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Switzerland, Hockey and the Austrian Zoo

Marley and I made it to beautiful Zurich. We skipped hostels from night to night and found a very unique hostel right in the middle of the city called Backpackers. From there we explored the old city of Zurich, situated on Lake Zurich. We ate traditional Swiss cuisine (mine reminded me of a hot dog in brown gravy for the price of filet mignon), and climbed the Gross Muenster cathedral to take pictures of the city. At the hostel we made a quite interesting group of friends including guys from Australia, Wien, and Berlin who taught us the game ‘Bampala’ (the aussie kept calling it bed bugs). We eventually met some girls from Switzerland in Zurich to celebrate a birthday. Our little party made it around to what the taxi driver told us was Zurich’s red light district. Which may sound interesting, but everywhere was pretty empty except an American 60s themed bar. The second day we also made it to the Kunsthaus Zurich, and viewed some of the best artwork in the world (Monet, Dali, Picasso, Van Goethe). After spending three days in possibly the most expensive city in Europe, we went back to Salzburg. We ended up not skipping on our little trip to France, but Paris is on the to-do list.

Back home (finally in our new apartment) I studied hard for a good week for the LSATs which is coming up quickly in October. Then pre-season practices started kicking in gear for our first EWHL game. Practices are better than last year, which was a nice surprise, and four or five guys come to practice with us which helps give us some numbers and a second goalie to shoot on.

This past weekend we travelled to Vienna. We met at the rink in Salzburg early in the morning after having practiced on Friday night until midnight. Nevertheless, everyone on the team was excited and seemed to be ready for the game until five minutes into the first period when we were down 2-0. But let’s talk about the game later.
As usual we weren’t allowed to use the bathroom on the bus, which made it an interesting trip to Vienna.  Apparently, they installed a new system on buses, which forces the driver to 
take a break after a maximum driving of 4 hours. This meant every bathroom break was faster than a NASCAR pit stop. Let’s just say one of the bathrooms wasn’t immediately supplied with toilet paper.
We managed to make it on time (although we had one girl run from the bus into the rink bathroom). We actually arrived in Vienna about two hours before the game started. After team warm up, I faced the reality once again that Vienna’s ice rink is like a hot indoor pool complete with sauna, and I can’t swim.

So, the game started. The team was pumped. Our coach might have been a little nervous, the Flyers stronger than expected. Then it happened, we got scored on … And a few minutes later a second time.  I have to admit I was a little relieved to hear the buzzer. After all, last year’s game was 20-0 us. They were only in the Bundesliga, and this year they have foreign players, (U of Vermont alumni Jackie Thode and Chelsea Furlani) and they are in the EWHL.

The team went to the locker room and I’m not entirely sure what the coach said, (I still only get the main words), but everything worked out better in the second period. Unfortunately, we only scored once.  The third period started similar to the second one. We tied the game up early in the third. Our hundred chances just wouldn’t gopast the goal line. But then – about 3 minutes left to play, the Vienna Flyers got two penalties at the same time. A 5 on 3 was all we needed to get things going, and two goals started and ended the game.  The final score was 4-2 Salzburg.

Since the game, I’ve put some kilometers on my bike and gone to the Zoo. They had a bunch of Austrian native animals as well as some exotic ones.  I watched a Tiger ripping a huge chunk of meat, saw a Lion sleeping, wallabies hopping around, a brown bear craving food, four or five different types of monkeys and Zebras which wouldn’t turn around and let us take a picture of their faces.

Right now there’s a fest in down town Salzburg. People dress up in their Lederhosen so I pulled out mine and went there to see what they have.  Ruperti Kirtag is a Salzburg fest similar to Oktoberfest in Munich. I don’t have internet in the new apartment until October 4th, so I will have to remember to look up the meaning behind the fest next trip to McDonalds. I have to remind myself we have a game on Saturday in Slovenia, so I will hold out until Sunday to put back on my lederhosen and see if the beer here is as good as at Oktoberfest.  Bis spaeter! Ade!


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