Day 35 – It’s Klitschko Time! 7/7/12

Rudely being awakened to the sound of gunshots and people shouting, the four of us really didn’t know what was going on outside. Not having all that much time we headed out early to get a quick tour of Zurich and find out what all the shooting and shouting was about.

Grabbing pretzels for breakfast, we walked along the waterfront of Lake Zurich, where we took in the sights of the lake with mountain backdrops. Walking around we started to hear music, more shouting and some more gunshots. As it was Zdvyh back in England on this day, and holova of CYM Bradford setting a bad example by not being there, it was quite fitting that it appeared to be Zdvyh in Zurich.

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Brass bands paraded the streets of Zurich from many countries, to which we stood by and listened to for a while. It was at this point that Oseredok Yevrey (Rabbi Ewhen’s oseredok) turned up and Ewhen could feel at home at this point. We then saw Hamm’s cooler Swiss brother playing the drums.

We continued with our quick tour of Zurich before then heading back to the car for the short drive from Zurich to Bern. As was such a short drive, Stepan had a headache and ended up falling asleep, this was due to a genuine headache and not a hangover, regardless if the other 3 didn’t believe him.

On arrival into Bern, we drove into the centre with the flag (that Andriy and Petro stole from Lviv) waving out from the sunroof, and Vladimir Klitschko’s theme tune of Can’t Stop (by the red hot chilli peppers) blasting out on full volume with all windows open, it appeared that firstly we woke the city of Bern up and secondly nobody had a clue of what was going on. This didn’t bother us as we were now ready and certainly getting in the mood for our first boxing and Klitschko experience.

Finding the hostel with relative ease we skipped the showers and went straight out for some sightseeing. For once it was not the River Rheine we were walking along but the Aar. It was here as we were walking past we saw a ‘Lassie’ lookalike dog, struggling in the choppy waters. Lassie then appeared to have rescued itself by swimming to the embankment and what appeared to be a passerby rush over to save Lassie. The passerby was unfortunately too late as the current then took Lassie along. From our position we could not see much and only hoped that Lassie would make it.

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As we walked up a hill, we soon came to the assumption that Lassie didn’t make it. From the top we had a good view of the whole river and we could see what looked like quite a nasty looking, albeit small waterfall. Bad times!

Now over the probable death of Lassie, we pondered around the small town and saw some Hare Krishna’s parading through the centre with some sort of festival that was going on, Andriy managed to pull another local OAP who happened to be a Klitschko fan as well as some random jerk that didn’t like Klitshcko. This obviously didn’t sit well with us and immediately disliked him.

Not really dressed for the fight, we were wearing Ukrainian t-shirts as well as carrying a Ukrainian flag with us. Whilst having lunch there was a group of girls that saw the flag and shouted “Klitschko” to which we also shouted “Klitschko!” This got them excited as they carried on walking. Lunch finished, we carried on with our tour. As we were walking up yet another hill we grabbed a team photo with Bern in the background. We found a local old geezer to take the photo that was practically getting it on with his lady friend in the middle of the street. Not really wanting to disturb him, we nevertheless asked him to take the photo for us before then congratulating him that he would see more action than us that night.

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Now heading back towards the hostel we walked through the main square where we ended up seeing the Ukrainian girls from earlier on. They were now playing in the water fountains, where it was funny to push Stepan into and get him soaked, before we all joined in and chanted Ukaina all together and had some photos.

Back at the hostel we found a table football and as the Vienna bet still stood (losing team sleep in the same bed) both teams were confident of victory. In an epically close match the team of Andriy and Ewhen came away with a narrow and controversial victory of 10-8. Not only was Petro and Stepan’s 100% winning streak over, it would appear that so was the partnership. At 9-8 it was Petro’s controversial own goal that gave Andriy and Ewhen the victory, but as Petro claimed this was “due to the glare from the glass he could not see the ball.”

