/ Euro 2012

Glenn Mason's Euro 2012 diary

Updated: Monday, 18 Jun 2012 12:22

Glenn Mason may have been on the road a little too long as he seems to have developed a rather bizarre fascination with service station forecourts The beautiful spot in Bydgoszcz was a particular hit with Glenn Mason
Glenn Mason may have been on the road a little too long as he seems to have developed a rather bizarre fascination with service station forecourts The beautiful spot in Bydgoszcz was a particular hit with Glenn Mason

Our time in the tri-city area of Gdansk-Sopot-Gdynia is over and we have arrived in a hot and muggy Poznan for the final leg of our Euro 2012 adventure.

Poland and Ireland are out of Euro 2012, not that you would know it from the scenes in the city's Old Market Square last night.

The fans continued to sing and dance in the bars around the square well into the small hours after Poland had lost to the Czech Republic.

The cries of "Polska Bialo Czerwony" (Poland's White and Reds) could be heard in between the loud thunder claps, with several Irish accents audible in there as well. It seems hundreds of Irish have gone native and many were wearing Polish jerseys.

Once again we travelled south to Poznan by coach and we were accompanied by hundreds of Irish fans as numerous tricolour-laden Irish-registered campervans overtook our coach.

Our tour guide on this journey, the happy and cheery Anya, had been advised to keep the travel updates to a minimum - not the first person to be silenced by Irish journalists.

The first half of the trip was uneventful and slow as we got stuck behind a number of farm vehicles in this agricultural area of Poland

With several lads dying for a smoke or to stretch their legs we made a stop at a service station on the far side of Bydgoszcz.

As we piled off the bus into the tiny shop, I noticed a wedding car pulling into the forecourt.

A service station is a strange place for a wedding reception, I thought.

As it turned out, the happy couple were merely settling their nerves with cigarettes and alcohol before the speeches, although the bride was not amused that her cream dress got dirty as she walked back to the car.

The wedding party gave what was left of the 'Premium Krupnik' vodka to the group of journalists. Along with the other supplies picked up in the Stop Café, it made for an enjoyable second half of the journey.

One journalist amused the group, if not Anya and the coach driver, with his impressions repertoire.

The extra fuel on board may also be the reason why some of us ended up with Polish flags on our faces and singing "Polska, Bialo Czerwony", with Anja as cheerleader.

As we drove through Gneizno, 50km from Poznan, we relented and allowed Anya fill us in on the history of Poland's first capital and how it was the base of Poland's first ruler, Boleslav the Brave.

It was interesting stuff that I'd missed while I snoozed on the first trip through here.

Before settling down to watch Poland game in the hotel, I checked my emails and was greeted by a reminder that we're going back to normality this week - Airtricity League fixtures.

After the highs and lows of three weeks on the road, it's back to the wet and windy nights at the Carlisle Grounds, UCD Bowl and Tallaght.

The glamour. The glamour.