Ale, ale! Flashbacks from the Champions league finale in 2015!

When the dreams become true… Няма такъв кеф… Let’s go Barca! (Juve you’ll be always in my heart!). Благодаря ви приятели, че направихте това възможно!!!! {{{}}}

— watching UEFA Champions League Final with Лъчко Кеманов at Olympiastadion Berlin.

I’m happy to introduce to you my friend Todor who went to see the UEFA Champions league final between FC Barcelona and FC Juventus. He is willing to answer my questions and to share with you the emotions what is to be on Olympia stadion and the amazing city of Berlin!

Toshko and his cousin on Olympic Stadium in Berlin where Barcelona and Juventus decide who’s gonna be the UEFA Champion for 2015!

 

Q: Toshko, thanks for wanting to share your experience with us! I followed your posts on facebook and I could feel the great emotion. Who did you want to win?

It’s my pleasure, Irina! Thanks for giving me the chance to share that experience.

Well, honestly I was supporting Barcelona. Everybody is asking me because I used to be a big fan of Juventus in high school. That was my favorite soccer team for quite a long time (between 1996 and 2006 maybe). After they were punished in 2006 and sent to play in Serie B, something changed and around that time the second team in my heart Barcelona became my first choice. So for the past 10 years this is the team that has my sympathy, this is the team I wanted to watch and I am very happy that I had that chance and even happier that I saw them lift the cup .

 

Q: I remember we voted for you to win a ticket for the final. Is this the first Champions league match you see live? Can you share more details?

It is not the first one but it is the first final. You know in Bulgaria we don’t have the chance to have any of these incredible soccer teams that play every year in the Champions League and I don’t have that chance to watch matches like this live very often. Fortunately, Ludogorets made their way to the group phase this season and we could see teams like Real Madrid and Liverpool in Sofia, Bulgaria. That was wonderful. And actually because of this I got the tickets for the final. But this is another story that will require a separate interview to be told 🙂 The other matches I have watched live were the matches of Levski in 2006 in the group phase of the Campions League vs Chelsea, Barcelona and Bremen. And I also watched one game Chelsea – Porto at Stanford Bridge in London a few years ago.  So quite a few matches watched live out of hundreds watched on the TV.

And I would definitely say that this match was the best one I have ever seen live anywhere.

Q: What is to be on the stadium between so many people?  Which club’s fans were more and louder?

You know going to the stadium is for the atmosphere. I have always said that if you want to just watch the game, you should better stay in front of the TV with all the repetitions from different angles, comments from people who have spent their lives doing football related activities and so on. But being on the stadium gives you that feeling of excitement that cannot be received in any way by watching the game on the TV. Very often I have heard people say that that they have shuddered with excitement when they see something amazing – this is how I felt when I got to the stadium and especially when they played the anthem of the Champions League. You can watch the video to get a feeling of that but you can hardly compare it to watching it live when you are a big soccer fan 🙂

 

Back to your question about which team’s were louder – I will be honest, Italian fans are incredible. Well, I was staying pretty close to the supporters of Barcelona and Barcelona was really the better team, so it was pretty normal that most of the time you can hear them (and they are great, do not get me wrong) but if the supporters of Juventus start singing even from the other end of the stadium you can hear just that 🙂 But I think they are famous for that… Italian and English fans are really incredible… so that shouldn’t be a surprise. Actually while travelling to the stadium before the match, I was in a train with the fans of Juve, so you can see a little bit of the atmosphere they create in the following video:

And these are the fans of Barca on the stadium, of course the better videos I have are the ones with the supporters of Barcelona 🙂

I can’t find words to describe this so just watch the videos and hopefully you will get a tiny idea of everything you can feel being part of this. Here is one more, which shows the moment when Barca lifted the cup, that’s breath-taking!!!

To not make this boring, I just want to finish with two things:

  1. This is something that impressed me a lot. I have seen this before on the TV when the fans of Man United applauded Del Piero who spent the whole his career in Juventus and now I saw the same thing live – the fans of Barcelona applauding Pirlo. RESPECT!!! This is something that for me shows the culture of the fans and how much this player has achieved in his incredible career.
  2. And the second thing I want to admit is that even the best performance cannot be exchanged for seeing the smile and the excitement on the face of someone you care about. I watched that game with my nephew who is 14 years old. And seeing the happiness in his eyes is something that means a lot.

 




 
Q: I’ve heard Berlin is one of the liveliest cities in Germany and in the world. What is to be seen in Berlin? Can you recommend some must-do activities or must-see places? What is the feel to be in Berlin?

Well, the reason for being in Berlin was the final of the Champions League, but I really wanted to spend some time there to get a feeling of the life and see the most famous places. We spent 4 days with one of them totally dedicated to the match, so we can safely say 3 days to look around. The following list is the one I had prepared before landing in Berlin (no edits, exactly as I had it in my phone):

  1. Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)
  2. TV Tower
  3. Eat a Currywurst (best at Mehringdamm in Kreuzberg or Konnopke’s in Prenzlauer Berg (it’s far))
  4. Checkpoint Charlie
  5. Reichstag building (Parliament)
  6. East Side Gallery
  7. Kurfürstendamm (Shopping)
  8. Berlin Zoo (Zoologischer Garten and Tiergarten)
  9. Gendarmenmarkt
  10. Berlin Cathedral
  11. Charlottenburg Palace
  12. Museum Island (museums) -> good to see at least one museum
  13. The Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Centre
  14. Potsdamer Platz
  15. Boat trip (BWSG Berlin – 1hr city tour Spree river, Burgstraße 27, http://www.bwsg-berlin.de/en/schedule/city-spreefahrt/) or http://www.berlin.de/en/tourism/rivercruises-boattrips/
  16. Die Hackeschen Hoefe
  17. Holocaust Memorial
  18. Botanischer garten – http://www.bgbm.org/de/garten/willkommen-im-garten
  19. Sanssouci Park, Potsdam

Now after being there, I can definitely say which are my favorite ones.

