Long Overdue Update

Hello everyone!

Sorry I have been a little bit busy and have neglected my blog a bit. Since my last blog, as you would assume quite a bit has happened.

The weekend following Ljubljana, we played in a tournament in Maribor. We ended up going 1-2, which unfortunately we lost to a team in 3 we should have beaten. However, we did play close with team that was very good and won the third set. It was cool to be back playing where my European journey began!

The following weekend we played in our first Austrian League game. We played TSV Hartberg away. We traveled to Hartberg which took around 6 hours, and then had about an hour and a half break and then had to play. As you can imagine being in the car for that long and then trying to play didn’t go so well for us. College volleyball was a very nice luxury of traveling the day before and getting to practice at the facility before the game. So traveling and playing in the same day is definitely something I will need to get used to! The frustrating thing about our match is we simply didn’t play well at all. We have played much better in previous games against tougher teams, so that was probably the biggest dissapointment. But with that being said it was only our first game and we learned we must come prepared to every match.

At the beginning of October our Deutsch class began! My roommates and I go Mon-Wed 5:00-7:00 to the University. So far we have learned the alphabet, common questions/phrases, and now are learning directions. The challenge for me is the course is only in German, so trying to figure out what the teacher is saying can be interesting at times. We have also began to coach younger girls. On Mondays before class I go and coach girls at a school and Fridays I coach younger girls that play for VC Tirol. It is cute seeing the younger girls getting excited to speak with us in English.

This past weekend we played in our second Austrian League Match against SG Lubensky Eisenerz. It was nice to finally get the chance to play at home. The team was similar to us because they also have a lot of younger players. Everyone on our team played extremely well and things started to click! We came out on top of the match winning 3-0. I can’t exactly remember the scores but the closest set was the first, 25-19. The second and third sets we pretty much dominated and the scores were around 25-16. This past weekend was a big stepping stone for our team and boosted morale and confidence.

This upcoming weekend is one of our more important matches! We play against the other club in Innsbruck, so as you would assume there is quite the rivalry between the clubs. Also, there are a few players who used to play for VC Tirol on their team. So we are hoping for a big win! The match is 5:00 Sunday at their facility in Innsbruck.

The weather is starting to get colder and there is snow up in the mountains. The view is absolutely gorgeous!

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Miss and love everyone!! There have been some days where I’ve started really missing home, but so grateful I can still keep in touch with everyone so easily!
-Cait

Weekend in Ljubljana

This past weekend we had originally planned on going to Croatia to play a team for the weekend. However, the plans changed and we headed to Ljubljana, Slovenia for a tournament where we played the Croatian team. Ljubljana was where I first landed when I started my European journey, so it was fun to go back and see some of the city. The tournament had three other teams and we played best out of three sets, but sometimes played a third set just for practice.

The first match of the day was against the Slovenian team hosting the tournament. We started off strong the first set, but unfortunately a few points in our other outside sprained her ankle. The right side from the opposing team came under the net and took her out. You can imagine how furious I was! We put up a good fight games 1 and 2, but it was not enough to win. Both games were pretty close and about 25-22 each set. We had extra time and played a third set to 15. After being so close the first two sets we came out and won the third set 15-10. We then had a 45 minute break to hangout, rest, and eat a snack before our second match.

The second match of the day we faced another Slovenian team. I am having trouble remembering the exact scores but we won all three sets against this team! This was the first game I finally began to feel 100% comfortable with hitting again. Tooling the block and my shots were finally starting to go my way. Since we won the first two sets, it was great to see everyone get a chance to play in the third set!

Our last match was against the Croatian team we had planned to go play. We were supposed to have an hour break between our second and third match and eat some lunch, but the director told us we had to play in 30 minutes. At this point it was about 2:00 or 3:00 and we had only eaten breakfast and some snacks. So you can kind of imagine where the rest of this story goes. We were drained and hungry and our performance showed. We put up a pretty good fight in the first match losing 25-21, but the second match things just didn’t go our way.

