Euro 2012: Meet the pub boar, visit Chernobyl... and maybe even watch some football

The Foreign Office co-publishes a guidebook containing some unconventional advice to help England fans make the most of Euro 2012 in Ukraine next month

Never mind the pub bore – meet the pub boar. A Ukrainian bar with a porcine pet is one of the startling recommendations from the Foreign Office in its advice to England football fans heading for the Euro 2012 tournament next month.

Casting aside decades of urging restraint among British travellers, the FCO commends a bar in Donetsk whose main attraction is "a resident boar who occasionally comes out of his pen to greet patrons".

The Foreign Office also suggests fans in Kiev for England's game against Sweden take a day-trip to Chernobyl Reactor 4. It advocates early booking to the site of the world's worst nuclear accident "for security reasons".

The advice is contained in a spicy 130-page guide book to Ukraine and Poland for Euro 2012, called Free Lions. It is published jointly by the Football Supporters' Federation and the Foreign Office, and departs dramatically from traditional diplomatic protocol. The Consular Affairs Minister, Jeremy Browne, said: "These simple steps can help ensure your trip is one to remember."

Never has a European football tournament had such potential for misadventure as the Euro 2012 finals, which kick off in Warsaw on 8 June and climax with the final in Kiev on 1 July. Neither Ukraine nor Poland has hosted a big international football tournament before. The most distant venues are 1,000 miles apart. And the further east the venue, the more primitive the infrastructure.

English fans face more arduous journeys and tougher local challenges than any of the other 23 finalists. In the group stages, England play twice – against France and the host country – in the eastern Ukraine mining city of Donetsk, formerly known as Stalino. The guidebook explains that trains in the city centre travel very slowly "so as not to cause any cave-ins to the mines underneath the station".

Non-white travellers are warned of harassment "involving unprovoked violence". And public displays of affection between gay football fans could result in "threats of, or actual,violence".

The guide's sponsors acknowledge that not every football fan will spend their spare time taking in the monuments and museums of the host countries, and accept that cross-cultural exchanges are most likely to take place in pubs.

The bar with the boar is the charmingly named Bar Svinya, which translates as "Bar Pig". It is on Boulevard Pushkin in central Donetsk. The pub was researched by Kevin Miles, of the Football Supporters' Federation, who said: "You have to go past the boar's pen on the way to the gents. Occasionally the owners take it for a walk."

The boar is called Modest, after the 19th-century composer, Modest Mussorgsky. A member of staff, who gave her name only as Tania, said: "We have trained him to be friendly". She said England football fans would be welcomed and could sample the local delicacy of selo – salted pork fat.

The guidebook provides translations of useful phrases, though terms for transactions with bar staff are of limited use. Only the expression "one beer, please" is given, which will trouble fans accustomed to learning the phrase "two beers, please" and its essential adjunct, "my friend is paying".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there