Field Hockey in Europe: Days 1-3

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Muhlenberg field hockey team is touring Europe just before the start of its season. Senior Dayna Hovern sent back this report from the first few days of the trip.

field hockey summer trip Days 1 & 2
So days 1 and 2 are grouped together because most of us stayed up for close to 36 hours, easily more hours awake than any allnighter. We started our adventure at Muhlenberg with hugs goodbye to our parents and plenty of excitement. From Allentown we traveled to JFK Airport in New York, sampling songs for our season’s warmup mix on the way and enjoying snacks from Coach Bodnar.

We boarded at 5:30 for our seven-hour flight to Dublin, Ireland, where we would then catch a flight to Amsterdam. Most of the flight was uneventful except for slight turbulence and the selection of movies to choose from. Some people slept. Some people, like me, couldn’t. The anticipation for our trip of a lifetime was building.

During our layover in Dublin we had the chance to sample an Irish breakfast, though some of us still choose to go to Burger King. As we were preparing to board the final leg of our journey to Holland, the most peculiar thing occurred. “Is that Snoop Dogg?” Molly Sanford, a sophomore player, asked. No way, I thought, but as I turned around there he was. It was true. Snoop Lion, previously known as Snoop Dogg, was accompanying us to Amsterdam.

A short flight to Amsterdam passed even quicker as we slept in the presence of a rap star. Before we knew it we were in Holland! The hardship was over – or so we thought.

As we hastily grabbed our luggage it became evident that not all was perfect. Ashley DeAngelis’ luggage was missing. After filing a report we were finally on our way to the hotel, assuring Ash, who was very calm despite the situation, that we would share all our fashionable clothes.

canal cruise Once settled in Holland the time went quickly. After checking in we went for a team run with our tour guide, Niels. Then we took much-needed showers and explored Den Hagg as we made our way to an Italian restaurant for dinner. With full bellies and tired eyes we returned to our hotel for a blissful sleep. Tomorrow would be an even more exciting day.

Day 3
We started our day by traveling to Amsterdam to visit the Anne Frank House. Anne was a German Jew who spent two years in hiding with her family from the Nazis. She kept a journal of her experience which became a famous novel.

After the tour we went on a cruise of the canals of Amsterdam. On the cruise we learned about important buildings, such as the Mayor’s house, and enjoyed the scenic views from the canal. After the cruise we had some free time.

In the afternoon we made our way from Amsterdam to the De Kraaien hockey club. We shook hands with the players who range in age from 14-28. The match was friendly but competitive. The Dutch team was talented but we were able to match them. Overall, we played very well.

shaking hands Probably the best part of day was getting to sit down and eat with the Dutch team after our game. We ate pasta and shared stories about our lives. The Dutch players laughed at our best attempts to master their language. We learned how to count to 3 (een, zyeen, drine) and we learned that Dutch high schools don’t have hockey teams. The club teams are the only source of competitive field hockey for Dutch players. Many of them started playing at the age of 6!

Finally we made our way back to the hotel to recharge for the adventures that tomorrow holds.

And now for some feedback from the Mules on their favorite part of today:
Kayleigh Thies and Christine Germaske: Meeting the other players! We learned things about the Dutch culture that we couldn’t pick up by just touring the city ... And, they presented us with gifts! Cute clog key chains!

Molly: Talking to the Dutch girls. They were really friendly and they spoke perfect English!

Up next: Rotterdam, Utrecht and Dusseldorf