The final fixture of day three takes place in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam was where my travelling began way back in 1987.
It was my first inter-rail trip, with my first ever overseas train journey taking us from the port of Hoek of Holland past flat fields of cabbages to the iconic Dutch city.
Our introduction to Europe was memorable for three not so great reasons.
1) Nearly getting flattened by a tram outside Centraal Station. I survived that scare only to be nearly mown down by a cyclist. A manic introduction!
2) Getting totally lost in the canal district trying to find our youth hostel. A basic map and a refusal to ask directions saw us straining under our rucksacks for two-hours.
3) Having my money pinched from my jacket hung up in the youth hostel that I left in the communal bathroom in my extremely fatigued state. I didn’t realise until half way to Munich. Thankfully my passport, inter rail ticket and eurocheques were still intact!
I visited Ukraine in 2011, with first stop being Odessa, arriving by train from Moldova.
The city on the Black Sea was very pleasant to stroll around with the highlight being a set of steps. The Potemkin Steps.
The steps were originally designed in 1825 by Italian architect Francesco Boffo with the staircase costing a massive 800,000 rubles to build. A fortune in today’s money apparently!
In 1837, the decision was made to build the “monstrous staircase” based on the 1825 designs, which was constructed between 1837 and 1841.
An English engineer named John Upton supervised the construction. Upton had fled Britain while on bail for forgery and also went on to oversee the construction of the huge dry-docks constructed in Sevastopol and completed in 1853.
The top step is 12.5 meters (41 feet) wide, and the lowest step is 21.7 meters (70.8 feet) wide. The staircase extends for 142 meters, but it gives the illusion of greater length.
The steps are named after the famed Soviet battleship Potemkin, which in turn was named after Prince Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin-Tauricheski, a famed Russian military leader who died in 1791.
The steps were made famous in the 1925 Soviet silent film called Battleship Potemkin directed by Sergei Eisenstein that dramatised the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Potemkin rebelled against its officers.
Score prediction – Netherlands 1 Ukraine 0