North London Derby – Wembley – London

I have been to the UK and EU several times, a close friend recommended watching a football game on one of my trips. To my luck I found tickets to Tottenham Hotspurs vs Arsenal also known as the North London Derby, I bought the ticket and then I bought my flights and hotels afterwards. One of the Premier League’s biggest rivalries, I paid a king’s ransom to attend.

This is one of most riskiest trips I have ever taken, the schedule was so tight that any delay and I would have missed the match. Originally the match was to be in the evening, but rescheduling moved the game to 12:30pm. A big issue as my flight was scheduled to arrive at 10am on the same day. I took a red eye flight on Friday to watch the game on Saturday and left on a Sunday evening flight. So no room for error.

I get to JFK and get a few glasses of wine in before my flight. I took a low cost airline so I needed to eat and drink before my flight. IMG_1738

I land at Gatwick Airport at 10:15am got to the Gatwick Express to head to London… I was lucky the line at passport control and customs was short. I actually change clothes in the train to save time…IMG_1743

I arrived to Victoria Station, and took a cab to the hotel. I could have transferred to the London Tube, but I think I would have lost time. I also ordered new Amex Credit Cards with contactless payments to pay for public transport and cabs and not have to buy tickets etc. IMG_1744

The sights of London… I just wanted to get to my destination ASAP… IMG_1745

I arrive at my hotel just to drop off my bag and head to Wembley Stadium. The Ritz was the perfect location as it was close to Victoria Station and right next to Green Park Tube Station with direct train to Wembley. Also I have always wanted to stay here… and it was nice… IMG_1746.1

I arrive at Wembley Station… The crowd was intense… The chants started right after people got off the tube. It was a slow walk…. IMG_1746

The long walk… Lots of people. IMG_1747

The energy is intense as it is one of the most anticipated games of the Premier League. IMG_1748

Me… less than two hours ago I was on a flight… I still have to pick up my tickets at will call and get to my seat. They close the office at half time. IMG_1749

The weather is warm… Spring like… IMG_1750

I pick up my tickets… I have less than 3 mins to kick off. Entry to the stadium is super efficient and quick.  IMG_1751

I am finally here! Notice there is no persistent standing… also you can’t have a drink within sight of the pitch… rules to follow…  IMG_1779

Bubbles for those who need it… IMG_1780

No time… I run to my seats… IMG_1781

Starts as soon as I sit down… I am in the Spurs section as they are at home… IMG_1782

I take pictures… The energy is intense… IMG_1783

I zoom in… IMG_1785

You can see the famous neutral zone, those are the Arsenal supporters. IMG_1786

Its half time already, Premier League matches are quick, they waste no time, no long pause for sponsors or commercials it seems…  Here I am in my Spurs Kit. As stated before I changed in the train so I could make it here in time. IMG_1808

I decided to take one last photo and focus on the match. A few controversial ref calls and penalty kick drama… it was an entertaining match… and worth the price paid for the experience.IMG_1813

My ticket came with lounge access. It came with complimentary services, but I was not able to enjoy them, I went after the game and paid for my drinks.  IMG_1814

It was a draw… not exactly the outcome I was looking for but enjoyable. IMG_1820

At the lounge, I go for a few drinks as I wait for the crowds to thin out at the Underground. IMG_1822

Seems to be a lot of development around the area. IMG_1824

The game was played at Wembley as the Spurs home stadium was not ready for events. An intense game of great rivals… if you can spare the change it will cost and you have the time go do it. IMG_1825

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