May 31, 2007
by Callie Miller and Michelle Kandell – On Sunday we woke up bright and early for a team workout with Scott McDonald. It was a beautiful morning and our workout outside lasted about 45 minutes. Then we enjoyed a fabulous breakfast at the Renaissance Hotel. It was the first meal we’ve had that was similar to American breakfast. We had french toast and pancakes! After breakfast we headed to practice for a couple hours at Mirko’s facility.
The rest of the day was spent in Little Switzerland, this cute little cottage town. We took a ferry across the water and then began our climb up a huge mountain. It looked very deceiving, but we made it up quicker than we thought. Along the climb we could stop at different perches to take pictures and enjoy the view. Finally, after about 30 minutes of climbing we reached the top of the mountain, where the view was breath taking. It over looked the whole town and mountain and rivers in the distance. We felt accomplished that we made it all the way to the top. Some of us took our time up the mountain and others raced to the top, which was quite tiring. When we all finally made it up to the top together, we decided to have an ice cream break, which was delicious. We had an ice cream called a “Nogger”, like a crunch bar covering with chocolate and vanilla ice cream in the middle.
After taking lots of pictures, we headed back down the other side of the mountain, which was amazing. It looked like we were in Jurassic Park! We hiked down rocks, over bridges, and had to squeeze through caves. When we finally made it to the bottom we were pretty exhausted, but definitely enjoyed the experience. That night for dinner we ate in the hotel again at the buffet that was very good. The desserts were amazing! Then we had the night off to get some rest.
On Monday we had practice in the morning and then checked out of the hotel and took the bus to Berlin. On the way, we stopped in Potsdam at the Royal Gardens. Potsdam was the main palace retreat of the Prussian royal family for hundreds of years. We had about 2 hours to enjoy the beautiful sights of the gardens. Inside the gardens, it looked like a maze with high green shrubs. Every so often there would be royal palaces and statues, along with gorgeous landscaping.
Then we bussed the rest of the way to Berlin where we arrived at Hotel Kolumbus. For dinner we went to an Italian/Mexican/Australian restaurant. Some people ordered pizzas, other ordered enchiladas, and some brave souls ordered crocodile, kangaroo, and ostrich (we heard the crocodile tastes like chicken!). We all tried white asparagus, which is something you cannot get in the U.S. They serve it as an appetizer covered with a hollandaise sauce melted on top. It was very good, tasted like a slimy vegetable and it had a similar taste to regular asparagus. After dinner, we came back to the hotel and went to sleep. We only have 3 days left with 2 matches to play and some site seeing of Berlin.