Wednesday was filled with fun tours exploring the beautiful places of Prague! Our first tour was of the Karlšrejn Castle, a beautiful castle outside the city of Prague. It was quite a hike up to the great views, but a few of us took a horse-drawn carriage to the top, feeling like total princesses. "Welcome to my crib" one of our teammates commented as she climbed into the buggy. Once we got to the top, we took in all the views, took some pictures, and then went on a guided tour to learn about the history of the castle and Prague. Apparently if someone not of royalty wore the royal crown, they would die less than a month later! During the tour, one of our parents was trying to prevent more bug bites and decided to spray bug spray in one of the rooms, not thinking about all the antique artifacts surrounding her. We all got in trouble for that one!
After the tour, we had a delicious lunch at the castle - goulash and apple strudel! Next, we got on the bus and headed to downtown Prague where we went on a walking tour of the old town and new town of Prague. We saw a white peacock while walking around, which is apparently common to see around Prague. Next on the tour was a homemade gingerbread shop, it smelled and tasted delicious. We also got to see the John Lennon wall, which was a spray painted wall dedicated to the famous artist. It was really cool because you could come at any time and spray paint your own art to add to the wall. We ended the tour with the best, most creamy gelato ice cream with flavors like chocolate salt caramel, pistachio, and salted peanut.
After our tour, we split up for dinner and souvenir shopping for the rest of the night. It was really cool seeing the city at night. In the main square, there were a bunch of performers to watch and take pictures with.
Our last day in Prague, we got up early to head downtown to explore one last time. Some of us found a cute market with a bunch of homemade crafts and goodies to buy. Others found another castle to explore and we got more great pictures of the city of Prague! Others found a little bit of comfort food and coffee at Starbucks and spent some time there. After our free time, we had our goodbye lunch and we had a 3-course meal with duck as the main dish. For many of us, it was the first time trying duck!! Surprisingly, most of us liked it!
After lunch, we headed back to our hotel to get ready and our third and final game. The competition was pretty similar to the Austrian team, except that this team tried to press us from the beginning. Regardless of the pressure, we stayed composed and played our game. However, in the second half, the other team was getting frustrated and thus, started getting pretty physical. Reagardless, we stayed strong and won 4-0! Also, the other team showed sportsmanship and took a picture with us after the game, ending the match on a good note.
After the game, we partner-stretched in preparation for our long flight ahead. We headed back to the hotel and grabbed dinner before we all headed to our rooms to begin the dreaded packing. One of our teammates was smart and brought a small scale so we could weigh our suitcases and make sure we were under the 50-pound limit. A few people were very close to 50 lbs. but after a little rearranging and asking our teammates to "please pack some of my stuff in your bag!", we made it work and everyone was under the limit.
The next morning we all woke up bright and early to make sure that we got to our flight on time. We ran into a little trouble getting our boarding passes, but our tour guide Nate came to the rescue and helped us all get our tickets. We made it to our plane with great timing, giving us a little extra time to grab a snack or coffee for the flight.
Even though we were sad to leave and end our amazing trip, the girls are ready for preseason, seeing the incoming freshman and passing the beep test Saturday morning! We won all three of our games in Europe and we hope to keep our high energy going throughout the season!
Farewell Europe! Thank you for having us, we had a wonderful time and hope to visit again soon!