Today was a new experience. I gave up the bumpy roads and went on the train to the capital city of Kiev.
Kharkiv station was its normal self until about 20 minutes prior to departure when it suddenly got very busy.
With over 500 passengers, the new high-speed train was a sell out.
A few weeks ago the Ukraine launched a new train.
A high-speed train connecting the various host cities.
At a maximum speed of 160 kmh it’s not the fastest train I have ever been on.
To be honest it’s not that much special than a train that runs on the Welsh Coast. It certainly is not a Shinkansen or even resembles the TGV in France or the German trains.
But it is far better than those bumpy motorway roads.
Literally ten minutes before departure it started to rain. Rain more, then lash it down with strong winds.
Everyone was soaked!
The trains were brand new. My £27 first class seat far cheaper than an aeroplane flight and three hours quicker than a road trip.
Only the locals were moaning though. Apparently it is three times more than the now old trains that trundle along stopping at every station.
During the second half of yesterdays encounter between Netherlands and Germany I drank two and a half litres of water in the hot conditions. Today I was still thirsty and purchased lots of drinks for an American, two Germans and a Dutch man sitting near me with the cost hardly denting a hole in my wallet.
Amazingly, the highlight was free wifi! Taking a call on Viber confirming that an offer had been put on my house for the asking price. The past 3 weeks hard work of house restoration had paid off – happy days!
As we got closer to Kiev, it started to rain again!
Kiev Railway Station was a mixture of Eastern European architecture and modern glitz. A massive arrivals and departure electronic board snuggling in between marble pillars.
The locals were fast asleep in the waiting room. Probably the best picture of the tournament for me so far! But no ball in sight!
I left Kiev Station behind me and walked through the puddled streets to my new hotel. Hundreds of Sweden fans around. No England!