Tech Volleyball's Postcards from Europe - #4

May 30, 2007

by Laura and Chrissy DeMichelis Greetings from Chemnitz, Germany!

Three cities and two matches later, we finally got some free time to send in a journal entry. We last wrote you from Munich on the 22nd. We started the day off on a long bus ride to the kingdom of Bavaria in the south of Germany. On our way up there we were all knocked out on the bus, until we were awoken to the spectacular scenery around Neuschwanstein castle. We had a short rain delay before we could get off the bus and explore the area. We all got our tickets for the bus ride up the mountain the castle is nestled in, (and by mountain we mean very steep hill) It was like something you would see in Snow White and the seven dwarfs (Walt Disney’s inspiration came from this castle and kingdom).

Once we got off the bus, we had a little bit of a hike to get to the front door of the castle. As we approached the front door of the castle we all stopped to take pictures of the mountain ranges, steep cliffs, the waterfall and the lakes. Needless to say, the view was amazing. It was like looking at a painting, and there was so much to take in. We went on a guided tour. We found out that, despite the fact that the castle looked like something out of the renaissance period, it was actually constructed in the early 19th century and took seventeen years to build. The castle was built for King Ludwig II, who dedicated the castle to the composer Richard Wagner. Wagner’s works were the inspiration for every room in the castle. Unfortunately, there were only seventeen rooms finished in this colossal estate because of the King’s untimely “accidental” death.

Photo Gallery

After touring the castle, we walked back down the hill. At certain points it was pretty treacherous. However, we had a big reward waiting for us at the bottom of the hill. We sat down for lunch before our match, and had rotisserie chicken, pomme frites (French fries!), and coke “mit” ice. We have become extremely appreciative of the little things at restaurants like ice, free refills and being able to read the menu.

After our field trip to the castle, we loaded up the bus and drove back to Munich to face off against Lohhof, a division two team. Once we got there, we had another big surprise for the day…Tech All-American Maya Pachale, was there to greet us and cheer us on. The other team seemed to be undersized compared to us, however they had a few girls that could get up and put a ball away. We played well, and beat them in five.

After the game we went to a chic bar and grill, to watch AC Milano vs. AC Liverpool soccer match. Of course the majority of the people in there were rooting for Liverpool, but we had to represent for the Milano team, despite the serious opposition from the other people watching the game with us. So all in one day we had lived a fairy tale, put another “W” on the board, had a great dinner and watch another team’s dream come true.

The next day we spent eight hours on the bus to get to Prague, despite being tired and slightly disgruntled after checking into Hotel Juno, we met up with Brittany’s cousin Bear at his restaurant. We had an amazing dinner, which was exactly what we needed after a long day of travel. That night we could barely sleep because we were so anxious to start shopping the next day in Prague, and because our rooms were about 85 degrees. We woke up and had a nice workout with Scott McDonald in the grassy knoll of a median between two streets. Hopefully we inspired a few Czechs to workout after they saw us running, squatting, doing pushups and “burpies” in the “park.” We immediately rushed to our rooms to shower so we could get to shopping as soon as possible.

Before we could drain our bank accounts, we stopped at the Prague castle and cathedral. Once inside the cathedral that was built in 925 our minds were taken off shopping for a little bit, while we walked around and saw the all the artwork on the walls, including carvings, paintings, sculptures and even an tomb made out of 2 tons of silver. We all explored up to the “balcony” which was completely deceiving after 288 steps we ended up at the highest point of the cathedral. Of course, once we had hiked up the tiny stairs in the winding staircase that was only four feet wide, we realized it was all worth it to overlook the whole entire city of Prague from the rooftop. After we finished up with our history lesson for the day, we broke loose to experience the shopping in Prague. For the next four hours we turned Prague upside down looking for the best deals and the most unique items we could find. By the time we all met up at the bus, people were staggering in from exhaustion, but still excited about the great deals they had gotten. We headed back to the hotel to clean up and throw on our new threads for a night out on the town….

Coach Bond made reservations at a restaurant called Triton, which was a very upscale restaurant. The maitre d escorted us downstairs to a cavernous wine cellar where our tables were reserved. It was absolutely charming, and we began our five course meal. They lived up to their reputation for having exquisite cuisine; the meal was delicious from start to finish. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime.

After dinner our coaches decided it would be a good idea to burn off all the food by dancing the night away. We went to a local discotheque in Prague. The original theme for the night at the club was a 1980’s mix, but Jordan, the baby of the group, somehow managed to get the DJ to play all our favorite songs. We dominated the dance floor all night, until curfew that is. By the time we made it back to the hotel, we had definitely burned off our five course meal, and were extremely exhausted from such a long but fun day. We are back in Germany now finishing up the last leg of our European tour. The days are starting to dwindle down, and the days before are starting to blur in the excitement and fun of this whole experience.

Next up for us is Berlin and a house party at Ulli’s!!

– Also, we would like to give a shout out to the Women’s Tennis Team…CONGRATULATIONS GUYS!!!!!!

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