The Brits are rapidly coming to the conclusion that this is a phenomenal meet, and from a sport point of view probably the best we’ve ever experienced, if you stayed behind you’ve really missed something. The Russian’s have clearly given a lot of thought, planning and money into making the event a success, and the facilities are simply fabulous I’d hate to think what all this has cost.
The one area that could do with a bit more attention is the call room arrangements, now I don’t do call rooms, or I try very hard not to. My tactics have always been to avoid them for as long as possible and then simply jump into the line as your heat is called onto the poolside.
So second day of swimming and it’s 100 breaststroke for Binge, I watched Di Ford win her event before making my way to the final call room. These events are strange, you meet the same people in the call room every two years and have the same limited conversation with them, Gayle McCartney a South African is one of these passing acquaintances, we’ve been swimming against each other on and off since 1990, we really have to stop meeting like this!
After my swim it was time to escape the Gulag for a spot of sightseeing, the volunteers sorted us out a taxi and we headed for the Kazan Kremlin, which is a fantastic spot full of interesting architecture and fascinating history and looked stunning in the early evening sunshine. We were given a tour around by a 15 year old volunteer who had impeccable English (he could even swear better than me).
We gamely wandered down Bauman street and dodged into a restaurant, where they fortunately had one copy of the menu in English, have I mentioned how Russian is an absolutely impenetrable language well the alternative language is Tartar which has some basis in Arabic, yeah very useful for a numpty foreigner with no language skills.
The food was pretty good including the Duck Pasty (eat your heart out Greggs) and the beer was excellent tasting all the better for the fact that we’d gone over 48 hours without a drink. What is it about my friends that when I posted this image on Facebook it received more likes than any other?
Our problem now was how to get home, we found the taxi rank and managed to explain to the taxi driver where we wanted to be dropped off. We had the usual taxi driver conversation during the trip, when he asked “Manchester United?” “Chelsea” (he was a Reds fan which figures)
I’m not sure why all foreigners want to talk football to us, although I once talked my way out of a speeding ticket in Australia by mentioning Newcastle United and what a great player Mark Viduka was but that’s another story.
Sadly my football knowledge did not extend to being able to comment favourably on any Russian players maybe I should google a few for the rest of the week.
We were deposited at the security check point at the entrance to the Gulag and retraced our steps to the migration desk to collect some random pointless piece of paper which is apparently key to our being able to leave this country. As you can see Lynne’s insulin and Epipens caused havoc at the security check point (this is becoming a bit of a World Championship recurring theme isn’t it remember Gobbie)
- 700 warm up
- 100 breast stroke 1:33.80 (5th)
- 200 swim down