Euro 2020 Match Day 15 – Netherlands v Czech Republic

The last 16 tie takes place in Budapest. 55 ‘European nations’ entered initially including ex-Soviets like Armenia & Kazakhstan, the four UK countries, Israel for political reasons and bizarrely in my opinion Faroe Islands and Gibraltar. What next, Jersey & Yorkshire?

Czech Republic

Prague Tram
Prague Tram

I first visited Prague in 1992 when it was part of Czechoslovakia, which i5 became in 1918 when gaining independence from Austria-Hungary.

Prague became the capital of the Czech Republic in 1993 following its amicable split from Slovakia.

Officially it became Czechia on 14 April 2016 when the government agreed to make it the nation’s name.

Rather like Marathon chocolate bars, Opal Fruits and the model Jordan, many people ignore the official name and refer to it as they have always known it.

On that first visit in ‘92 I was struck by the trams. Very old and rattly but entirely in harmony with the surroundings.

The modern sleek and less noisy versions are far more comfortable and happily retain their red livery as they have always been as far as I know.


Amsterdam canal
Amsterdam Canal

Travel restrictions apart, it is now possible to travel from London to Amsterdam and back by train.

I was on the inaugural journey in April 2018, though I alighted in Rotterdam having been to the city on the Amstel River many times before.

Back then you had to change in Brussels to get back due to border protocols, but happily this has now been sorted to allow a smooth return in around 4-hours.

Score prediction – Czech Republic 0 Netherlands 2

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