  1. If you search in Google, most of the sites will recommend Brandenburg Gate and the TV Tower as the top 2 places to visit in BerlinWell, I wouldn’t quite agree with that. Brandenburg Gate is nice and there is a lot of history related to it, that’s why this it is a top attraction and you should definitely see it. If you have been in other cities though with high buildings from which you can see the whole city, I wouldn’t say you will count the TV tower as a top attraction. It is nice, you can really see the whole Berlin from there, but I can’t find it any different from what you see if you get on London Eye in London, UK or Space Needle in Seattle, USA or Twin Peaks in San Francisco, USA or even Kopitoto in Sofia, Bulgaria. The cities are different but from this height it’s pretty much the same 🙂
    The Brandenburg Gate

    Fernsehturm Berlin – the TV tower
  2. Berlin has a lot of history. Most of the people mostly know it because of the two world wars but it has quite an interesting history in the years before that as well. You might probably know that Berlin has been almost completely destroyed after the second World War and that’s really amazing to see how this city looks like 70 years later. And to feel all that the best way is to take a guided tour. I have been in a few places in Europe they have a free tour and I have always been absolutely happy with that tour in every city I have tried it, so I was quite convinced that I should try Berlin Free Tour as well. And I would definitely recommend it now. It’s a 2.5 hours tour showing you most of the historical sight-seeings in Berlin and you have the opportunity to see  places and learn the history . It covers a big portion of my list above (you can check the exact places on their site). Our guide Mark was amazing, he is British convinced that Berlin is the best city to live in and he told us quite interesting stories.
    So this is one of the top 3 must do things for Berlin according to me.

    In Berlin
  3. Another place you can’t miss is the Sanssouci Park with all the palaces. It’s actually not in Berlin but in the neighbor Potsdam but you can reach it quite easily with a public transportation. That place is beautiful. People say you should spend a whole day there, unfortunately we had just 4-5 hours and it’s worth seeing. According to me it is much more beautiful than the Charlottenburg Palace which is also very nice and I would recommend to see it.

    Charlottenburg Palace – is the largest palace in Berlin, Germany, and the only surviving royal residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family.
  4. Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island are very nice. We didn’t have the time to see the museums inside and honestly I am not a museum person but the scenery around them is worth seeing.

    Berlin Cathedral
  5. East Side Gallery is interesting to see but don’t expect quite a lot – graffiti on the biggest preserved part of the Berlin Wall. If it is something you will like, then go for it. 


  6. The Zoo is big and if you like zoos, you will like it. But to be honest the one in Prague is the best one I have seen so far (I have been in 10+ zoos in different cities) 🙂
  7. The boat trip was a must in my list, but I was disappointed with the trip we got. Don’t really know the exact reasons but didn’t really impress me.

    Boat trip on Spree river
  8. The Reichstag building is another thing to be seen. Nothing quite different, but it is a nice building which is important for Berlin.

    Reichstag building
  9. If you like shopping then, Kurfürstendamm is your place. The most famous street for shopping in Berlin. Even if you don’t intend to go shopping, it’s good to walk along it to get a feeling of it. It has quite a low of cafes too so you can sit for a drink there. 
  10. I was with my nephew so I couldn’t experience the night life but the neighborhood around Hackescher Markt seemed quite good for that. So you can try it or at least find a restaurant around.

So that’s pretty much it. My top 2 – Berlin Free Tour and Sanssouci Park.

And my overall feeling about Berlin is really good. I have always been skeptical about Germany (don’t know why, maybe because I don’t speak their language :)), but I was pleasantly surprised. I love living in Bulgaria (it’s my home), but I think I can live in Berlin too 🙂 Nice people, good atmosphere, you have all you need, good communications, what else you may like. And for the men, I would say the women I saw there were pretty beautiful 🙂

Q: I’ve heard the beer is also very good 🙂 Actually my favorite beer is German – Weihenstephaner. Which beers did you try in Berlin and which you liked most?

I tried maybe 4 types but I remember the name of just one and maybe by accident this was the one I liked most 🙂 But I should be honest that I like beers whose taste is close to the one of Stella Artois. So any way, the one I remember from Berlin was Berliner.

Berliner Pilsen beer

I tried one very strange at Olympiastadion, it was quite expensive and I didn’t like it at all. And another draft beer at Hilton Hotel, which was nice but I have no idea for the name.

Q: Can you recommend what to order in a restaurant?

Not really. I was mainly eating fast food there. But I believe the restaurant in the TV Tower should be nice at least it might be romantic there 🙂

And definitely you should try a Currywurst. Don’t expects something so special, but it has some popularity in Germany so it’s worth trying it. I had one at Curry 61, it was good.

Q: Have you been to other cities in Germany?

No, not in Germany. Just waiting on the airport at Frankfurt travelling to USA 🙂

Q: One amazing thing that happened to you when traveling?

Nothing can be compared to the emotions I had on the stadium during the match. I liked everything but this is what made the big difference 🙂

Q: Which is your next destination? /Where are you going next?

It’s hard to answer right now. I have plans for Amsterdam. Maybe I can think for a short trip to there in the autumn. But the more interesting place I am planning to visit (hopefully we will be able to make it next year) is Peru.

 

Toshko, I hope you make it to Peru sooner than later and that you will share with us what you’ve seen there! Thank you so much! Danke!

 

Well, I really like what Toshko shared with all of us so excuse me now – I’m packing my baggage to Berlin 🙂
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Sincerely,

Irina

 

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