Finland was such a fun trip despite the hockey results. We were playing in a cute city of Oulu, Finland. This is about 4 hours north of Helsinki. The tournament was fast paced and our team worked hard but couldn’t find the back of the net. We lost our first game to Finland 0-3 and our second one to Kazakhstan 0-2. We finally put the puck in against Russia but it wasn’t enough and lost 2-7. My former bulldog teammate Elin played for Russia so it was very good to see her again! Her team won the tournament and will be advancing to the final round in February.
All of the girls along with myself were disappointed with the outcome of the tournament. However, it was good hockey to prepare the national players for upcoming camps and tournaments. Not only the senior team but the young girls as well. We have a very young team with lots of girls on the u18 and u16 national teams. This tournament was good for them to play some tough games.
We were able to stay an extra night in Finland so we got to see the city a bit. Tournaments are always fun and a good way to get closer to the girls. It made me even more sad that we didn’t advance to the final round.
When we arrived back in Prague the city was decked out for Christmas. The Christmas market was set up in Old Town Square along with an amazing Christmas tree! Molly and I went to see everything her last night before heading home. Loved it!
I was then off to Germany for round two!! I was able to see Munich and a few German towns. I met Jess and Mary in Munich super early where we checked out all the sights and the Christmas market. The rest of their teammates joined us later where we spent a night on the town. Everywhere you went was full of people and excitement.
The next day I stayed with Jess in a town called Bad Worishofen. She lives in a bed and breakfast where she is an au pair for a German family with 4 kids. This gave me a good taste of the German life and it was comforting to be surrounded by such a welcoming family. I was able to experience how Germans have "dinner" for "lunch" and "lunch" for "dinner". Basically they eat there warm big meal for lunch. We had schnitzel for lunch and all ate together at the table around 1 when the kids came home from school. The father even comes home from work everyday for lunch. I think that’s a cool routine and it makes sense to eat your big meal during the day versus right before bed.
That afternoon Jess and I met Jenny at a spa in Bad Worishofen. She was just getting back from a national tournament. The spa was cool and even had an outdoor whirlpool where we spent most of the afternoon. Then it was off to Augsburg with Jenny to meet some of her friends out on the town. For a monday night it was pretty busy with people getting hot whine after the christmas market.
The next day Jenny and I went to Augsburg’s Christmas market and shopped for a bit before we headed to Memmingen to practice. I brought my skates so I was able to practice and play in a scrimmage with Jess and Mary’s team. There manager Peter put together a set of gear for me so thank you Peter for all of your help! It was fun to skate with the girls and funny how everything worked out …
That night we stayed in Jenny’s hometown where I was finally able to meet her family! She lives right next to Fussen where there are two German castles and happened to be where the scrimmage was. The next day Jenny, Jess, and I hiked up to see the castles. The main castle was a lot different from the one in Prague. It was basically in the mountains overlooking a waterfall. so cool! After our hike Jenny’s mom made us schnitzel for lunch and then it was off to the rink where we scrimmaged the U18 German national team. After the game as a thank you they provided all the girls with a meal. Right after Jenny’s friend drove me to Munich where I took an overnight bus to Prague.
I had my last practice before break with my team in Prague yesterday so I’m now officially on Christmas vacation! Finland and Germany were so much fun! Thanks to everyone for helping me get around and feeling comforted at this time of year! My aunt arrives tomorrow and we have a few trips coming up! I can’t wait!!
Ahoj and Merry Christmas to everyone! Family and friends at home I love and miss you all!!