Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Today we had our last training session in Italy, the field we trained on was not very far away from our hotel, it was a kind of hybrid place there was a restaurant, soccer fields and indoor basketball courts. We had a good training session we were the only people in the complex so the manager gave us an extra half an hour to play. After our training session we showered at the hotel and then loaded the bus for Florance. The bus dropped us off near a square that had a lot of tents selling all sorts of stuff from team jerseys to jewlery, so naturly we ate and then went shopping I think people spent a lot of money in Florance. Before people could spent too much money we had to meet out tour guide who took us on a very interesting tour of the city, ending up at the church of the holy cross, where we had more time to do what else shop. We only had about an hour to shop though because we had to leave to see Fiorentina play a friendly, the game was in a small staduim but it seemed like the whole town had turned out to see the match. It was a very interesting atmisphere because it was such a small venue with such a large name. After Fiorentina won one nothing we drove back to the hotel and had dinner, the town we were staying in didn't really have a lot going on at night and everyone seemed pretty tired so a lot people just hung out in the hotel.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Today was our first real day were we didn't have to train or play a game, but we spent a lot of it on the bus. We had about a two hour trip from the hotel to where we met a boat to take us into Venice. The boat took us near San Marco's square where we met our tour guide and went on a short tour of the surrounding area. Our tour guide was very nice but opinionated, she really loved the history of the city and didn't like the touristy more western shops but she had some very cool facts about the city. After our tour we had some free time to explore, a lot of people did some shopping and we all did some eating, it was amazing but it really tired everyone out being in the roasting sun and walking around. Once we got back to the bus we headed to our hotel near Florance this bus trip was about 3 hours. Once we got to the hotel we eat as a team then had some free time but we were pretty tired so we didn't do that much.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Today we had our last game but before that we had a tour of San Siro stadium in Milan, we had a chance to visit the inter Milan locker rooms and to see outside of the AC Milan locker room. We also got a chance to sit in the VIP section and to visit the museum, it was very impressive to see the stadium even though it was empty, and to see all the trophies and old jerseys. After we had a chance to visit the gift shop but a lot of the guys waited and got stuff outside the stadium. We spent a big part of today on the bus but it was worth it because when we got to the hotel it had a very nice pool and a better view but we didn't have a lot of time to enjoy it because needed to leave for our game. Again we played better then the day before but still not good enough and we have definitely learned some things about our team. After the game we headed back to the hotel for dinner and a night of music, cards, and hanging with the team.
Today we headed to Switzerland for the second time. First, we stopped in Lugano to watch the Lugano team practice, we were suppose to watch another team later in the week but that got cancelled and we ended up making plans to watch the Lugano team practice. It was cool to see a professional team doing the same drills we do but so much better. Later we made our way to Bellinzona deeper in Switzerland, where the mountains got higher and even more beautiful. The town of Bellinzona was an interesting town because of its location at the mouth of an alpine pass that leads to northern Europe, it built three castles to defend itself. Isabella decided to take us to one of them. We were free to roam the castle something we would not be able to do in the states, this was some peoples favorite part of the trip so far. We then had lunch and free time in Bellinzona before we made our way back to Italy for our second game. We still didn't have the best result but we played much better then the game before. After the game we made our way back to our hotel for our last dinnerand night in Como, tomorrow we head to a new city and a new hotel.
Today we trained up in the mountains and it was a little bit of change to be in the middle of a training session and be able to look up at a mountain range. We trained on a new turf field when I say new I mean new we were the first team to play on it ever, this event was enough to get the mayor of the town we were in, the president of the local soccer club, and a photographer out for a photo shoot. After our photo shoot we headed back to Como for a cruise to the town Bellagio. The trip there was very pretty, we went past George Clooney's house some of the guys got good photos. It was a long cruise and we were out in the sun so a couple of us got a little burnt but everyone is still alive so its ok and it was worth it. Bellagio was a bit touristy but hey we are tourists, it was a great spot for food and gellato. After lunch we got back on a much faster boat on which many of us fell asleep. We then had some free time, dinner, and then a chance to explore Como a little more.
We all got up after a good nights sleep had some breakfast and then headed to Milan. There we met Emma our guide for the day. She took us around the city which was very pretty but the highlight of the tour was going to see The Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci. It was amazing and so strange to see something so famous up close to be there with just the team and our guides alone in this room with one of the most famous art works of all time. We were then given a tour of the castle in Milan and free time to find our own lunch. The team broke up and explored on our own, so far I have not heard any complaints about the food and I think its fun exploring and finding your own little restaurant. After lunch and some shopping where Kyle bought a rugby ball (I don't really know why) we made our way to the game. We didn't have the best result we lost but hopefully we learned some things and will be better for it. We then came back to Como where we had dinner and then time to explore Como a little more by ourselves. Sleep this night was a little harder for a lot of the guys with the time change and everything.
Day one was spent in transit, with minimal complications. In Paris we had a little bit of a hard time finding the next flight but everyone got through security and on the plane in time, when we got into Milan airport and baggage claim we found out that a couple of our bags had been left in Paris. Although it was frustrating to have to figure out the baggage situation we were fine. We found our guide Isabella a very nice italian woman from Rome and our driver Santo from Milan. We then made our way to. Como for lunch where coach reminded us not to eat too much of the three course meal because we were going on run once we checked into the hotel, so everyone tried but it was very hard because there was so much good food next to the lake. After we checked into the hotel and into our rooms we went on a run through the streets where we got a lot of stares from curious people. After our run we got back on the bus and headed to Switzerland for dinner and a match.