Many Chelsea FC fans made the trip to Istanbul last week for the Champions League Round of 16 match against Galatasaray SK, but very few took the time to document their journey. One such blogger did and was gracious enough to share his photos as well, which you can see here. Amidst the talk about Istanbul not being safe for traveling fans and the reports of a Chelsea fan being stabbed, Blues supporter Chris Axon takes us on an exhilarating ride on his journey to and from the Turkish metropolis. His account covers the streets of Istanbul, encounters with Chelsea fans from around the globe, Turkish street food, and of course the most important part of it all, the match itself.
An excerpt from Chris’s account:
“I’m a lucky bugger. I’ve always loved travel. I’ve always loved football. Being able to combine these two passions is perfect. I remember scanning the remaining clubs still participating in this season’s Champions League, ahead of the draw for the “Round of 16,” and highlighting Galatasaray as one the teams that I favoured being paired against. Of all the European cities that I was yet to visit, Istanbul undoubtedly topped the list. Back in 2008, I decided not to travel out to the largest and most exciting city in Turkey when Chelsea was paired with Fenerbahce. It was a decision that I immediately regretted as soon as I heard about the city – and the city’s passion for football – from my friends who had decided to go.”
For the full account of Chris’s journey, check out his post called “Tales from Istanbul” on his blog CHELSEA/esque. Let’s hope Chelsea advances to the next round, and that Chris makes the trip for the away leg, so we can get another inside perspective on what it’s like to be a Chelsea fan in enemy territory!
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