Woke up in: Hamburg
Went to bed: On a Deutsche Bahn train bound for Baden Baden
Postcard: I reserve the right to change my mind, after the mass of humanity in the process of descending upon this place in waves finally arrives en masse, but the German train system must — so far — be considered a work of art.
Clean. Comfortable. Speedy. Effective. And up-to-the-minute efficient, so far. If a train leaves the station two minutes late before July 1, I’ll probably question the accuracy of my timekeeping device first.
Most of the trains even have a power source, which is enough to keep me happy for the next five weeks.
After zipping to Mexico camp in Gottingen and cruising to Sweden camp in Bremen, two locations near the Hanseatic region of which Hamburg is the capital, over the past two days, I am in the process of my process of my first real trip — the type of trip that will be commonplace when the matches start for real Friday.
When England opens its first practice on the edge of the Black Forest in the spa town of Baden Baden Tuesday morning, I will be there, shoulder-to-shoulder with the English media, jostling for a position to gauge the hesitant gait of English talisman Wayne Rooney.
If the BBC reporters I met at the Swedish press conference Monday can be trusted, it should be quite a sight. And site.
While the US will have little more than 30 American journalists in Gelsenkirchen when it opens the tournament against the Czech Republic Monday, more than a hundred ink-stained wretches from the broadsheets to the tabloids are expected to be squeezing information out of Sven Goren-Eriksson and his team every day for the next month.
The English Football Association — or The Football Association — as it is officially, and ostentatiously, known, is supposed to have put together a media center designed to keep its writers distracted why it attempts to fulfill the soaring expectations England from which England always suffer before a tournament.
Sky Sports News in high definition. Enough English newspapers to darken the fingers. I wonder what the pub will be like?
Tomorrow: England camp in Baden Baden.