European Soccer Tour: Blog #1
Athletics - posted on 3/15/2010The Lakeland soccer program is spending its spring break on a 10-day European Soccer Tour in the United Kingdom.During the visit, members of the men's and women's soccer teams will compete against local soccer teams, visit tourist attractions and attend professional soccer games in and around London and Chester.Student-athletes from both teams will be blogging regularly throughout the trip. See below for their thoughts and observations from England.
After sitting on a plan for 10 hours, due to a 2.5 hour delay, we had an awesome experience in our first destination in the city of Chester. We started off the morning with a training session at the Kings Junior School, followed by a day of sightseeing in downtown Chester. We saw the Chester Cathedral with many stained glass windows and sections of the church were decorated differently and extensively. The city of Chester is lined with a wall that goes straight through the middle. We walked along different sections, seeing the different sites and parts of the city. After sightseeing, we went into some local fashion stores, for some shopping and had a bit of an adventurous time finding the correct bus to make it back in time for dinner at the hotel.
P.S. Today was Mum's day! So happy Mother's Day to all our "Mums" back home from England!
- junior Maria Santelli and senior Jessica Hopfinger
We were able to arrive to O'Hare and get through customs and security with little problem and some time to spare. Excitement was pulsating through everyone's veins as we boarded the British Airways flight to Heathrow Airport in London, England. As we settled into our seats we got some depressing news from our captain informing us that there would be a 15 minute delay … three hours later, we finally took off. The 7.5 hour flight was riddled with sub-par meals, short-lived naps and a wide variety of movies. We landed at Heathrow and started our next day.
We woke at 8 a.m. and had a breakfast of bacon, black pudding and white scrambled eggs. We went to soccer training at King's Junior School. The facilities were excellent, namely the locker room near the field with full plumbing! Playing outdoors in England definitely tops the inside of the Wehr Field House after such a long winter. We were dropped off in the city of Chester and found out later that we had left our soccer balls on the bus seats, and when our bus driver made his first stop after letting us off, they all bombarded him at the front of the bus.
The city of Chester is a beautiful one, circled completely by a stone wall. We had the joy of hiking around the weathered stone wall, compared to a smaller version of the Great Wall of China, and there we saw Chester at its finest: The Oldest Pub in England, the Chester Cathedral (largest in England) and a renowned Clock Tower. Most of us were affected similarly by Chester, so we decided to take alternate transportation back to our hotel. We had a three-course meal at the hotel restaurant by a waitress who resembled Emma Watson from the Harry Potter novels. Our bus driver's general (and eating) habits border on eccentric … however, we are enjoying the trip with extra time spent in the sauna, swimming pool, and watching soccer live in the hotel lounge.
- sophomores Danny Spatchek and Adam Benson
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