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Monthly review – August

August 21st, 2005 by · No Comments · Football, Travel

Thanks to the low cost short haul market that has emerged in the last few years there are a range of options available in getting in, and out, of Germany during the summer period next year.

As with all things ?bucket? it pays, in the immortal words of Fred Pontin, to book early. A rare advantage to being a football fan attending a major finals is that you can tell 6 to 9 months in advance whether your team will be attending, and after the draw which is due in Leipzig in December 2005, you can tell what city and stadium you need to be based in, or near to, for the group games.

We all know about RyanAir and EasyJet, in fact we?ll be looking at what they offer on German routes in the near future, but we have also discovered a native operator, Germanwings, which are currently offering stupid-pendus fares from selected UK destinations. As they state in their advertising, with for once an appropriate exclamation mark, yes you can ?Fly to Germany for 1pence!?. Germanwings fly from London Stansted and Gatwick direct to Stuttgart, Cologne, both venues for the finals, and Bonn. You can also get out of Birmingham to Cologne in ?just 40 minutes?, which is good news for everyone. Cologne will be the site of first round matches from Groups D, E, B and a ?last 16? match on the 26th June.

If you?re feeling lucky and booked now the fights would cost just ?10 return per person. The standard fare with under a weeks notice would set you back ?220. Germanwings also offer great deals on car rental and hotels. Other destinations such as Stuttgart, the site of a Group G, C, H and F game from 13th June, a ?last 16? match on 25 June and the 3rd place play-off on 8th July 2006, offers fantastic connections to all other major cities and venues if your team progresses beyond the group stages.

Venue Guide – Kaiserlautern

In a regular feature we?ll be having a brief look at each of the 12 host cities. This month it?s the turn of the smallest host city, Kaiserslautern.

Situated in the south-west of Germany in the Federal State of Rheinland-Pfalz, Kaiserlautern sits in the midst of the Palatinate Forest, one of Germany?s largest forested areas. Consequently this city of 100,000 is often referred to as the "city in the woods". The first official mention of the city, recorded as ?The Royal Court of Lutra? was contained in a document dating from 830.

Apart from its history Kaiserlautern is also known as the home of the largest US military base outside the US. Although now smaller scale than when first established after World War II, more than 40,000 U.S. soldiers and their families are stationed here. The facility also encompasses the Ramstein airbase, which is notorious for a very public accident during an air display and for the German Death [deaf?] Metal band named after the incident. They are also, unfortunately, very public.

The group games will take place in the modern Fritz-Walter-Stadion which is named after local hero Fritz Walter, who, with brother Ottmar and three other players from the Kaiserslautern team, formed the backbone of Germany's 1954 World Cup winning team. Many locals still refer to the stadium by its previous nickname, Betze, for Betzenbergstadion which first opened in 1920 on the site of the Betzenberg mountain.

Now home to FC Kaiserslautern, playing in the Bundesliga, the city has become, if not exactly famous, then at least known throughout Europe following some moderate success in European competitions under coach Otto Rehhagel after becoming German Champions in 1998. The team from the Betzenbergstadion?s only other recent success was winning the championship in 1991 and as the winners of the German Cup in 1990 and 1996.

Kaiserlautern will host four group matches and a second round, or ?group of 16? match during June.


Group F Match


Group E Match


Group B Match


Group H Match


Round of 16


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