Women's Basketball in Europe: Day 7

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More from the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team as it tours Europe.

Day 7 - by Nicole Pepe
We started off the day in Aachen, Germany, the city where Charlemagne’s empire was located. The town held Charlemagne’s castle and cathedral. From the outside, the buildings were carved with complex designs and patterns that left everyone gazing. The most impressive part, however, was the inside of the cathedral; it was unlike any church I had ever seen before.

Aachen fountain
The Mules act like statues at a fountain in Aachen.
When we first walked in we saw that the walls and ceilings had an intricate gold and blue design. The farther we went in the more beautiful the cathedral became. The back of the church had giant stained glass windows, each window with its own pictures, stories and vivid colors. The colors coming from the stained glass were indescribable and we stood there in pure amazement trying to take in the scenery all at once.

The middle of the cathedral had very high ceilings with Jesus in the middle and his apostles by his side watching over the people looking up. It wasn’t your typical cathedral with long hallways on each end of the building and pews going up and down the aisles. Instead, the cathedral was a giant circle and only had chairs in front of the altar for a few people to worship instead of a large congregation. It was a completely different perspective of a Catholic church, and we all wondered how it was possible to come up with the idea of creating and building such a beautiful and incredible building.

After shopping and eating the famous bratwurst sandwich from Aachen, which was another experience all on its own, we all got back on the bus and headed to a very unique location. It was the point in which the boundaries between Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands came together. We continued to take team pictures, and it was weird to think that some of us were standing in Germany and just two steps away from us our teammates were standing in Belgium. Many parents joined in while we all tried to lie across the boundaries so we could be in three places at once!

hedge maze After that some of us decided to go into a labyrinth, a large and very complicated maze. Our tour guide, Corrie, warned us that we only had 30 minutes until we left for dinner, but we decided to go in thinking we would be able to figure it out long before then. Little did we know, about 45 minutes had passed and we were so completely lost and confused we had to give up. We also didn’t know that a portion of the maze had water fountains that shut off and came on as they pleased. Wet and defeated, we had to come out of the maze through the entrance.

Our next stop was our second game in Belgium against Hoauthen. After hearing that this team was 20-30 points better than our previous opponent, we were anxious to get the game going and play. We played much better than we did in our first game (think of that as a warmup contest), and the game turned out to be extremely competitive.

game vs. Hoauthen Even though we lost, the game got us very excited and optimistic for the upcoming season. If we could get this better after one game without practicing, the opportunities that we see for ourselves this season are definitely within reach.

One of my favorite parts of the trip are the socials with the team that we have after the games. It is something the club teams in Europe do after every game and is a nice experience for us to have. We learn a lot about the culture and basketball straight from girls who are just like us. It’s nice to see how a sport can unite two groups of people right away.

Between the touring, sightseeing, games, and people that we’ve met, I have no doubt that these memories will last a lifetime.