What a exciting three weeks for Germany!! It's like the World Cup all over again expect the games were in Switzerland and Austria. Since the games started, we could hear people cheering from the nearby bars from our flat. No matter which team won, there would be honking on the streets at the end. It sounded like German people finally awoke from the winter.
We didn't watch every game except for some very important ones, even when we were in Berlin. We finished our day early just to make sure we would see Turkey vs. Czech Republic because whichever team won would play with Germany. Since there is a large Turkish population in Germany, we thought that it would be crazy on the game day.
The semifinal, Germany vs. Turkey was on a week night - Wednesday. Downtown Stuttgart was filled with people by the time we got there around 6p.m. Everyone wanted to be at the Schloss Platz for the public viewing (each major European city has its own public viewing area which has more capacity than the stadiums.) We waited in line and finally got in around 6:30. Katja and Kathrin joined us later while some couldn't make it (stopped letting people in after 7) As you can see from the picture on the left, it's like 'sea of flags and people!'
It was a great game, there were many scores, and tied until 2 minutes before the game. Finally, Germany kicked another goal to finish on top of Turkey. Everyone was crazy afterwards. The streets were entirely blocked and downtown was shut down for a celebration parade. It was such an exciting experience.
We went to downtown again for the final. This time, the public view area was already pack and closed before 6p.m. The game started at 8:45 p.m. Can you believe that? And it was a super hot day too. On one hand, I can't image standing in the sun baking for so many hours waiting for the game. On the other hand, it would have been great. Well, we didn't have the option so we found a bar, sat down, and still enjoyed the game with friends and other nervous German fans. It was a superb game. Every minute of it was making me so nervous even though I am not a soccer fan. Too bad Germany didn't win at the end but I have learned so much about soccer from these three weeks.