City on tour: Blowing off the pre-season cobwebs in Germany
PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:49 03 March 2020
Greetings from Germany, where preparations for the Premier League have picked up speed rather rapidly for Norwich City.
We arrived late on Friday night after a long day of travelling, myself and our video expert Tony Thrussell leaving Norwich at 10.30am and picking up group football editor Paddy Davitt from Stansted Airport.
From there is was on to meet up with our regular Canaries photographer Paul Chesterton and make our way down to Kent for the quick journey through the Channel Tunnel.
Whizzing through France, Belgium and Holland to eventually cross the border into Germany made it five countries in one day for us - six for Paddy, who switched swiftly from holiday mode in Ireland to get into pre-season action - as we arrived around 11pm.
There's an element of shaking off the cobwebs for reporters during pre-season as well, after two months of title-winning reviews, Premier League analysis and a host of transfer rumours.
The intensity of covering matches is a very different beast, when the balance of providing regular online updates and actually absorbing the action unfolding in front of you requires a rhythm and an organisation to allow you to squeeze the print, web and video demands of modern journalism.
We're based in the small town of Lippetal, just 20 minutes east of Lippstadt, where City head coach Daniel Farke enjoyed three spells as a striker during his lower league playing days before starting his coaching career between 2009 and 2015.
What better location to record our first video on Saturday?
We arrived at the Liebelt Arena unannounced and despite being informed that we had parked in Farke's former parking space, we were welcomed in for a look around as fourth-tier side SV Lippstadt played a team a step lower than them, Westfalia Rhynern.
After having a chat with a coach who was part of Farke's back-room staff news soon spread of our presence - although we weren't able to get the lady behind the bar to tell us about the time the Canaries boss sang at her birthday party!
From there it was into game mode on Sunday, where an eventful 2-2 draw with Arminia Bielefeld soon shook off the rust for those of us from Norfolk who had laptops perched on their knees battling with mobile internet signal, as well as those on the pitch.
With the temperatures only hovering around 16C, it's set to heat up throughout the week to increase the intensity of the fitness work for the City players at their base around 25 miles north of us - and we'll be keeping in touch with the camp to bring you plenty of news and interviews throughout.