02 February 2011

Anfield: How We Got There (Part I)

OK, all the denial followed by frustration followed by acceptance followed by even more frustration and once again acceptance aside, life at Liverpool Football Club goes on. Out with the old, in with the new. Patah tumbuh hilang berganti and all that good stuff to keep you going.

It is with this attitude that the three of us (initially five but they weren't enough tickets), decided to head to a Liverpool home match, dodgy manager or no dodgy manager. We were advised by some that the weather would be too bad to travel (which turned out to be so awfully true) and told by others that we were wasting our time and money to watch a Roy Hodgson-led Liverpool.

Our perseverance was rewarded when we eventually made it to Anfield this very day last week to watch a rejuvenated Kenny Dalglish-led Liverpool win against Fulham. Strangely enough, the way things turned out, we could also say that we actually watched a once sainted Spaniard play his last game in a Red shirt. Anway, this entry isn't about back-stabbing former players or out of depth former managers. It's about how we got to Anfield (from Dublin) and hopefully, this re-telling of our journey would come in handy to those out there looking to do the same in the near future...

To start off, we booked the whole journey via a specialist sports travel agent, Marathon Sports Travel. I'm sure there are cheaper and better ways to do this but since our time was at a premium, we decided to go with Marathon as they offered the most convenient package: ferry, coach travel (directly to Anfield) and match tickets. All for €159 per person. Marathon do offer their own travel insurance (€18 per person at the time of booking) but I did a search online and went with a cheaper option that provided better cover. Travel insurance with Multitrip cost just under €23 for all three of us.

Ferry travel that was included with the Marathon package was with Irish Ferries which departs from Dublin Port. We were informed that we had to be at the port terminal an hour before departure so, we left our respective houses sometime after 6 in the morning to be on the safe side. The first time we headed to the port, we took a taxi all the way from Tyrrellstown, Dublin 15 which cost us over €40. We learnt our lesson then and Sam "Meireles" Zamen drove his car instead and left it in the long-term car park which was located just to the left of the terminal entrance. That only cost us a more acceptable sum of €9 in total, for just under 24 hours of parking time.

If you haven't been on a ferry crossing on the Irish Sea, the seating arrangements (or non-existence of one) can seem a bit weird. Cue a mad rush from the kiasu brigade to grab what they see as the best seats in the ferry. But, remain calm and do not join in the kiasuness. There are more than enough seats, which are arranged in the manner of lounges across the designated decks. The green seats were in the pub/casino area at the front of the boat whereas the blue seats were located in the more family-oriented area at the back. Being non-drinkers and temporarily child-less, we decided to stick with the red seats in the middle of the ferry. As a tip, you might want to bring along some hard-looking buddies and hog a whole lounge area to yourself, converting the various armchairs and sofas into makeshift beds.

Unfortunately, our attempt at this tactic failed miserably as instead of looking hard and mean, we most probably ended-up looking like a bunch of accountants on holiday which explains why some backpacker with a bit too much body odour squeezed in between the three of us and plonked himself on the best sofa. Dammit.

To be continued...(can't wait to see Suarez in action tonight)

Update: Continued at Anfield: How We Got There (Part II)

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