Brian Dougherty’s Euro 2016 blog: Tuesday, June 14 - Camaraderie between the Waterside #GAWA and the Galliagh #BIG - oh, and the Albanian Eagles too - in Monte Carlo

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Some down time after the first game was spent on a day trip to Monaco.

Quite an impressive part of the world but its no Foyle Marina.

Another remarkable aspect of this whole experience is the number of known faces you come across practically every-where you go.

Mark Labourne from Tullyally, now living in Southampton joined us for a night.

In the first bar we came across in the Principality were Hugh Smy and the crew from the city.

All remark on the brilliant time they are having and the sense of camaraderie amongst all supporters.

At Monaco we met a group of Albanian fans who had flown over from Boston for the tournament and at Ma Nolans (the hub for the GAWA the past few days) we bumped into a group of Republic fans from Galliagh.

We have seen no inkling of trouble. Of course the tragic news of the fan who died on Sunday has reminded us of the fine line between euphoria and tragedy. The fantastic gesture by the Republic fans during the 24th minute of their first game was very well received.

However, almost every-one we meet recounts personal difficulties with the transport network here. There has been a disappointing indifference shown by the French themselves to the tournament.

The rail strikes and air traffic control strikes have created a massive headache. On the day of the first match the local buses were even on strike. Taxi fares have ranged from 50 euro to 100 euro for the same journey and there have even been reports of taxis refusing to lift spectators.

The worst story though has been of a group of 52 Waterside fans at La Baume Europark. Big Fred Simpson had used his foresight months ago to book a bus to take fans to Lyon for Thursdays game only to receive a call tonight that they had cancelled it and were no longer taking football fans.

This policy though would change if they paid 5000 euro for the bus! Unacceptable.

Anyway, we will continue to enjoy ourselves. On Thursday morning we take the drive from the Riviera to Lyon for the second leg. If its even half as good as the first then we are in for some treat.