Field Hockey in Europe: Day 7

Sunday, August 11, 2013
 

It’s country No. 3 for the Muhlenberg field hockey team on its tour of Europe. Junior Ray Gallagher writes from Belgium.

Day 7
Belgium Everything is more glamorous in Europe. Yesterday, the Muhlenberg field hockey team left Germany to travel to Belgium. I couldn’t help snapping pictures of the idyllic scenery on the side of the highway: rolling fields, quaint farms and cows. The Meadowlands of New Jersey don’t even come close to the bucolic European countryside.

We spent the day in Brugges, one of Belgium’s famous cities. We wound our way through a maze of deserted cobblestone streets. Although the brick houses with floral balconies and wooden doors radiated Old World charm, where was the city?

We turned a corner and had our answer: spread before us was the bustling city of Brugges. There was a mix of old and new: and old-fashioned apotheek (pharmacy) pressed right up against a gleaming glass department store.

Belgium Belgium is renowned for two things: waffles and chocolate. Although didn’t have a chance to indulge in a waffle, Meghan, Heather, Gabby and I ate our way through four different chocolate shops. I figured “Hey, I’m in Belgium, where else can I walk down the street eating a 100-gram slab of dark chocolate with no shame?”

After exploring Brugges (mainly to walk off all that chocolate) we traveled to HC Indiana. They beat us, but rising junior Heather Porrini put us on the board with a goal scored off a penalty corner.

Even though we won’t come out of Europe with a winning record, our on-field experiences have been just as educational as our tourist ones. The European style of hockey emphasizes spread-out passing and versatile hits – two skills our team hopes to bring back to the States with us along with our souvenirs.