The city streets were completely packed on the way to the game, km long traffic jams, but we finally found a parking spot and headed over to the stadium. Tailgating is different here, because there are so many stands of people selling hot dogs, yummy treats, cold beer, and hot kuhano vino (Gluehwein, hot mulled wine with spices, or if you were at T's welcome back party in Philly last winter, you remember what we drank?). It was cold so we got a yummy hot wine and started walking in to the game.
Thanks to Ivona for lending me her Dinamo Zagreb gear!
Hot dogs, Kielbasa
As we made our way in, we came to an abrupt halt that literally made me lose my breath because we were stopped and stuck. All of a sudden, we were at the back of a huge mass of people waiting to get in through first giant gates, then through 3 working (out of 10 possible) turnstyle exits. We ended up being stuck in this massive crowd, suffocating for nearly an hour to go 100 meters through to the entrance. I felt really claustrophobic and nearly became panicky towards the end of it. We were literally became pushed up against people, pelvis to pelvis, my face way below a lot of tall guys, with elbows and arms flying, smushed down. Again, suffocating. People pushing like crazy and it honestly felt like people were fighting for their lives just to get through the turn.
This is the last pic I could get, while I could still move my arms. You can see the entrance is orange. People just squished themselves in even closer because I couldn't get my iPhone out to take any more pictures after this one.
It felt demeaning to see how little respect the stadium workers had for fans and the unfairness that ensued when people tried to enter the stadium and why this had only occurred in the East entrance of the game. (All other entries were completely clear, no line waiting at all!)
After that nightmarish entry, we made it into the game, 20 minutes late, which really made me disappointed in the stadium's organization, but we shook it off and were ready to enjoy the game. I was really happy to see that they had beer and food vendors walking around the stadium to sell snacks so we got a couple of watered down beers and got into the game.
Despite the chaotic start to the game, we had a great time. It's always fun to watch live sports, but it's especially exciting to watch soccer in a country full of soccer hooligans (ok, they're actually more scary than hooligans if you're talking about Dinamo's Bad Blue Boys), huge fans who have a true love for the game, and are ready to sing and cheer their team on! Unfortunately, Dinamo lost the game 0:2 but we still had a lot of fun watching!