13 November 2007

International Lacrosse Trip!

Our first University College Dublin Lacrosse team road trip !

Both the Men's & Women's teams flew out of Dublin on Thursday to an unlikely destination :

Bratislava , Slovakia !
Bratislava is right on the Danube River in the former Soviet Bloc / Iron Curtain country that was Czechoslovakia. These days (since 1993) they are two separate countries, The Czech Republic and Slovakia.

27 students made the trip along with Kelly & I, the other UCD coach Michael, and our friend Ashley. After flying into B-town, we all took a bus...to another bus...to downtown where we found our very cool hostel.

( For those of you who remember, the movie Hostel was set at a hostel in Bratislava...spooky)

Luckily, noone was tortured to death at this hostel. It was actually very nice. the kids all slept in dormitory style 8 person rooms.

The Coach & his wife got a private room.

Look at that huh...we each had our own little beds ! Although I will admit, we did share...for warmth :)

Like much of Bratislava, our hostel still had many of the hallmarks of the Soviet era...like your typical Eastern European apartment building elevator !

The food at the hostel was delicious... here we see Kelly's very delicious dinner of Bryndzove Halusky, small dumplings made of potato and sheeps cheese topped with bacon, butter and bacon grease.. yum yum yum yum

What trip to Eastern Europe would be complete without the obligatory bust of Lenin layin' about

Downtown B-ville wasn't super spectacular, but like much traveling, its just nice to be someplace new.

Many things don't translate the same from language to language. We spied this advertisement at a breakfast place called "A Coffee & Bagel Story"...in Bratislava ! Look at the names of the Summer cocktails...yuuummm I'll have a Mojito Ice Death please !

Here I am in at the statue of Pavol Orszagh Hviezdoslav, the greatest Slovak poet of all time.

Kelly & I in the historic area of Bratislava.

We spent 2-3 hours walking around town Friday morning...we even saw :

The filming of... a Slovak TV show ?

Who knows, we didn't stick around to find out. The building in the background of the picture above is the Hlvana Stanica, the train station where we took the train to :

Vienna , Austria !

Another city, another hostel ! This one was also great (and happy!), centrally located near the Westbahnhof (west train station), we were able to catch streetcars and subways right around the corner.

In Vienna we didn't have a small room, we had a whole apartment to ourselves ! It was bigger than our apartment in Dublin ! Look at this place ! It made us very happy !

Kelly danced around the kitchen most of the time we were there.

Vienna is a very, very attractive city. The weather didn't really cooperate, but we had a great time anyway. It was COLD...30-40 degrees F and windy...and sometimes rainy.

Luckily we found a place around the corner that served cold beer and VERY good traditional Austrian food.

Wiener Schnitzel anyone ? Ya, Danke Schon !

The Gasthaus is owned and operated by our new best friends in Austria, Gary & Inge Francheschi. We had late lunch and dinner there on Friday, and then Saturday night we brought the whole team back for a great team dinner.

The kids got a good meal before going out on the town. It was a great opportunity to show them a traditional Austrian Gasthaus with different food then would have probably eaten (fast food, yuck) The kids loved it.

The next day we woke up to... SNOW !

We didn't see much snow in Florida, we were suprised on how happy it made us. It was like being a kid and waking up to a white snowy morning...hope school is closed !

The historic district of Vienna is incredibly beautiful. The Austrian Empires wealth comes across loud and clear.

Tons of monuments as you can well imagine. Lots of stuff, but not enough time. We had lacrosse games all day Saturday in the freezing cold. The girls team won one and lost one, while the guys team tied one and lost one. We could have played better, but it didnt ruin our trip...lacrosse seemed secondary !

Guten Tag Kelly ! Kelly outside the last stop on our trip, the Museum of Natural History.

Here is Coach Chris with his favorite dinosaur from his childhood, Triceratops.

Michael had been to the Museum 11 years earlier and apparently this fish had made a big impression on him. We found it just minutes before we had to leave.

Some of the kids left on an earlier flight, but as you see here many joined us at the Museum. They like to do what they called the "dragon" when someone takes their picture. In this case, we'll call it the lion.

All in all, a great trip and a great experience for everyone ! We'll post more pictures from our trip and the lacrosse games when we get them from everyone.

Our trips in the spring will be to England, Wales and Amsterdam...wooohooo



Becky said...

So friggin cool guys! Great pic of the two of you..and Kelly the picture of your dinner is making my mouth water. Dumplinggggggggs. Mmmmm.

Alli Arnold said...

wiener schnitzel, snow and happy happy people? count me in! xoxo a

Anonymous said...

For the record Kelly and Chris, I am 100% JEALOUS of your life!!!