We had to get up bright and early to catch our plane at Glasgow Airport getting there about four in the morning whereupon we took onboard a few liquid refreshments, might as well start the trip as you mean to go on!!

Our flight over to Kiev was nice and relaxing and quicker than I thought it would be and we got through security nice and fast as well.

There were buses waiting to take us to the President Hotel fifteen minutes from Kiev town centre and what a hotel it was, talk about luxury, very classy indeed.

the Tartan Army could get very used to living like this I can tell you.

After booking in it was walkabout time, what a fantastic looking city, some of the sights were simply breathtaking, and that was just the women I'm talking about!!!

The women really were something else and the Tartan Army on masse spent the afternoon in the Kiev sunshine admiring the views that changed regularly. Seriously though, the city itself is a stunning piece of architecture, Independence Square has to be seen to be believed, beautiful.

When we first left the hotel we went looking for a beer, the pubs aren't always easy to spot as lack of bar signs just confused the weary Scotsman. What they do have in abundance are beer huts, these wee huts are situated every hundred yards or so and they look like wee newsagent huts but they sell beer and you're allowed to drink in the street!! How awesome is that!!

Our first round was a bottle of Becks and two bottles of Stella, the big bottles mind, £1:20, (haud me back), one of the lads did remark that he thought it would be cheaper, I assume he was kidding.

We eventually found our way to Independence Square where most of the Tartan Army had convened. The locals seemed to be a bit bemused by this invasion of tartan clad drinking Scotsmen but were always warm and friendly and always available for photo opportunities.

We partied all day and as night fell the temperature really fell and even the alcohol struggled to keep us warm.

We met a real freedom fighter in the shape of Giorgy, Budmo Giorgy, primno poznayomitiya.

Giorgy was actually involved in the revolution to free Ukraine and it was a real pleasure to share a few beers with him, one of the guys got a wee gold memento from Giorgy, no it wasn't an engagement ring, it was the little fork that's on the Ukrainian flag, really nice gesture.

Next up was a MacDonald's, we basically live on these bloody things when we're away from home, it was probably the grandest building you'll ever see a MacDonald restaurant situated in.

We met some students who spoke very good English and we had a whole lot of fun with them, it was good to have hair again!! Then there was the trouble, some local yobs took it upon themselves to invade the party and it was an unfortunate thing to happen. A few of the foot soldiers were injured but the yobs probably came off worse, it was a real shame because it tarnished the day a wee bit.

The following day we got up bright and early and once again the sun was shining on Kiev, I went for a walk myself and was regularly stopped by folk wanting to take pictures, and being the shy person that I am I always said yes!!

We had to go and pick up our tickets at the Sports Hotel which was near the stadium, it was a bit of a farce but it was the Ukrainian F. A. who were at fault this time. Tickets safely got we headed into town for some more liquid refreshments. We kept away from the square after last night and decided to take in some of the bars where we were treated like Kings.

Everyone really made us feel at home and the mindless yobs were no reflection on the real people of Kiev, from the bar staff to the folk on the street everybody was brilliant to us.

Time had marched on and it was time for the match, absolutely no police control or segregation on the way to the game which I thought was a little unusual but thankfully nothing kicked off.

Once inside the stadium it was game on. The Tartan Army gave a very good account of themselves but the Ukraine fans were matching us song for song creating a great atmosphere.

Scotland had a few chances especially one that fell for Kenny Miller which had it gone in might have gave us a great result. As it was Ukraine maybe just edged it, although 2-0 flattered them a bit.

After the game the police escorted us to our hotel which was a shame as we wanted to have a wee night on the town but I suppose safety was paramount.

Back at the hotel the lager was off and with one member of staff on the bar it slowly turned into a shambles. We needed an early start in the morning anyway so it was off to bed and another trip was over.

Memories of the trip will be the friendliness of the people and the beauty of the city, the positive aspects of our time in Kiev far outweighed the negative ones and it's a city I'd love to visit again some time in the future.

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