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Euro2008: Austria-Switzerland and the Italian Drama Team

24 June 2008 No Comment

It has taken a few days to recover since our vacation to Euro Cup 2008…or should I say our vacation to Switzerland and Austria.   I am partial to small towns in Europe-where the most active thing you do is take a stroll for a cappuccino.  
We balanced this trip with four days of rest and relaxation in Switzerland-taking in one exciting match in Berne and a glorious experience at the Tour de Suisse.  The rest of the days were spent in the charming and peaceful town of Lucerne- enjoying the amazing food and wine as well as the fresh clean water that flowed freely from the fountains all over the city. This is something that a city-gal would never think of doing- drinking from the fountains.  But, in Lucerne, the water is some of the cleanest in the world.  It is a yuppie dream: Free Flowing Evian!!!
Traveling to Vienna, Austria was a lively change in the last two days of our trip.  We took in all the sites: Stephansdom in the center of Vienna, the frightening Catacombs under Stephansdom (holding the urns of the Hapsburg’s innards as well as stacks of bones from the last Black plague), and the Schonbrunn Palace (think the Versaille of Austria’s Habsburgs).  Most of the sites took a lot of walking and a little sweat in the summer heat.  And, no, there was no free flowing water  from the fountains- none that was safe. 
Yet, Vienna is a beautiful European city to explore-made even more exciting by all the Euro Cup fans celebrating at most points in the city. There was a parade of Spanish fans marching with a band around Stephansdom. Italian fans followed them with rival cheers. Russian fans at one of our restaurants bought the entire bar free shots upon their nail biting victory over Holland. In addition, there was the chance to meet and chat with other fans from Italy, Spain, and even Mexico, who were just there for the excitement of world class soccer in some amazing cities. 
As for for the football, we had tickets for the Spain v. Italy before it was determined who would be playing for a spot in the semi-finals. I never had the opportunity to see the Italian powerhouses play in-person. I have only watched their drama on television enough to hate them like the rest of the world. The Italians are classic for their feigning of injuries, their constant complaining, and their flashy jerseys with metallic numbering. I always envisioned their mamas in the locker-room ironing the players’ tightie-whities during the half. The opportunity to see Spain, as the favorite, was too good to be true.
Of course, I was not disappointed by the double overtime game where Spain beat Italy 4-2 on penalties. I got the maximum amount of football for my money including the happy ending the Spaniards have been waiting for since the 1920′s. A win over the Italian, drama-team who should have saved the drama for their mama.

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