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Evian Tour Blog: Day Five

16 July 2016

We awoke here on Friday to the horrifying news of the terrorist attack in Nice, which took the lives of over 80 innocent revellers celebrating Bastille Day.

Hotel staff put on their professional heads and carried on smiling, but I think we can all appreciate that behind the façade, there was an understandable mixture of heartache and anger.

And ahead of the friendly against FC Stade Nyonnais in Switzerland, 24 hours later, both sides remembered the innocent victims who lost their lives in tragic circumstances.

On Friday itself, a light training session cleared the cobwebs before the players relaxed ahead of the journey to the game in Nyon, which was something of a novelty, as we travelled there by boat!

Nyon lies west of Evian, with Lake Geneva the most direct – and certainly most picturesque was of getting there.

I posed the question to our club historian, Ray Simpson, as to whether we’ve ever knowingly travelled to a match by boat before.

In recent times, I know the club has undertaken pre-season tours to the Isle of Man, via the Steam Packet Co, but those were specifically to training camps with games bolted on.

Further back in time, many of the club’s trips abroad would have been by sea, but again were these specifically for a match?

I can’t quite think of a better way to travel to a game, and even Scott Arfield, who was dreading the sailing, enjoyed it!

Once at the game, I was informed of a supporter who went above and beyond to join us in Nyon.

Matt Poole, from Burnley, coincidentally found he was in Milan at the end of a travelling adventure when the game was confirmed, a mere 400 miles away.

Matt Poole

So naturally, as you do, he set off on his pushbike, to watch the game, before saddling up again to make the long trip back to Burnley by pedal power.

His efforts certainly didn’t go unnoticed and John Banaszkiewicz, out here for the game, sought out Matt and invited him to the restaurant with the entire squad following the game.

A fitting reward for a stupendous effort.

And finally, as the sun emerged on the final day here in Evian, and as the Open Championships get into full swing in Royal Troon, I felt it only fair to inform you we have our own mini-version here, with a 11-hole putting green on the lawns of the hotel.

The greens are just as immaculately manicured… and the view over the Lake is to die for!

Au revoir Evian. It’s been a blast!

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