World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Last stop Cologne

MartinCOLOGNE - This is it then, our final night in Germany spent having a great meal by the banks of the Rhine in a southern suburb of Cologne with one of our many new found friends, actor Joachim Krol.

And, like Fletch, the hospitality of the German people towards the hordes of invading strangers will stick with me for a long time.

Sadly, we were unable to take up the offer of blog reader Florian due to a mix up with his e-mail address - get in touch Florian and we'll make sure you at least get a Fletch and Ricco T-shirt.

Joachim had been in contact with us a number of times since our chance meeting on the train to Gelsenkirchen for England's ill-fated quarter-final, and he wanted us to come and have a drink and something to eat with him and his family in his home town.

He even had a couple of gift-wrapped presents for Fletch and myself - a baseball cap in the colours of his favourite team Borussia Dortmund and one commemorating that match against Portugal.

So our last evening was spent in good company, eating great food and with a good beer - although here in Cologne the measures are miniscule - the perfect way to say auf wiedersehen.

I've also got to say thanks for all the very nice comments people have left on our last few entries - especially that from your friends around the world - you're all too kind.

We've got several stops earmarked on the way to Calais - I'll admit they mostly involve the purchase of alcohol - where we hope to get on a ferry ahead of schedule, the lure of my wife and my own bed are very strong after five weeks in a confined space with a sports journalist.

But keep reading, there are still about 600km to go on this trip and anything could go wrong - please no!

In the meantime make sure you check out some photos from our final days in Berlin on our Flickr page.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:44 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • James wrote:

Gute reise!

Stop off in Aachen if you can, just so that you can claim to have seen what survives of Charlemagne's capital.

Are you going down through Belgium? Lots of nice places to stop off at - my favourite is Gent. The tower of St Bavo's Cathedral is not normally open, but the Belfry offers a decent 'short' climb.

James (Ulm Munster!)

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  • 2.
  • At 03:53 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Axel wrote:

Thank you for the blog! Your insights and descriptions were brilliant.

By the way, has Joachim told you about the movie "Wir können auch anders?" (international title: No More Mr. Nice Guy) where he played Rudi Kipp? It's a terrific "road movie" with - believe it or not - German humour. Strange characters experiencing adventures in East Germany - sounds familiar, or?

Plot summary from Goethe-Institut London:

Joachim Król stands out in this movie through his brilliantly persuasive acting as Rudi Kipp, aka ‘Kipp’, dressed in a black suit, with a speech impediment and the irresistible charm of an enthusiast. His brother Moritz Kipp, aka ‘Most’, who dresses in forest worker clothes, has plenty of scepticism towards humans and an old Diesel truck. This vehicle is to take them to the Promised Land, a country estate in eastern Germany left to them by their grandmother. But soon the journey becomes tricky, because our intrepid travellers are illiterate and street signs do not speak. Viktor, however, can speak - Russian. A deserter from the Red Army and also heading east, he is equipped with a Kalashnikov and a solid knowledge in handling Diesel engines. Soon a genuine friendship develops among the three and Viktor’s Kalashnikov saves them from a gang of tattooed bandits, who are sunk in the river. The fact that two of them cannot swim goes unnoticed by our heroes; just as the fact that they are now looked upon as dangerous killers. As the police track them down they kidnap beautiful Nadine. When despite all adversities Kipp and Most eventually stand before their inheritance, things are not quite what they expected.


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What is it with the climbs James?

You're obsessed!

If we climb anything it will be Cologne cathedral thismorning but I are say I might just give it a miss - done it before you see.

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  • 4.
  • At 08:52 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • florian wrote:

hi fletch & ricco,

many thanks for this great blog, i really appreciate that you rememberd my invitation. but as you guys were in really great company last night in cologne (i dont know if you are aware of joachim krol beeing really one of the most known german actors for a long time) i am sure you had a great final for your trip.
keep my email- adress , the invitation has not expired yet :).
and i am really looking forward to recieve an original "fletch & ricco" shirt.

cheers lads,

hope svan makes the last miles to bring you back to your WAGS, beds and showers

see you some day in germany

florian

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  • 5.
  • At 10:29 AM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • San wrote:

thats a great end to your trip, I love Cologne, great city, lots to do...

Only regret I have about the World Cup is by the way that I didnt get to see any game live in the stadium although I live in Germany which is such a shame :( But the public viewings were definetly a lot of fun too!

