Uncategorized

Guy’s Trip: England vs. Wales Rugby in Cardiff

Marc here. Last year, Vicki went to Oktoberfest in Munich with girlfriends. She spent a night in Davos with girlfriends. She spend a long weekend in Iceland with girlfriends. I was due a guy’s trip somewhere. I have my good friend Paul to thank for planning a weekend in Wales for a rugby match. The truth is, I had to do some research to understand exactly what Wales is (it’s a country that is part of the United Kingdom). I had never heard of the city of Cardiff before. And I had never watched a real rugby match from beginning to end. Apparently, England versus Wales in the 6 Nations tournament is as big as it gets in the world of rugby. My good Welsh/Australian friend, Paul, had always wanted to but never attended this match, and took it upon himself to arrange just about everything for our four man group. Along with Paul and I were Brian, a Dane with as little rugby knowledge as me, and David, and English rugby fan.

IMG_2688

There were planes, trains, and automobiles involved in getting us to and from Cardiff. We wasted no time, imbibing beer from the moment we left Schaffhausen. Our first night in Cardiff will go down as a culinary turning point in my life. We enjoyed some really good Indian food. I’d never had anybody explain what to order in an Indian restaurant, nor do I personally know of any good Indian places in the US. This meal was awesome, and I will be a regular consumer of Indian food in the future.

The entire game day was an event. The streets in downtown Cardiff and near the stadium were buzzing from the morning on. I picked up a Wales jersey as a bandwagon jumper and set about our day.

IMG_2695

I was all for getting into the spirit of the match, but not quite to this level.

IMG_2699
Game day was cold, and I decided I could use a scarf. I used my highly refined negotiating skills to talk one of the vendors down from 6 quid all the way down to… 6 quid.

We secured seats on a couch in the corner of a pub near the stadium around 11 AM in preparation for the 5 PM game start. The pub was packed shoulder to shoulder pretty quickly, and the pints were flowing. We refused to leave and give up our seats on the couch, but drinking leads to hunger, so I enjoyed my first pie and chips. I don’t know what was in it. I don’t know what kind of gravy was on top of it. But it was delicious.

IMG_2718

IMG_2723
England vs. Wales is a heated, but friendly rivalry, at least within our group.
IMG_2728
We eventually peeled ourselves off the couch in the pub and made it to the stadium for the match.
IMG_2729
I’m not the photographer that my wife is. This is the only photo taken of our group at the actual rugby match. No, your eyes work fine. It really is that blurry.

The match was hard fought and quite close, though it eventually went to England, courtesy of a late score. Rugby players are warriors and the sport is really tough. We were pretty tough too, making it to a casino and lasting until about 2 AM. Exactly what a guys weekend is all about. Great fun. New experiences. Great memories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s