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Posts for Tag: 2012

La Blaugrana at the Camp Nou

1st December 2012, Barcelona, Spain.

FC Barcelona hosted Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou. I had the privilege of witnessing the action from one of the best seats in the house. I was not disappointed.

Outside the Stadium :


It was quite a walk from the Gate I entered into the premises and finally I was there :


The Lounge :


Food!


The Team entering Camp Nou :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFib9DiGzW4

The Team :


The View from my Seat :



Messi, the player the world adores!


Marcelo Bielsa watching his team implementing tactics :


Cameramen who make it easy viewing for us :



Valdes and Pique :



Pique Opens the scoring for Barcelona :


Video Link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qozziC6rlZ0


Pedro warned for a Poor Tackle :



Xavi the Captain and Pass-master calling the shots in the midfield :



Messi makes it 2-0 for Barcelona!


Video Link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZZc99bgNMg

Some More Stills :



Iniesta then missed a Golden Chance to put the game beyond reach, Video Link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fANMBpRxyc

It was 3-0 at Half-time with Adriano scoring in the dying minutes of the First Half


Messi and Iniesta :



Substitutes Warming up at the start of the second half :



Fernando Llorente came on but the damage was done :



The atmosphere at the Camp Nou was absolutely electric, the supporters indulging in a Mexican Wave.

Video Link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2WgC-M_4Bg



Messi put the Icing on the Cake with a fabulous finish to make it 5-1 !!

Video Link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fZWm_Ux4Uw




Tito Vilanova, the Victorious Tactician on the Night :



More Substitutions, this time FC Barcelona too got on Fresh Legs :


Video Link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uwFvK6u-8w


Messi The Maestro the real difference between the two teams :



The Final Whiste! A Great Victory for FC Barcelona!

Video Link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdMHgXY2uRY



What an experience it was!! The Joy is evident as I am joined by Fans of the Catalan Club



Some Panaromic shots of this Majestic Stadium!


Time to Wrap Up!



Truly More than a Club!



A Sweet ending to a sweet victory!





Thiago Alcantara Obliged us with Autographs!



Bye Bye Camp Nou. I shall be back soon!



It was an awesome experience. There are many more to follow!!

I have a lot to write! So watch this Space.... More in Store!

Matchday at the Theatre of Dreams

Date : 24th November 2012.

Location : Manchester, United Kingdom

The Big Day had arrived. The Day when I would see the "Red Devils" take the field in their quest for yet another English Premier League Title.

Their Adversaries : Queens Park Rangers better known as QPR.

QPR was a very strong team on paper. It boasted of having players who have played for top teams in their early days but yet the team looked in disarray.

QPR had been going downhill and had just sacked Mark Hughes ( Manager ) a day before their game against Manchester United.

It was quite a nice game to be at as United had to dig deep to attain all 3 points.

 

My Day started with a big surprise. I exited the Elevator of my hotel to discover the entire QPR team sitting in the lobby getting ready for their "pre-match warm-up walk".

I got hold of a few players and they obliged me with autographs while some honoured me with a picture with them

 

Shaun Wright-Philips :

Park Ji-Sung :

 

There were still a couple of hours until kickoff but the Trams were already full

 

I alighted at Old Trafford Station and was amazed at the scores of Supporters moving towards Old Trafford!

 

The Stalls brimming with Scarves and other Manchester United "Merchandise"

 

The Walk to the Theatre of Dreams!

 

I had opted for the Hospitality at Old Trafford. I was at the EUROPA SUITE :

 

My Ticket and all the goodies that came with it!

 

I settled into my seat and soon enough we were all surprised by the arrival of our "Captain Fantastic" - the man from Serbia, NEMANJA VIDIC!! I was one of the privileged few to get an autograph from our Captain

 

It was time...

 

The Boys warming up :

 

Fred The Red :

 

Getting ready for Kick - Off :

 

Stretford End!!

