Up right early and at the airport for 4.30am first pint of the day for me to wash down a roll and sausage while young C has an orange juice to accompany his roll and bacon and we're off.

We both get a sleep on the plane and are soon genuinely amazed at the stunning scenery which greets us in Austria as the mountains climb towards the few clouds in a sunny sky.

Dropped in town by the airport transfer bus we check out an eat in / out bakery and then C uses his basic German to ask where the river is. Plan is to walk along the river to the Shamrock boozer.

The river is a green colour and we optimistically see this as a good sign. The riverside provides excellent views of the mountains and castles and monasteries scattered around.

As we walk along in the warm sun C recounts the history of RB Salzburg while I explain to him about the history of how towns and cities develop with the river as the centre. I’m sure he yawned !

After a while the pub is located and some bodies greeted, we enjoy a few pints at reasonable prices ( especially for the local brew which is decent ). Rebs on and a good few chants are belted out. We meet some bhoys that had just arrived from the bonkers Bellshill bus including a talented singer and an east end pub owner. Am sure they said its over a thirty hour journey. Reminds me of the trip to Cologne with the Tollcross bus back in the day.

C fancies a munch so we head up into the old historical town and soon find a steak restaurant. A bit pricey but the food was good as was the vino.

Next we call into the cathedral and light a candle and say a prayer for my old pal George Ryan whose fifth anniversary is the next day. On reflection we should probably have done similar for the team.

Carry out purchased ( very reasonable price ) we head back to find the traditional chants belted out at the square. We meet a few more bodies and soon it’s a bus to the ground. The craic is good and everybody is in fine voice. Decent pyro display sets the tone and soon we are one up with the resulting bedlam in our section.

Sadly it wasn’t to last and we depart having lost 3 – 1. Plane on time and bonus of getting picked up at the airport sees us back in the east end for 2am.

Reflections on the trip:

Overall a cracker

RBS a very good side

Salzburg a lovely city and not as pricey as we feared

Stadium ok but just ok

Salzburg fans acted like they were at a play or the opera and didn’t really show much passion


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