An alarm clock and my father aided me in negotiating the first potential hazard of the adventure, the early start of 5am and a departure from Cardiff airport. After a brief meet at Toulouse airport with the legend Andy Legg who took my offer of a Blues Are Back in Town in return for a quick selfie, Fisk then had to negotiate a more problematic obstacle: poor planning.
I had hoped I would quite easily meet up with Bastien who, via airbnb, was putting me up for the night, but of course no. Despite assurance from my phone operators, I had no signal on my mobile and had foolishly not stored details in paper form as to where I would be staying.
I felt like Tom Hanks in The Terminal as I started to wonder if I would ever leave the airport! €20 was spent in a variety of manners, in vain trying to get online or to use a phone, before a Euro 2016 rep with a map finally gave me rough guidelines about where to start my journey.
I got off a tram close to the fanzone which was deserted, like a lot of places, with it being a Sunday. From here I made my way to the centre by Metro. Cafes with wifi seemed few and far between compared to the UK, but I was finally let in on the secret: McDonald’s was the place to be for this.
With my phone’s battery running dangerously low due to forgetting to charge it the night before leaving, at McD’s I was at last able to log in to airbnb to find my kindly host had been trying to track me all this time (now I was more like Neo in the Matrix). With heavy bag in tow – way too much luggage for a two night trip – within no time I was to my relief in the comfort of my host’s car, he was shortly in the possession of €20 for his additional troubles and I had a key to a nice, secure little apartment where I planned to rest and recharge batteries.
This done, the next inevitable mission, as every Welshman knows, was the beer one. After the expense of the flight, I’d compromised with cheap accommodation, and I found myself a little out in the sticks. But a predator will always find a way. Fisk set out on foot, putting his best foot forward and within around thirty minutes he found himself at an out of town McDonald’s, and it was this particular restaurant chain that would once again come to the rescue.
A Big Mac meal was heartily devoured, with the aid of some pommes fritz sauce, which we don’t have yet in the UK but should do. Another thing we don’t have in the UK is beer at Maccy D’s. Four of these were ordered and placed in le sac.
Upon return to the apartment, Fisk stuck to his resolve of staying in on the first night, so it was catching up on facebook etc prior to the evening’s game on le box – France v Les Suisses before retiring to bed.