 

The Teams coming out onto the pitch, here is the link of the video uploaded by me :

 

Accolades for Robin Van Persie :

 

Boys waiting for the whistle :

 

Kick-off!! Video Link :

 

Some shots from the First Half :

 

QPR Goal Disallowed! Sigh of Relief...

 

Half Time!

 

Second Half saw Manchester United conceed.

 

Substitution Time :

 

Manchester United equalised through Johnny Evans!

Video Link :

 

Manchester United wasted little time in taking the lead from another setpiece. Corner Kick by Rooney and into the Goal by Darren Fletcher!! 2-1 

Video Link :

 

As Smalling and Jones warmed up, United decided to put the game to bed. Javier Hernandez, our Little Pea defeated the offside trap to score from a one-on-one situation.

3-1 to United!!  

 

Old Trafford in all its Glory!    

 

Nick Powell comes on for Danny Welbeck    

 

WAYNE ROONEY what a game our lad had!   

 

The Final Whistle went off and United secured all 3 points against QPR. United went to the Top of the Table and have stayed there since!!  

 

Video Link :

 

 

The Home of Manchester United - OLD TRAFFORD! 

 

A Picture to Treasure, A Moment to Cherish!!

 

 

Anderson paid a quick visit to the suite. I did get time to have a nice chat with a Legend at Manchester United.

SAMMY McILROY!!


It was time to leave the stadium and return home. The words said by the 2 greatest managers on the planet shall always stay with me!

Sir Matt Busby who revived the United Legacy after the Flowers of Manchester went home early...

 

Sir Alex Ferguson who took Manchester United to the top. The man who knocked Liverpool off their perch, the man the world reveres and respects. The man who made us dream and took the club to glories unthinkable. The Undisputed king of the Managerial World!! 


I KNEW I WAS HOME!!!


What a day what an experience. Unforgettable, Unparalled. A dream fulfilled.


Thank you God and Thank you Dad for letting me experience the experience of seeing the Red Devils play in front of their faithful. 

 

There is more to come!! Watch this Space!!

Scotland - Really ??

2012 has been full of surprises. I have had the opportunity to travel to many F1 races, meet many people and at the same time explore many places.

However this was totally unexpected, totally unreal but Totally Worth it!!

 

So how did I end up in Scotland ??

Pernod Ricard India were hosting a contest in Duty - Free stores at Mumbai and New Delhi International Airports. I became an entrant while picking some liqour for my friend while returning form Singapore in April.

I receive a call days before leaving for the Singapore Grand Prix saying that I am a Winner and receive an " All Expenses Paid " trip with a companion to Scotland. I would be taken on a whirlwind tour of Scotland, Visit the Strathisla and Glenburgie Distilleries and be hosted by the Chivas Brothers !!!!

What a Pleasant Surprise !!

My Childhood Friend accompanied me ( after a lot of waiting for his visa ). We packed our bags and the journey began on 9th October 2012!!

  

We Flew British Airways ( not a pleasant experience ) into Heathrow and then onwards to Aberdeen. We were joined by Winners from New Delhi as well. 

  

  

10th October 2012 :

We were received warmly and our chariot was an Audi Q7, Sweet !!

Our Drive to Meldrum House Hotel, a Hotel in Old-Meldrum ( 30 minute drive from Aberdeen ) :

 

The Driveway and the Hotel itself :

 

After a Filling Brunch, we were checked into our rooms.

Our Room, Spacious and Comfy :

  

Welcome !!

 

A couple of hours later, we were driven down to the town itself to try on some Traditional Scottish Kilts!!

Oldmeldrum :

Wearing a Kilt is more than just a challenge but its astonishing to see how well it keeps a person warm. Some shots of the boys in the Traditional attire.

 

We spent our Evening exploring the property and savouring the beauty the countryside had to offer.  

