So here we go… A month in the Ukraine
In Cardiff on 18 April 2007 the UEFA Executive Committee voted 8 to 4 to stage the Euro 2012 Championships in Poland and the Ukraine. However in 2005 Italy won the first stage of voting with 11 votes and Poland and Ukraine behind second placed Croatia and Hungry.
Such decisions change lives!
We should be driving through the South of France right now with a view to working in the San Siro, eating amazing pasta and having a great time.
However after sad goodbyes, Luton Airport presented the first stress point of the trip.
With two photographers through to the gate, the third one got caught by the airport staff. With one bag literally 3 cm over the required size, three lenses, two camera bodies and a host of other camera goodies had to be repacked into a new bag.
Us photographers are not tourists, holiday makers or business travellers. We need our equipment to work. Too frequently evil baggage handlers open up protective bags put in the hold of an aircraft and basically help themselves to equipment. If I am going to Spain on vacation and my speedos don’t arrive, I can buy some more. No one can afford three Nikon / Canon bodies and lenses costing more than an average size car.
British Airways and EasyJet are our favorites, seconded by driving into Europe using the Euro Tunnel. Sadly we can not realistically drive to Kharkiv.
On covering the UEFA Europa League Final, Wizz Air were actually OK. Today we got our gear on board but it involved some deep breaths.
Soup spillage, looking at the Silver Jubilee images in the national press and chatting about work too up the three-hour flight as we landed in Kiev.
Greeted by redundant old Russian aircraft parked adjacent on a rough airport runway, in a word it got dark and started to rain.
Three inches must have fallen in 10 minutes as the Ukraine Media got soaked waiting for the arrival of the Sweden team.
All passport checks and customs were a breeze as we decided to chicken out going outside and instead scoffed a spaghetti carbonara, along with a Euro 2012 branded Coke. I’m trying to eat healthily on this trip. Hopefully the last Coke that will pass my lips for at least a week.
Alex the taxi driver took us to our first place of lodgings with us arranging to meet him tomorrow at 6am for our second day of adventures.
After months of moaning, incidentally the hotel which is 148 Euro a night but for the Ukraine v England fixture is a spectacular 6899 Euro, can be seen from our Kiev abode at the time of writing… I would prefer to be in Italy. But Im not. I hope I enjoy this enough to result in me having a tattoo saying “I Love the Ukraine” – I doubt it!
At least the wifi works OK. I can communicate so… so far so good.