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  • 6.
  • At 12:49 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • SBB wrote:

1)Thanks so much for the blog, it fed my (temporary) football obsession perfectly. Being the compulsive-obsessive type, I usually read all the comments, too. I hope it'll be someone's task at the BBC, too. You'll find (a.o.th.)quite a bit of criticism regarding the commentary back in the studio, in terms of quality (or lack thereof). Please take it to heart. English is the lingua franca, and people from all over the world tune in. (And - hello! - some of us who live here have dual or multiple allegiances, and unless we have a satelite dish, we have to listen to British terrestrial tv coverage.)
It's embarrassing to say the least to have so-called experts in the studio who display little expertise but plenty of bias and chauvinism. We have the gutter press for that sort of thing, the BBC should be a cut above the rest. I really felt for the lady with the Portuguese husband ('Sardao', see earlier comments)and her children.
Personally, I found everyone's attitude towards the third place play-off totally out of order. "Nothing reveals more about a person than what they deem worthless and ridiculous". (I'm quoting Goethe here, probably wrongly). - Had England, Scotland or Northern Ireland (no Welsh commentator present)been playing in this match, how very different their patter would have been! Someone should play it back to them and ask them to imagine how their attitude would be received by a German, a Portuguese, or - lo and behold, could they even imagine such a thing??? - someone genuinely interested in a game of football in the WC and not just their own (proxy) team and winning the trophy.

2)Is there going to be a programme with all the highlights of the WC '06? Please, please, please, say yes!!!

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  • 7.
  • At 01:11 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Leen wrote:

Yes, see Gent. Specially if you go this Friday or WE, since then the Gentse Fiesten starts (the whole city centre becomes full of live music, entertainment, etc. for 10 days). lol.
Just thought I'd put in my two cents, and promote my city.
Thanks for a great blog, and such a great tournament. Maybe next time though, Belgium will actually be IN it!
Cheers

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  • 8.
  • At 04:50 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Jonesy wrote:

So does this mean you might be back playing footie next week to run off all those sausages Mr Webmaster? And no doubt the quiz will start again to!

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  • 9.
  • At 06:32 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • SD wrote:

To comment 2: Axel, thanks for the information about Joachim Krol.
I'm a portuguese cinema student and Ricco's mention of Joachim Krol interested me enough to do some research about him. I don't know much about contemporary german cinema so I went to Wikipedia and typed Joachim Kroll... But to my dismay I read something like: "Joachim Kroll was a German serial killer and cannibal." And as interesting as that experience may be, I don't think they would have dinner with a cannibal, so I assumed this was the wrong person!

Funny how one single letter can change everything, hein? Poor Mr. Krol, being confused with a German serial killer!

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  • 10.
  • At 08:25 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Flo wrote:

@ SD

Either you're joking or you must have made a typo:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_Krol (German)
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_Kr%C3%B3l (french)

Sorry, no english entry yet (maybe a task for his new fans?.. ;) )

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  • 11.
  • At 08:47 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • AndreasS wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_Kroll

This is your serial killer... His last name is "Kroll" instead of "Krol"... but really interesting. I didn't know about Kroll, the Ruhrkannibale and Menschenfresser from Duisburg.. The Italians stayed at Duisburg during the WC... unfortunately Kroll died in 1991 ;-)...

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  • 12.
  • At 11:48 PM on 11 Jul 2006,
  • Axel wrote:

Hi SD,

a good source in English is Joachim Krol's Internet Movie Database entry.

His cinematic breakthrough, I think, was his part in the film "Der bewegte Mann" in 1994. In this year, he also became the Bundesfilmpreis (German Film Award) in the category "Best actor".

We've come full circle. "Der bewegte Mann" was directed by Sönke Wortmann, a well-known German film director who is also a real football fanatic. After graduation, he played professional football for three years but he wasn't good enough. Wortmann made the most successful German motion picture of 2003, "Das Wunder von Bern" (The Miracle of Bern). It's about the West German victory in the 1954 World Cup Final in Bern. And this year, during the World Cup, he shadowed the German team from the preparations to the "little finale" last Saturday. He filmed the team at every opportunity, even in the changing room during the half-time break!

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  • 13.
  • At 12:37 PM on 12 Jul 2006,
  • SD wrote:

I made a typo yes, but a funny one. That's why I mentioned how a single letter in the name can make such a difference. How many chances there were of finding a Joachim Kroll/Krol that was a serial killer?

I noticed later that the killer died in 1991. Of course I never believed that Flech and Ricco were meeting a cannibal, but it was a funny mistake.

Thanks, Axel. I'm always interested to learn more about cinema. I usually consult first IMDB, but I have no idea why I decided to try Wiki first.

"Goodbye Lenin" must have been the last contemporary german movie I watched. There's always Fassbinder, but his movies belong entirely to another dimension. He is and yet is not of this time.

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