Last Saturday, I kicked off my Tour de Poland from Gdansk, a port in northern Poland. In athree-day stint, I saw how Euro 2012 had enchanted this beautiful coastal city.
Despite having tried their best, Poland lost to Czechs with a heartbreaking 0:1. Together with another 40,000 people, I witnessed the defeat in the Fan Zone of Gdansk, a temporary site for watching footbal on a large screen. The game was played in heavy rain in Wroclaw, but we in Gdansk, also watched in a drizzle; It seemd to me as though it were no raindrops but the tears of the Polish people. After the match, however, lots of Poles were chanting Nic się nie stało!´ on the streets. I asked one guy in a Polish jersey about the meaning. ´It means "nothing happened",' he said, ´it´s ok, football is not everything inlife.´ I really appreciated this attitude: life is going on, tomorrow there will be another day.
Day 2, June 17 - Goodbye Oranje
I went back to the Fan Zone for another crucial game between Holland and Portugal. To my surprise also many Dutch turned up from nowhere. When van de Vaart helped Holland take a 1:0 lead, the Dutch fans celebrated presumptuously among the deadly quiet Portuegese. But, as an old sayings goes, ´he who laughs last, laughs best´, Ronaldo´s two goals sent the Dutch home. I felt sad to see the Oranjes leave this way and the only comfort might be that, when I go back to Holland on June 25, I don‘t have to see any more annoying Euro Cup ads from Dutch supermarkets.
Day 3, June 18 - Zorro in Gdansk
The city was dominated by people wearing either a red-white grid or fiery-red jersey because of the game between Croatia and Spain. It´s worth mentioning that I came across a Spaniard dressed up like Zorro. He definitely was the star of the day and he even got interviewed by Spanish TV. At the time I was wondering if this guy would bring some good luck to the Italians since the movie of Zorro was directed by an Italian. My prophecy, in the end, came true: Italian survived thanks to their victory over Ireland and the help from Spain. Will this knockoff Zorro be the talisman of the blue team? It remains to be seen.
No matter which teams have gone home, luckily I´m still on my way, and I expect more stories to come in my adventure of Poland.
Vid of the Week: The crowds in the Fan Zone of Warsaw chanting: 'Polska Biało Czerwoni' (Poland, white and red)