Rugby fan cycles 3,300 miles to Edinburgh only to see his team lose

AN AVID rugby fan who cycled more than 3,300 miles to watch his country play in the Capital says he regrets nothing - even after a crushing defeat.

Sunday, 8th September 2019, 4:17 pm
Sandro arrives in Edinburgh

Architecture student Sandro Datishvili took just over three months to bike from Tbilisi for Georgia’s clash with Scotland at Murrayfield on Friday.

Inspired to make the mammoth journey by Scotland fans heading in the other direction for previous games, he said it was worth all the effort despite a 36-9 defeat

“It was a good game and I enjoyed being here to support my nations and support the team,” said Sandro, 25. “A good result would have been a bonus on top of that.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He was only one of a handful of Georgian fans at the game, while none of the others are thought to have had such an arduous trek.

“I saw a few Georgian flags but I didn’t hear them unfortunately - hopefully I’ve encouraged more fans to come,” he added..

While in the Capital, Sandro has taken in the sights with a trip to a whisky shop, the Castle and the Royal Mile.

And a group of Scotland rugby fans who made the trip to Georgia for the corresponding fixture at the end of last month have invited him out for a drink.

The rugby nut plans to return to his homeland on Tuesday, all be it by the more customary means of flying via London - though Edinburgh has certainly left its mark.

“I think Edinburgh is a very, very, very beautiful city,” said Sandro. “It’s different from any other in Europe.

“I prefer Edinburgh to London - it’s one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been to in my life.”

Sandro left Tbilisi on June 1 and arrived in Edinburgh last Wednesday - with two days to spare.

He notched up more than 75 miles on some days, his odyssey taking him through Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Austria.

Sandro slept in a tent and stopped off in the bigger cities for several days.

It was only when he reached Germany that he finally got his visa to enter the UK. He then came through France and then to Edinburgh via London.

His friend, Dachi Khutishvili, studying engineering in Edinburgh, said: "When he arrived the first thing he said was: 'I want a shower'".