Well, that will be the quickest five days of my life then. I can safely say that from the moment I landed in the rain at Vienna Airport, having enjoyed the short hop from Geneva, the days have flown by in a haze of amazing architecture, live shows from the studio, interviews in the Fan Zone, tube trips across this remarkable city, more live TV programmes, watching masses of football...and even a ride on a ghost train!

And it's not easy to work out what's been the highlight of the lot thus far. Certainly watching live games with the pundits has taught me more in a few days than I picked up on the terraces at Carrow Road in 30 years.

The way a former player watches the game is very different to us mere, two left-footed, mortals. I honestly believe you could shut yourself away for 10 years with the entire back catalogue of live football the BBC has ever covered and still not be able to read the game like Alan Hansen.

Croatia supporters in the Fan Zone

What's been a real eye opener for me, though, is the Fan Zone, just across the road from where our studio is based.

You'd think, with the Rathaus lit up in all its 125-year old glory and a few pints of the local brew and a couple of bratwursts for company, a ticket to the 'Wien Fan Zone' would be the hottest ticket in town. And it seems it is... if you're not Viennese!

I've never experienced a moment like last Sunday evening. I was surrounded by a heaving mass of rather well-lubricated football fans and trying my best not to lose my production team as we weaved through the supporters to get our next shot.

Suddenly a roar went up as if Austria had won the Eurovision Song Contest, the World Cup and European Championship all at once. "That must be some goal," I thought. Only it wasn't. In actual fact, Croatia had just been awarded a penalty and the reaction was from hysterical Croatian fans. Luca Modric scored, cue another roar!

Can you imagine being in the same situation in Trafalgar Square and England conceding an early penalty, or watching a big screen in Glasgow's George Square as George Burley's boys do the same? You'd just hear, well, nothing bar the silence of shattered dreams, wouldn't you?

Austria is a fantastic place, but I feel its relationship with football is a strange one. Before their opening match of Euro 2008, I asked a handful of Austrians who they thought would win the tournament. The answers ranged from France, to Germany and even Switzerland. Honest, realistic, but not the normally passionate, partisan answer you'd be expecting.

I'm off to the Fan Zone again this evening to see how Austria's second game pans out. Judging by my trip to the office on the tube, or as I've renamed it The Polish Express, I'm expecting another lesson in footballing support that even Mr Hansen might not be able to explain.

Jake Humphrey is a presenter, working on Football Focus, Match Of The Day and Score. Please check our FAQs if you have any questions.


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