Three games in the East of Germany.
I based myself in Berlin and began by taking the S-Bahn out towards Potsdam.
29th July 2016 Babelsberg 0 Wacker Nordhausen 2 Regionalliga 2,230 (c. 80 away)
It was quite hot for this Friday evening encounter at the old style (man stand plus terrace) Karl-Liebknecht stadion.
And it was the visitors who began well with the diminutive Austrian Schloffer putting them in front within ten minutes.
He combined well with Marco Sailer (also small though mostly beard) to threaten the home goal.
But eventually Babelsberg had more play and they went on to miss a number of presentable chances.
Andis Shala would hit the post as the home side should definitely have equalised.
However they contrived to miss their opportunities and it was left to Wacker to break away and score again in the closing minutes.
Certainly tough on the home team, but as they say if you don’t take your chances...
Back in the centre I was in time to watch the ‘Critical Mass’ cyclists (some 2000 !) on their way through K’Damm.
This event undoubtedly presents a fine nighttime image with lights and music and a wide variety of wheeled transport.
30th July Rot-Weiss Erfurt 0 Hallescher 3 3.Liga 8,168 (c.1200 away)
The next day I took an early train to Erfurt, the fine capital of Thuringia.
As soon as you arrive at the station you see plenty of red & white shirts.
Both these teams brought sizeable contingents of ultras & they positioned themselves at either end of the redeveloped stadium.
Sadly the new version of the ground retains the track which, as always, tends to diminish the atmosphere.
But the away fans released some red smoke and the home ultras produced the choreo.
While YNWA was played together with the team song.
On the pitch it turned into a comfortable victory for Hallescher.
Certainly it helped that they went ahead so early (3 minutes) when Benjamin Pintol was given an easy conversion.
The visitors would miss other good first half chances before Lindenhahn broke from the right to score left footed on 66 minutes.
Goalie Bredlow had a hand in the third after his long clearance was controlled and crossed for sub. Wallenborn to volley in for number three.
It had been a disappointing afternoon for RWE who hardly produced any serious threats.
Not a great omen for the fans who had bought season tickets (priced from 175 Euros)
Back in busy Berlin I saw some of the City Night 10K run before bed.
31st July Magdeburg 0 Fortuna Koln 3 3.Liga 17,796 (c.70 away)
An hour and half on the Regional train and you can be in Magdeburg.
Where the local team get substantial, noisy support in their MDCC-Arena, out towards the East of the centre.
So we had plenty of chants, songs and rhythmic clapping.
Not that it translated into success on the field for the men in blue.
Initially the two sides traded corners and some long throws before Fortuna went ahead when Dahmani slide in a cross on the half hour.
That was the only score at the break with the visitors edging proceedings.
However soon after the interval the outcome was decided, firstly with a Uaferro header from a corner then Brazilian Cauly converted a left wing cross.
FCM managed some efforts on goal but most went straight at goalie Poggenborg who held them all, tightly.
With the Fortuna defence well marshalled by Uaferro and Mimbala it never looked likely that Magdeburg would retrieve the situation.
So a setback for FCM, who finished just behind the promotion places last season, but a very creditable away win for the team from the West.
My Sunday night in the capital was completed by a pleasant meal of pizza, apple strudel (of course) and vino.
Back in the UK the next day I took the train home accompanied by Pokemon Go playing Asians.