Europe: Day 10

Last full day in Europe! Originally, we were supposed to watch the Rota soccer team practice and get a tour of their stadium, but they had some national team playing there today or something, so we drove over to Belgium to watch the team KCR Genk practice. It was not what I was expecting. We showed up a couple minutes after they started. I pictured us sitting in the stadium seats and watching this huge team practicing and us being the only ones there, but when we got there, they were practicing on a smaller field out back surrounded by a waist-high fence where tons of people were lined up already watching. There were only about 24 people practicing or so, which really surprised me because for our team, we have a roster of 30+ all coming out to practice everyday, so I figured since they were professionals, they would have even more, but nope. I also expected to see them doing a lot of fitness and strength training and then just scrimmaging or something, but they started off doing a little passing drill (similar to the ones that we do), a shooting drill, like 2 minutes of the agility ladder, and then a half-field scrimmage. It was cool to watch for the sake of knowing what professional teams do at practice, but it’s not something I would ever see myself going back to watch. I’d rather go to the big games with the fans 🙂

After the practice, we went back to Sittard (Holland) (where our second hotel was…also where our tour guide was from) and we went shopping downtown there. I was kind of disappointed we didn’t stop somewhere in Belgium. We were all looking forward to trying Belgian waffles! Anyway, Sittard was ok. Not one of the best shopping areas, not one of the most historically significant, but it was fine. Not too much happened there, we just kind of looked around.

We made it back to Valkenberg (Holland) where our current hotel is now and we basically had time to pick up some souvenirs and spend our last Euros, and then we had to go back to the hotel for our pre-game dinner. We did find this one candy shop though. This woman was so sweet to us! We walked in and they had a bunch of the bulk candy and while Sandra was making herself a bag, the rest of us were talking to her and deciding which specialty chocolates we wanted to try. We went through and rapid fire questioned which ones were which and which ones we should try. I started out asking her “which one is the best” and she responded “they all are!” haha. I got one with almond and a gooey chocolate middle, one with mousse in the middle, and one with cherry in the middle (probably the best one). Dinner was just buffet style at the hotel. It tasted really good, but it messed with a lot of the girls’ stomaches (which wasn’t good considering we had a soccer game to play).

Our soccer game was the first time we played a team from Holland. Like most of the other teams we played here, they were technically very good and were big girls! They were also probably the fastest team we played against too. I guess in their league, they sub like the pros do, so you are allowed to sub 6 times the entire game, and once you come out, you are out the rest of the game, so they were getting a little irritated when we subed our whole team 2 times each half. haha, woops! Sorry we’re not sorry. We ended up losing that game 4-1, but we played a lot better than we did the other games and we kept improving as the game went on. 🙂

When we got back to the hotel, it was around 10pm, so all we really had time to do was to pack up and shower. Tomorrow is going to be a long day!

Kristina: can’t believe it’s over

Team Pic with the Fortuna Sittard team from the Netherlands

Team Pic with the Fortuna Sittard team from the Netherlands

Before our final game in Europe

Before our final game in Europe

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