IT was fun while it lasted.

Burnley's European adventure is over but nobody at the club is likely to forget the last six weeks in a hurry.

Forget the barbs about waiting for 51 years and then being out in 36 days, forgot the attention seeking former strikers trying hard to have an opinion. The Clarets packed an awful lot into those 36 days, and however Burnley's Europa League run ended, the achievement was in the process, not the outcome.

Chants of 'to Baku, we're on our way' may have rung out in the squares of Aberdeen, Istanbul and Athens, but nobody really believed Burnley were going to win the Europa League. Just being here was an achievement.

These journeys and these games were the reward for last season's heroics. Finishing in seventh in the Premier League deserved an experience to remember.

The group stage was always the target and ultimately Burnley have fallen short, but they were handed difficult draws in every round and with a bit more luck and a stronger referee they would have taken their place in the draw.

Instead we are left with the memories. It certainly wasn't boring with Burnley in Europe, and that was just off the pitch.

It began with the delayed flight to Aberdeen on day one, took in the emptiness of the Fatih Terim Stadium in Istanbul and concluded with the unpleasant scenes in Athens as Sean Dyche protested at the intimidation of Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic that he witnessed at half-time.

Clarets fans who made the away journeys will have memories to last a life time. They saw the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the Acropolis in Athens, and the inside of numerous Brew Dogs in Aberdeen.

On the pitch it veered from cagey and dull, to tight and tense and to wild and open.

The two legs against Istanbul were forgettable from a footballing perspective, but increasingly nervy.

Both Battle of Britain ties with Aberdeen were notable for the atmosphere in the stands as much as the football being played. But as the second leg wore on with the tie on a knife edge you could feel the tension and fear inside Turf Moor.

Going out after 36 days might not sound great. Going out after eight, without the need to use your passport, would have been a disaster. But Burnley held their nerve in extra-time to progress against the Dons.

The run ended against Olympiakos. There will be countless 'what ifs' from Athens. For 45 minutes Burnley more than held their own in an intimidating atmosphere. This was European football as you expect it.

Even after the first leg defeat the Clarets threatened a comeback. After 51 years out of Europe they weren't going to take their leave without a fight. Turf Moor was full of remainers on Thursday night.

In the end it wasn't to be, but these players, and the club, can learn from this experience. They can be better for the last six weeks, for the highs and the lows.

The challenge now is to build on it. As Dyche has so often preached it is about steady progress at Turf Moor. That wasn't scheduled to include a journey into Europe at this stage and nobody expects it to become a regular occurrence.

But with Dyche around and with greater investment this club can still progress.

Europe should be a stepping stone rather than the end of the climb.