Thursday, 16 August 2012

Stoking the embers.

One side of my rail pass last summer
Another summer, another list of endless possibilities. This time last year I had just come back after a five week backpacking trip which took me from Rotterdam in the north west to Dubrovnik in the south east, and although work and finances have kept me from embarking on a trip of a similar scale, I simply couldn't go the whole summer without satisfying the traveller in me.

Summer is coming back to a close, and soon I'll be heading back up to Nottingham, but I wanted this summer to go out with a bang even though for the most part it has been a damp squib. At April I made the leap to head over for the World Championships in Ljubljana on a whim, and once again this trip has gone quickly from being something which I thought "Oh, that would be neat to do" to becoming concrete. I've got a flight out to Bratislava on the evening of the 6th of September, and a flight back from Zurich on the 21st. From there, the whole of central Europe is my oyster.

I've been trawling fixture lists, trying to get an idea of the sort of games I want to go to, and making sure that I'm not spending all of my time on the European rail network, and after a couple of hours looking at endless club websites, I may just have drawn up the perfect fixture list for myself. At the moment at least. The only place where I "may" go on a detour to is Košice in Slovakia, which would be for non-hockey purposes, but apart from that, hockey is my motivation. I'm hoping to find a couple of great walking routes in Austria or Switzerland to punctuate my time too.

So, my fixture list at present stands as:

8th September: HC Slovan Bratislava vs Dinamo Riga, KHL regular season

9th September: Vienna Capitals vs Sapa Fehérvár AV19, EBEL regular season
10th September: HC Lev Praha vs Donbass Donetsk, KHL regular season
14th September: HC Davos vs Kloten Flyers, Swiss NationalLiga A regular season
15th September: Kloten Flyers vs ZSC Lions, Swiss NationalLiga A regular season
16th September: EHC Red Bull München vs Düsseldorfer EG, DEL regular season
17th September: HC Slovan Bratislava vs SKA St. Petersburg, KHL regular season.
19th September: EHC Bülach vs "Basel" (No clue which one), Swiss third tier pre-season game
20th September: ZSC Lions vs SC Bern, Swiss NationalLiga A regular season

I'm slightly disappointed that I so far haven't been able to find any games from the German 2.Bundesliga or the Oberliga to fit into my schedule, but I realise I'm in the middle of DEB-Pokal season, which is being played on the 16th. I was also hoping to possibly nip down into Italy for a game or two, but then again, their fixtures have been extremely slow to be revealed, so maybe I'll get to drop down into the Italian Tyrol for a game or two.

That's only the provisional schedule, and I'm hopeful to fill out the gaps with even more hockey! I've also got some Austrians to meet on the Swiss border who I met out in Slovenia during the World Championships.

That's all for now, but I'm hoping to keep this updated, at least with every game that I attend during my trip.

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