the way to the airport, where we met up with a whole host of rambunctious people just raring to go to the games. We flew into Duesseldorf, in the industrial Ruhr, and drove about an hour to a little  town on the outskirts of Gelsenkirchen. There we walked the streets for a bit - the Serbs not minding at all that in Germany, people are not supposed to walk around drinking in the open (at 10 in the morning!!). 
beer for breakfast!
the postman (below) gets set to ride around town, flags were everywhere (middle) and the coal fired electric plant overlooks the town (opposite)

After taking in the picturesque town, complete with idyllic postmen on their bikes, cars festooned with German flags,  and chimneys belching smoke into the air, we had our lunch at a local brewery. 
lunch with the boys
And boy, were those guys ready for the game! Everywhere echoed the chants of SER-BI-A, SER-BI-A (nothing for the Montenegrins, who had just voted to become independent).

World Cup Front Page
The Fans
The Game
Back to the Serbia page...
Back to the Germany page...