It’s another rewind blog, where I visited Switzerland!
It was the start of the champions league away games and first up was young boys, Bern, Switzerland!
My brother drove me down to Luton the night before as me & Andy stayed at the ibis at Luton airport as the flight took off at 6am! After a restless night as I was nervous to be heading abroad again, we were up and heading to the airport car park!
We then jumped on the bus to the terminal it didn’t take too long and we were in the airport and checking the wheelchair in at the easyJet desk and before we knew it on our way through security!
We went to the gate and before I knew it we was on the plane and again I must thank the staff at easyJet top class. The flight went quickly and before I knew it we had touched down in Switzerland!
The Geneva staff were so quick! They are obviously use to wheelchair users as we was in the arrivals in a flash!
Next stop, car hire! We had to hire a car for this trip due to the location. We had booked a car turned out we couldn’t have it, so had to use a different company and we’ll it took a while! We then went to the car hire garage and was given a Clio! Now you have to remember we have luggage, a wheelchair and 2 x people what an adventure!
We ended up staying in the France, the price difference was well quite unbelievable so a drive down to France, In a Swiss car with 2 brits in, haha!
The hotel was amazing it even had a full water park attached to it and a shopping centre with climbing wall! Plus a view of mount Blanc amazing!
Sadly we didn’t have time to appreciate it and had to get back on the road! We had to drive from France (basically Geneva!) To Bern it was a couple hours drive and I tell you what it was an amazing drive the views of lakes etc superb! I say this but I kept falling asleep, I’ve been struggling with fatigue!
Parking in Bern was expensive! We got a bit lost to trying to locate the ticket collection, we walked well wheeled around eventually we found it, this my friends was the start of quite a day!
I gave the united official my passport and they returned with 1 ticket we said is this we need? Yes they said assured me that it was all we needed, 100% so I took them at there word and headed back to the car, ended up in a shopping centre within a train station! On a plus I got fully sugary goodness of sprite, it tasted amazing!
Eventually we found the little Clio and headed out the multi story! Next stop young boys! We was told that united didn’t know about parking, ok we thought interesting we thought!
We arrived at the stadium and asked and showed my blue badge (that can be used in Europe) and the kind lady said we could park in a blue badge space that’s attached to the shopping centre .. that the stadium is built on .. its a crazy place Switzerland! It was also if memory serves me right 10 krona!
So after parking we had a little adventure around the shopping centre, and around the stadium, even went in the club shop, I like to have a look, the prices though, goodness me! My pal needed food so we went to Macdonalds and that’s when u first saw the random people walking along the street with beer carts, I thought to myself, that’s why united didn’t want us here early!
Then I needed to use the toilet, now disabled loos are often either none existent or locked in Europe .. this was locked and the women shouted at me for not having a Euro key, urm love I have a radar key, blue badge and everything else a wary disabled traveler from the uk needs I’m sorry I don’t have a Euro key to! I did eventually get in and use the toilet, yay for me!
We went back to the car after as we had a few bits to drop off! Then it was all gonna kick off! It was time to head to the stadium!
First off we had to find our entrance that seemingly wasn’t you know easy to find had no stewards united or Bern, nice one! Eventually located and well it was just a door no security but we went in anyway to the mystery lift and went up! Upon arrival we found ourselves in the young boys concause, yay for us!
We met a kind steward who welcomed us to young boys and asked for our ticket, in broken English! We presented the prized 1 ticket Man Utd had given us hours earlier, with the promise it was all we needed! He looked at us and said he needed a supervisor, I though oh bloody hell, united gave me the wrong ticket fuming! The nice steward arrived and said you need two tickets, to which we both looked at him with a puzzled look and explained that we didn’t have a second ticket man it’s ticket office official (yeah I’m calling you out!) told us we only needed 1! So off he went leaving us by the lift and and steward talking into his mic he came back insisting we needed 2 tickets, I had no united stewards to get help from, wed been up since like 2am .. travelled from England to Switzerland to France to Geneva to Bern, I was tired, proper pissed off .. so we told him we hadn’t travelled all this way not to see a game, at this point I was near to tears, we told them to ring Manchester then, trying not to shout as we was surrounded by young boys fans .. the only English folk and united supporters nice one Man Utd! He came back a short time later smiling (I thought Is he taking the piss) he was much happier and told us to follow him, shit where was he taking us now, we’ll it was the away end, thank god!
Safely in the away end, I say safely the wheelchair was basically at the back of the stand with no rail, one push and I was down then stairs and no stewards! Now it transpired a lot of new people were at young boys and none regular Euro away lads, wonderful! Which meant no self policing, no stewards from united either, oh what fun, thinking I could end up face over ass any minute (likely the wrong phrase that! But I’ll run with it!). I even got bashed by a drunk electric wheelchair user, oh what fun it was! The good news was we won the match .. the bad news was this wasn’t over!
The full time whistle was blown my friend and I went to go oh we are locked in great stuff and again no one to help us. So we ended up at the front of a large amount of fans and I swear if it had turned nasty I was squashed! When they opened doors 40 minutes later .. it was on to steps, nice one another 15 mins it took me to get out that ground having to negotiate with police / stewards .. I must learn Swiss! We got back to the car, thankfully! Got lost and then hit diversions coming into Geneva, you couldn’t make this up! We eventually made it back to France and to be honest I was asleep within minutes .. tomorrow had to be better!
The next day, it was strange it was warm, you don’t expect 20c heat in Switzerland in winter! Woke up had an hour to chill, pack and get ready! We packed the car back up and then had a look round the shopping area and I got postcards from France! Next stop Geneva! We decided to park up and just have a look around, having a walk/wheel around is a great time to see a city, it was very clean city! We ended up at the UN, the legal side of vicky was excited, I got my picture taken with the sign & flags! Then I spied a tour, oh the joy In my heart!
Now I don’t think my mate ever thought he’d go Switzerland for football 1 day and then visit the UN the next, what can I say it’s always an adventure with Vicky!
We was lucky that there was an English tour, what a wonderful place, I mean once we got up the large hill and gravel! Then the 2 mile from paying to tour start and a gift shop to! I got my picture taken for the badge, it’s the little touches people! The tour was wonderful, when they asked questions I knew the answers but didn’t want to look a teachers pet so I kept quiet! It’s so vast and the guide was so interesting, we saw gifts from un states each were very unique and the artwork amazing! There was a art expedition to which was great finally we got to see where they do the big meetings & the press conferences, I got my picture taken! Before I knew it, it was over and we was waving goodbye to the UN, what fun it was and I got a UN fridge magnet! We had a slow walk back and we went to a supermarket as my mate wanted a drink! Then it was back to the car and pay for the car park, oh it wasn’t to bad for Geneva!
We then filled up with fuel and then had a drive around to the airport handed the car back and the very kind man saw the wheelchair and said hold on. He filled the forms in and checked it back in and then he drove us round to the airport what a guy!
We got through the airport eventually and then sat in a glass room talking to some folk one lady was from Manchester but works in Geneva before we knew it we was on the way home! The adventure did not stop!
We had a bumpy flight home, thanks to a storm nice one! We picked up the car and then I meet Martin who was thankfully able to get me! Now the wind was young and the rain falling. Once in the car we was off home!
The journey home was full of more adventure with diversions and a large road hump where I swear my wheels left the floor, that woke me up! Then an electric wire cane down and we saw that flash as it landed, we both went omg, well it was bit more colourful than that!
Eventually I made it home and was soon sat thinking about my upcoming trips to Italy & Spain following the reds … this trip hadn’t given me much confidence
Thanks for reading this far, I know it’s a long one!