UT Baseball Field. No. 1 Tampa set to meet No. 5 Seton Hill.
Julie Howlett # 23
Today we woke up early for out last morning in Bled, Slovenia. We took a couple of buses up to a beautiful path above an amazing gorge between the mountains. The color of the water was crystal clear and we all wished the water was warm enough to jump in! But we learned that the water was snow on the mountains a couple of hours earlier, not nearly warm enough. We stopped many times throughout the trail to take team pictures. We then all piled back into the buses for a 3 hour drive to Italy. When we woke up (stopped on the side of the road) we wondered where we were, our driver responded “close, but if we don’t find a gas station soon we will run out of gas”…just our luck! We made it to our hotel right outside of Venice and walked about a minute down the road for some home-made Italian pizza from Crazy Pizzeria. We then had a couple of hours to relax and traveled to a “pedestrian place” (not the city of Venice) for some Gelato before our match. After we played our second to last match against San Donoro, and although we learned a lot about ourselves the match didn’t end the way we had wanted it to. All if us were exhausted and starving so went back to Crazy Pizzeria for the second time of the day. This time we had pizza, lasagna, and some pasta… delicious! The end of the night came sooner than expected but we are all excited to go to sleep because tomorrow we get to go to Venice!
We started a little later this morning to prepare for a full day in what I think is the most beautiful city we have visited. First on the list was the hike up to the castle that over looks all of Bled. After meandering our way around the lake to the foot of the trail, we see look up and see the sharpest upward incline that is to be the hike for the morning. We started the trail and after the first switch back our legs felt like lead and our breath was short. But it was all worth it, once we reached the top of the trail we were in awe by the breath-taking sights that over looked Bled and the timeless castle before us. Wandering around the castle and taking pictures of the town of Bled was worth the hike, but the thing I will remember the most is bottling our own wine. Underneath the castle is a wine cellar, and for 12 euros you can fill, bottle, wax and seal your own bottle of wine under the supervision of a monk.
Next on our to do list was go on a hike that over looked all of Bled and is said to have even more breath-taking views than the castle. This hike to the lookout of Bled was long, steep, and treacherous, but worth it. Our lungs burned and our legs were shaking while we took pictures of what I think is the most beautiful city in Europe. I led the way on the hike down and with my extremely accurate sense of direction led myself off the trail to the edge of a cliff, Tim and Jeff had no intention of telling me and were already 30 feet ahead on the actual trail before I realized I was no longer being followed.
Once we reached the edge of the lake we met up with the rest of the team and ate lunch at a quaint cafe overlooking the lake. After lunch a group went to see if they could ride on the Alpine slide that occupies a side of a hill in Bled, only to discover it was closed. The rest of us went out in a boat ride to the middle of a lake, where the most beautiful church sits upon an island. The boat ride was a small craft manned by one person rowing, and it seemed he was having difficultly manuevering his vessel due the unaccounted access weight on the craft, the unaccounted weight being Tim, who tipped the boat a considerable amount. Once we got to the church we walked around to take in the insatiable views that Bled offers at any view.
After the boat ride back, Meghan and I convinced ourselves that after all the hiking we deserved a treat of gelato and made our way back to the hotel to prepare for our game. I will not go into detail of the game due to, I will put this nicely, technical difficulties we encoutered during the match.
After the hiking and the games we played we were all a little bit delirious after the game, but no one so much so than myself. For 30 minuties during dinner myself, followed by a number of other girls started hysterically laughing at nothing in particular. Ending with me going up to the front desk with Melissa and while I asked for the key proceeded to duct under the desk while the attendant retrieved it so she would think I disappeared; which brought on another bout of laughter.
After a day filled with hiking, sight seeing, and unrelenting laughter I am excited to see what our hike to the gorge of Bled will bring tomorrow.
By: Melissa Vanderhall #24
Today was our first day in Slovenia. We woke up around 7 AM to eat breakfast and catch our 8:24 train from Austria to Slovenia. The next train that we were supposed to transfer onto ended up having some technical difficulties, so we had to catch another train which we didn’t have reservations for, so it was first come first serve. With our luck there were already 80 highschool kids waiting to get on that same train. Our team strategized and spread out in front of the kids so we can somehow get on. When the train arrived we realized that we had to get on the last car, our team raced to the end of the train swerving around little kids with our huge backpacks and 50lb suitcases. For the first time, I felt like I was at home trying to catch a train in Penn Station. At the end, we all made it and when we reached Bled we realized it was all worth it.
This place is absolutely beautiful! The mountains look like beautiful painted pictures, its amazing. We had free time to walk by the lake and get a glimpse of what we were going to see tomorrow. The view of the lake was unreal. There is an island in the middle of the lake with a church on it, and in the background there is a castle on the mountain, that we are supposed to take a hike up to tomorrow.
Then at 6 it was game time. Our first match in Slovenia was against Montenegro’s National team. They were pretty good. We ended up losing 13-15 in the 5th game, but it was fun. Afterwards we got to eat dinner with the girls. Interacting with these girls was one of the best parts of the trip. I met my new friend Tanja. She was really really really good, so I ate what she ate, and I drank Strawberry juice just like her. She gave me her sweaty volleyball t-shirt and I gave her my spandex since they don’t wear spandex here. All the girls are saying that I have a girl crush but it’s not true! I’m super excited for tomorrow because we are supposed to canoe to he church and hike to the castle. Some of the girls and I are going to start off our morning by running a mile with Little Chris Catanach around the lake and by the mountains. It should be a fun day!