Even though we went 1-2, the weekend went pretty well and we improved a lot from Italy. This next weekend we will head back to Slovenia, but this time we will be playing in Maribor. Maribor is where I went for the tour, so it will be fun to go back.

Hope everyone is well!
-Caitlin

Pictures of Munich

-Pictures from Hofbräuhaus
Don’t worry I didn’t drink the beer!! Just had to get a picutre with the big mug.

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Pictures of the free tour

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Castle Tour

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Schelling Salon and Chinese Tower

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-St. Peter’s and view of the famous clock tower
-Second church we saw

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Surfers in the River

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BMW Museum and Olympic Park

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Munich :)

This past weekend my roommates and I decided to head to Munich for the weekend. We arrived around 5:00 on Friday so decided to head to somewhere traditional for dinner. We decided to head to Hofbräuhaus, which is a famous place known for their traditional atmosphere, food and beer! Walking in you see tables everywhere with people singing along to the band clanking their beers together and drinking. For dinner I got the bratwurst platter with sauerkraut. The food was delicious and it was fun to be in a traditional atmosphere with people having fun drinking beer.

After dinner we decided to head out to an area which was a street long of bars and clubs. The first club we went to was called Roses and they gave us a free bottle of champagne🙂 We then walked around to other bars before we headed to one called Americano. Surprisingly enough this was our favorite club of the night! At one point the bartender even let us get up on the bar to dance with her! Just following your footsteps mom🙂

The next morning we crawled out of bed and headed to a free walking tour. A few things we saw were old churches that were bombed, Marienplatz (the big center of town), the Opera House, the famous clock tower, and a place where Hitler used to give speeches to crowds.

Michelle is a huge European futbol fan and found out there was an FC Bayern vs. FSV Mainz game that afternoon. Everyone who knows me knows I am not a huge soccer fan, however Michelle is starting to slowly interest me in the sport. Also I figured this would be an amazing thing to see and experience so I could not pass it up! And surely I was not let down. The score of the game was 3-1 with FC Bayern winning (Home team).

That evening we were a little bit tired so we decided to head out and try a pizza place that offers gluten-free pizza! The girls were all in for trying some, so we ordered three different kinds. They were all amazing and traditional Italian pizzas.

The next morning we woke up to go see the Neuschwanstein Castle! For the tour we had to travel in a train about two hours to get to the small town. Throughout the tour we learned about the town and King Ludwig who built the castle. Unfortunately, during the tour of the castle we were not allowed to take pictures inside. It took 17 years to build the castle, and only 1/3 of it was actually completed. The first room we saw was the throne room, which had an amazing mosaic on the floor and pictures of the 12 apostles on the walls. We then toured his bedroom we learned the room had a telephone, which is amazing for the time the castle was built. We also learned his toilet (which looked just like a thrown) actually had running water. The castle also had a room which looked just like the inside of the cave, which was pretty remarkable. The castle also had a small Opera room because King Ludwig had a love for Operas. The tour also told us that King Ludwig had only lived in the castle around 175 days before he mysteriously died, which stopped the construction of the castle. After the castle, we walked to a bridge in the mountain and then walked down throughout the mountains to make it back to the center of the small town.

That night back in Munich we went to see a church, the Chinese Tower, and went to a restaurant called the Schelling Salon. This bar/restaurant had a bunch of pool tables and apparently was a place Hitler used to hang out at, which was kind of strange.

The next morning we went to see St. Peter’s Church and climbed up the tower to see views of Munich. We then headed to a placed where people surf on the river! Following that we went to see the BMW museum and Olympic Park. After this we then had to head back to the hostel to grab our things and hop on our train back to Innsbruck.

The weekend was a blast and I would definitely go back to Munich! I would love to see Munich during Oktoberfest🙂 So maybe there will be another trip back if I am lucky.

This weekend my team and I head to Croatia for a match.

Hope everyone at home is well and miss you all so much!!
-Caitlin

VC Tirol Picture Day

Here are some pictures of Michelle and I in our Jerseys on picture day!
In the background is the gym we have practice in.

You can also see a bunch of pictures if you go to the Facebook page Volleyball Club Tirol!

