I’ve been an attendee at the Odyssey Arena for five years, and a fan of the Belfast Giants a few weeks short of that. I’ve been in two arenas and three ‘barns’ to see British hockey played out. I’ve seen former NHL players play regularly, and taken part in interviews with some of the highest paid sportsmen in the world. The Giants have a great fan-base. A neutral and welcoming crowd. We, in Belfast, have a great arena, the best of its size (it’s not the biggest) in these islands. As a sporting product, the Giants are successful and have won more than their fair share of trophies.
The Holocaust Memorial is immense and surprising. From the Brandenburg Gate or Potsdamerplatz you observe the expanse. Below the flag of the American Embassy dozens, hundreds, then thousands of concrete stelae stand in a field, a strange crop. The whole scene is like little else you’ll ever see.
Entry and a basic tour of the Olympic Stadium costs €12, a mid-level game ticket costs €26. Easy choice!
Hertha Berlin I know very little about. FC Köln I know very little about. The Olympic Stadium is an iconic venue, magnificent in form but infamous in origin.
I was in search of a bit of winter sun, late year heat. Not a beach holiday, but something to make up for living in a cold, old house.
Temperature? 1 degree Centigrade. Outlook? Overcast. Rain? Some. A summer holiday became a 1000 mile translocation to a wintery city in a country whose language I could just about pass for a tourist in.