The Hotel has a Fantastic Golf Course :

You mess with the Bull and you get the Horns :

After a Sumptuous Dinner it was time to head to bed and buckle up for the Sojourn the next day, The Day we visit the Distilleries...

 

 

11th October 2012 

We checked out of our Hotel post breakfast. The Weather was beautiful as we drove towards our first Stop of the Day : The Strathisla Distillery.

Beautiful :

 

 

The Oldest Distillery for Pernod Ricard, Strathisla is the home for the Chivas Regal brand. Whisky making is a fine art. It needs to have the right proportions to maintain the quality. Master Blenders ensure that each and every sample is perfectly blended to make the Whisky the way it should be.

The Distillery :

 

The Warehouse for the Casks :

 

Special Casks for the Royal Family for their Special Occasions :

 

The Warehouse needs to be Locked !

 

Some more Shots of the Distillery :

 

We were now driven down to an Old Cafe called Kimberley's Inn. The Inn was built decades ago but continues to serve fantastic food and is frequented by both locals and travellers.

Enroute to Kimberley's Inn :

 

Beautiful

 

We left the Inn for the Glenburgie Distillery. The Distillery is home to Ballantine's.

The Distillery was rebuilt in 2003 after the earlier one had gone through numerous repairs and wasn't feasible anymore for operation.

 

The Accolades :

 

The Range and the Coat of Arms :

Some more stills :

The Casks are ready :

The art of making Casks :

The Evolution of Whisky over the years :

 

A Replica of George Ballantine's Home :

Its always blended and the Blend is shared between companies :

We now drove down to the little town of Inverness. It was Cold and Raining. Inverness is a quaint little town on the banks of the River Ness.

We checked into Glenmoriston Town House Hotel and its a nice hotel to be in. Seems to be a favourite for the locals.

My Room, a little cramped but nevertheless comfortable :

Post Dinner, my friend and I decided to take a walk around the river. It was fabulous.

 

 

12th October 2012 :

We checked out of the Hotel post breakfast and had 2 Mercedes S-Class Sedans lined up to drive us down to Loch-Ness, the lake.

Legend has it that a Monster lurks in the deep waters of the lake. Many sightings of a mysterious animal have been reported, some vague photographs also suggest something. Sailors too have seen mysterious readings on the sonar. The Depth of the Lake makes it difficult to search extensively ( even for the Navy ), so the Legend lives on....

Our Ride into the Unknown :

The Wind Blew Strong and it was Icy Cold!!!

We disembarked at Urquhart Castle, famous during the Jacobites War.

After taking in the sights and sounds of Loch - Ness, we now left for the Golf Town of St. Andrews. It was a long and tiring 6 hour drive but the comfort of the S-Class made us feel otherwise!

Enroute to St. Andrews :

We checked into St. Andrews Golf Hotel and decided to explore the town after a quick refreshment.

Awestruck!!

The Streets of St. Andrews :

 

13th October 2012 :

It was now time to head back to Aberdeen to take our flight back home to India via London Heathrow.

Some of the picturesque scenes :

My Friend chose to stay for a few days in London while I returned home.

Everyone loves travelling and our travels take us to places we love to cherish. However there are a few that leave more than just a lasting memory on one's mind.

 

 

SCOTLAND is one such place for me. The Natural Beauty leaves you in awe. The country is definitely one of God's Finest Creations!!

 

The Way of Life, the people are very endearing. Life is Simple for the Scottish and that is how it should always be! 

 

I want to sincerely Thank Pernod Ricard India for giving me the opportunity to enjoy the best of Scotland in such a short time. It was truly a whirlwind tour of the Land of Beauty and also the Land of Whisky. It is definitely a fine art, an art that the Chivas Brothers have mastered and perfected!!

 

 

Scotland is one place I shall definitely return to and have a long holiday. Scotland makes it to the top 3 for me.

 

VISIT SCOTLAND PEOPLE!! YOU WILL TREASURE IT!!