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This report is taken from PN Review 176, Volume 33 Number 6, July - August 2007.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

Every other year, between January and March, the Welsh rugby supporter's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of Paris and Rome, where, in contrast to our own washed-out seasons, there may indeed be signs of the return of Spring. (I should include Edinburgh too, but for me, Murrayfield does not have the same appeal.) Thousands followed their team to the continental match venues, and the crowded stadiums, even the vast Stade de France, were liberally blotched with red. On each occasion we came away disappointed. Usually, by the time we have tramped to metro stations or found alternative transport, passably good spirits have returned at the prospect of a good night out in the bar or bistro of choice, but this year in Paris, the ridiculously late 9.00 pm kick-off meant it was nearly midnight by the time we returned from the banlieu of St Denis to the Gare du Nord. Instead of burly men to keep the over-enthusiastic out, bars near the station had posted desperate staff begging us to come in. Only the very thirsty heeded their siren calls.

Rome and Paris (yes, and Edinburgh) have a great deal to offer beyond the few hours of intense drama played out on a Saturday afternoon or evening during the Six Nations tournament. You will find knots of Welsh, readily identifiable by their red favours and their voices, at all the major sites and in the museums, galleries and great churches of the cities. The visit to Rome ...


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