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Weekend in Italy

Two weekends ago we played in our very first matches of the season. We headed down to Italy to a town called, Asti. The town is close to the city of Milan. Before the weekend started we held a team meeting discussing a few things and my coach told the team that he had decided who would be captain for the weekend. I was very excited and honored when he told me I would be captain for the weekend!

Going into the tournament we knew we had a lot of work to do because Italian teams are among some of the best in Europe. Our first match started out a little rough due to the fact it was our first time playing together. However, we fought back the second set and almost pulled out a win to force the game to three matches, but fell 24-26 to an Italian B2 team. Because it was a tournament each match was only the best out of 3 sets.

Our second match was against an Italian A2 team. We lost the first game, but fought back and won the second two and won the third set 15-11ish if I remember correctly. For us this was kind of a big deal because we had beaten someone in the Italian second league🙂

Our third match was another highly ranked Italian league team either A1 or A2 and we ended up losing in two. Even though we lost to the team in two there were definitely points of the match we were right there with them point for point, but unfortunately we couldn’t stay consistent the whole set.

By the time of our third match we were a little tired from the weekend and went down 0-2 in our last match. Even though it was upsetting to leave the weekend 1-3 we were still pleased with all the potential we have! A lot of the times when the teams would score big runs it was because we were making a lot of errors, which is good because we know we can control that aspect of the game. Even though I have been playing as an outside in practice it was definitely something to get used to in a match. I absolutely loved playing all the way around again, but now next game I will be better prepared for it!

Best Wishes!
-Cait

Pictures from Berlin

The pictures follow along with the time I was there and what I discussed previously in the Berlin blog.
-The Berlin Gate
-The hotel where Michael Jackson showed his kid out the window
-The Holocaust Memorial
-Right above a bunker where Hitler committed suicide
-One of the remaining parts of the Berlin Wall
-A war memorial
-Berlin Cathedral
-Currywurst and German food!
-East Side Gallery
-Pictures of Potsdam
-Street sign

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Berlin

Two weekends ago we had the weekend off from volleyball and last minute decided to take a trip to Berlin! At first we were unsure because it was Thursday and we would have to leave the next day, but ultimately decided why not lets go!

The hostel we stayed at in Berlin was super nice and called St. Christophers. There was a bar and restaurant in the lobby and they gave discounts for guests at the hostel. They also had a great happy hour🙂

When we arrived to Berlin we first decided we should try some authentic German food. I ordered some bratwurst, sauerkraut, and potatoes. It was delicious🙂 That night we decided we would head out to see the city of Berlin and have some fun. We went to a nightclub called the Matrix and it was a pretty big club with 3 different dance floors. At clubs they can charge you quite a bit for a vodka sprite!!

The next day we woke up and decided to go on a walking tour throughout the center of town. We saw some awesome buildings and learned a lot about the history of Berlin and Germany. Some of the things we saw were the Holocaust memorial, where Hitler died, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and many more cool landmarks. Following the tour we then went into the Berlin Cathedral which was absolutely gorgeous. Although we had seen part of the Berlin Wall on our walking tour we wanted to see the only other part remaining which is known as the East Side Gallery. For those of you that don’t know, the East Side Gallery is the Berlin Wall with a collection of paintings from various artists. This was probably one of my favorite things to see in Berlin!

The company we went on the free tour with also sponsored a bar crawl throughout the city. So Saturday night you can guess what we decided to do! Throughout the crawl we met some fun people from the UK, Canada, and the US.

With little sleep we woke up the next day and traveled to Potsdam, an area outside of Berlin for a tour. It was gorgeous and interesting to learn about the Prussia empire that obviously no longer exists.

Throughout the trip we also tried an authentic German food called currywurst. This is a brat typically with fries and has ketchup with curry on it. This was also a favorite thing for me on the trip! Something else that was kind of interesting was their signs for pedestrians. They call it Ampelmann and is a fun thing they have in their city.

Overall the trip was a blast and we were all very glad we decided to take the impromptu trip!

Please feel free to post comments or questions!
-Caitlin