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A sea of orange in Kiev - Euro blog day two

A sea of orange inside the stadium Photo: Calendar

I'd like to say its hotting up here in Kharkiv in the fan zone, but at 35 degrees that's hard to believe. But the atmosphere is incredible now with two hours to go before the biggest match of Euro so far.

We are in a sea of Orange. But both sides singing and drinking side by side. Surely this is football's greatest achievement. More than the EU perhaps - it really has brought our countries together. You know that, when time after time people want to have their photo taken with you just because you wave an English flag!

The Kharkiv fanzone Credit: Calendar

We arrived on the train at 7:45 this morning. A pretty sleepless night, not least as I couldn't find our tickets and passports, must of left them at Kiev station! But found them down the side of the bunk as we got into Kharkiv. That felt better.

The organisation here is just so good. Everyone is ready to help and everything easy to do. After a coffee in downtown Kharkiv we tried to find our hostel. Where better to start than with the local militia who quickly whipped out their iphones to find our location on the map. Militia man number one rang into HQ to ask how he could best help these English guys. They quickly put us into a taxi and sent us on our way!

That said Eastern European traditions prevailed at the hostel. No cold water so the only shower was a scalding experience. And for the two Germans who trespassed on the grass, the gardener turned the hose on them. Stay off the grass! Seems fair.

The rest of the day was spent wandering round town, seeing the sites and sampling all types of local beer, including tanker delivered Kvass - beer made from bread. Awful stuff.

So now we are with the Dutch and they are in full song! The Germans are low key in comparison. But we stand tall in our Orange tops and the England flag across our shoulders! Confusing to some!

In 30 minutes the parade to the ground begins with a Dutch double decker bus and band leading the way! Whatever the result, this is football.

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