Another great win for the Hibees, and although it was only 4-40pm - games used to only have a ten minute half time back then - plans were already made for the next game -Away to Strasbourg, from France, in round two of the UEFA Cup !!
After an expensive and short trip to Sweden for the first round game against IFK Norrkoping, we were ready for a longer away adventure to Strasbourg, close to the Austrian border. Lots of excuses had to be made about our 'early' departure from Edinburgh as parents were under the impression , if the game was on Wednesday, surely you could leave Tuesday lunchtime and make it.
Well, we left the Hibs Club on Sunday at midnight, didn't want to miss the kick off, like!! In those days there were no restrictions on taking alcohol on supporters coaches , so crates of beer, and the like, were loaded along with the bags, despite drinking the Hibs club dry that evening. "Maybe they don't have Tennents in France!!"
So, off we go, heading South, in more than one way, and not long out of Edinburgh we made the first stop , "Ahhh, that's better."
We arrived in London just in time for the Monday morning rush hour, and the realisation of being in England was made very apparent to the driving public, by the Hibs supporters bus!! By that time the 'stops' had been limited, due to a five gallon bucket appearing from somewhere, and this was just fine for bathroom relief, and the sky light was also handy to get rid of the evidence. This saved the driver from stopping too, so considerate, us Hibees!!
Along the M2 towards Dover and the ferry to Calais. The weather was not really the best for a quiet sail, but on a cross channel ferry, piece of cake. At that time there was a strike on, a common thing back then, and all trucks were being stopped at the docks. So the ferry was a wee bit light, weight wise, which we soon discovered.
Three miles out, in International waters, the bar opened, and the Hibees boys were in town!! The ferry was all over the place and it was strange to see sea sickness pills being washed down with pints of Lager. Surely not a good mixture.
Anyway, we made it ,and a long drive to Strasbourg was ahead of us. The duty free had been visited by NCH and I thought the mate got the Coke for the vodka, and he thought the same. So , needless to say the next question was 'Wonder how this will taste straight?' It made for a good nights sleep, on the bus anyway.
By this time the bus was "Mingin", with an array of empty beer cans, bottles, crisp packets, and even a pair of ladies underwear!! This was the St Giles bus afterall, but a great bunch of guys.
So we stopped in some little town for a couple of gallons of beer, and a sandwich, a quick look at the mags on display, and the pint glasses came back on the bus with us.
Next stop was Strasbourg, and we arrived there Tuesday afternoon, with no hotel reservations, and no idea where to go. We found out there was a EU conference going on, and also a International Gymnastics competition so the hotels were all full. How dare they plan something like that, when the Hibs were going to be playing!!
So where to sleep, well, we found a youth hostel and told the clerk at the desk we were avid ramblers in Scotland, and our membership card were left behind. After a lot of hand waving from the boy, and the use of the word 'bollocks' several times from us, we were in!! A nice hot shower and a bed to sleep, MAGIC!! We shared a dorm with a student that had been working the summer in the vineyards, and just happened to have some bottles with him. No for long!!
Game day arrived, and after a liquid breakfast, we went to hunt down some tickets for the game. The pitch was completely fenced in, and between the pitch and terraces, there were polis patrolling with big dogs. They must have been expecting the 'ugly sisters' and not the mighty Hibernian.
In a one sided game, the Hibs lost two nowt, so eight hundred miles, and no goals. After the game a few pints, and a kind of low key trip back to Auld Reekie. We got back Friday evening, just in time to get back to the house, and get ready for the game on the Saturday.
Incidentally, the supporters coach we went on- we saw it broken down on the M8, as we returned from Ibrox on the Saturday!!
Great times, you better believe it.
Thanks to Razormaid for guiding me to here!! Mon the Hibs, northcarolinahibee