The sleeping together didn’t bother us too much as we were the only four in our dorm and so wouldn’t be too weird as we all knew the situation of why we were doing this. Things quickly changed as two Swedish guys checked-in to our dorm as we were getting ready for the fight.

Beer and Vodka in hand, as well as four kozaks now ready to hit Bern and go on a blow out as it was the last night of the trip. Kozaks for Klitschko signs were made (albeit with a slight grammatical mistake now corrected thanks for Maria Dejko) as the four of us headed out for the last time.

None of us could contain the excitement as we headed into the centre and made our way to the stadium. Ewhen quite smartly popped into McDonalds to get a drink in order for us to pour our bottle of vodka into, and it was at this point that whilst the three of us waited outside for him, a German group of ladies out on a hen do came over for a chat. They asked us if we were on a stag do, to which we replied yes! We pointed the ladies to Ewhen as our ‘stag’ who was inside McDonalds and they then went to him, much to Ewhen’s confused look on his face, but for us it was hilarious.

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Vodka poured into our McDonalds cup and a short tram ride to the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf stadium (ironically where the football team Young Boys play), we could now really start to soak the atmosphere up as the crowds were starting to grow outside the stadium. Just like in any football match or outing we go on dressed like kozaks always brings the photos and attention, and it was no different here. In the baking heat under a sun-setting sun, we were amongst some absolutely cracking girls waiting outside the VIP area waiting for the arrival of the Klitschko’s.

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The photos with fans and journalists continued, before we then joined forces with some hardcore Ukrainian UPA guy that started a sing song and claimed to be a bodyguard for a famous Ukrainian person. Here we had more photos in front of posters, made our predictions in front of the advertisement boards, before waiting at the VIP entrance again. Our final predictions of the trip were:

Klitschko v Thompson

Andriy

Klitschko R7 TKO

Ewhen

Klitschko R9 KO

Petro

Klitschko R10 TKO

Stepan

Klitschko R7 KO

It was this second time round that some random guy came up to us and gave us a tip off that the Klitschkos would be arriving at a different entrance around the corner and so we followed him. He was right and after a short wait we watched as the Klitschko entourage arrived.

Having created a party atmosphere outside, we headed on inside the stadium. Here we continued to stand next to the bar, drink, sing and dance as per usual and were treated to free beers from a random guy that said “you guys are great!” For this reason alone he became an instant legend himself. Free beers in hand we all made our pledges of “Я за Кличка” whilst finishing the beer off.

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We slowly moved our way around the stadium to take our seats, and as soon as we heard Dr Steel Hammer’s entrance being played that was it. Time to go mental! The Ukrainian National Anthem was then belted out by the four of us before sitting down to enjoy and witness our first Live Klitschko boxing event. Klitshcko didn’t fail to deliver and won in the sixth round against his opponent Tony Thompson.

Celebrating his victory we were soon outside the stadium looking to grab one of the giant posters. This was the queue for Europe’s most wanted criminals (Andriy and Petro) to do some stealing when they stole one of the posters. We then headed back to where we waited for the Klitshckos arrival, and after a long wait we saw the same entourage drive off. Whilst waiting a random Ukrainian girl tagged along and waited with us, before then coming back with us on the tram to the city.

We were soon back in the centre and at our stop where Andriy, Ewhen and Petro got off. The three of them headed back to the hostel, stopping off on the way to buy a crate of beer. Also on the way back to the hostel, a random dude had the same poster that Andriy and Petro had stolen and waltzed on into a nightclub with it!

Now back at the hostel, Andriy, Ewhen and Petro were drinking beers with three racist Austrians (two blokes and a fat bird) before going to bed. Meanwhile on the other side of town, Stepan was out having drinks with this Ukrainian girl before then going back to her hotel room, falling asleep then getting kicked out of her room at 5am and walking back to the hostel where he jumped into his own bed and not in with Petro. (Bet not completed!)

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