Wednesday 26 August 2015

Bruges city centre





Man United fans in Bruges









Man United fans meet at the Irish Pub in Bruges, around 6 hours before the second leg of the Europa Champions League qualifier away to FC Bruges (Club Brugge).
















Most ot the fans however assemble elsewhere: on the Eiermarkt, close to the main square topped by the Belfry, which being 83 metres, is nearly as high as this self constructed tower of plastic beer glasses.











The fans are in good voice knowing that their team beat Club Brugge in the first leg by 3 goals to 1. Those willing to listen some of the songs can do so on YouTube: Man United fans in downtown Bruges before the game against Bruges.











Although beers are by no means cheap (5 euro for half a litre), these men don't mind.

















Contrary to a few years ago, when Birmingham fans were granted 5000 tickets for their fans, only 1600 seats are allocated to Man U supporters, resulting in quite a few men eager to still find someone willing to sell his ticket.









Not one moment the atmosphere is hostile. Bruges' fans are welcome to have a drink with Mancunian supporters.










The fans are particularly proud at the legendary players. Frequently heard is the song "We gonna take a pea with George Best" (= we gaan even een plasje doen samen met George Best).







As time progresses the fans gradually start to gather at the Markt, near the assembly point for the march to the stadium, which is set at 6 p.m.









Tourists and the occasional Club Brugge fan try to capture some of the atmosphere.





Policemen and -women on bike keep a close eye on things, but no troubles are reported.













At 6 p.m. the police gets into action, blocking the Noordzandstraat, which is the stree leading straight to the stadium entrance for the Club Brugge fans.












If confuses certain fans, who want to go to the stadium on their own.









Finally around 6.30 p.m. the supporters are being escorted to the stadium along the main shopping streets (Steenstraat, Zuidzandstraat) and the cathedral.





















Arrival on the big square 't Zand, where a big fountain awelcomes the fans.











View at the Concertgebouw, which was built especially for Bruges, cultural capital of Europe in 2002, and was opened ceremoneously on 2/2/2002.











Once the fans have left the city centre, it starts to rain.













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