Europe Trip - Day 5
Some of us woke up early for breakfast (Anne, Kendall, & Lauren H.) so we could go out and explore the city of Antwerp one last time before we left for Charleroi.
We wandered around for a while, but absolutely nothing was open. We found a cute little park and took some gorgeous photos. We walked back to the road with the shops along it and hunted for some European clothes. We then all packed up our bags and went into the Central Station, which was absolutely beautiful. The ceiling was huge and the paintings and statues were breathtaking.
We hauled all our luggage onto the train and then had a two-hour ride to Charleroi. One of our players left her laptop in the hotel and realized it just as our train left in three minutes, so she went back with one of our guides, Nick, to get it. They were successful and then caught the next train, which was half an hour later. Many of us slept most of the ride, which was nice.
We arrived in Charleroi and were able to explore the city for a little while. We were told by our tour guides that we were now in the French-speaking part of Belgium and that we should at least try to speak a little French. We learned the basics like, "do you speak English," "thank you," "how are you," and "goodbye."
We had our first encounter with some French speaking Belgiums and it was funny. There was man sitting on some steps with a few others playing very large horn. He blew it at us and then said something in French to us, which we of course didn’t understand. Then another older man walked up to us and started speaking to us in French and we still didn’t have a clue what he was saying. We just smiled at him and continued walking. :)
Our lunch options were limited so we finally decided to stop at a sandwich place. The lady didn’t speak English so a few of us ordered the “American” sandwich, which really wasn’t American. Ha. It was bread with some orange goop slapped on it. We went back to the hotel and were picked up by a few cars so we could drive to the gym to play our match. They all drive little stick shift cars here and they drive so fast!
We arrived at the
gym just in time to see some other recreational volleyball going on. It
was fun to watch them but then it was time
to play our match! There was a very good crowd at the game because it
was the first time they were going to play an American team! It was an
exciting atmosphere to play in because they were extremely loud, which
including the banging of the drum after every
single point! The game ended up going to five sets and we pulled out
the win 15-13 in the fifth set! After the game a man came up to us who
spoke English and told us how enjoyable it was to watch us play. They loved all of our special cheers we had
and how they were different for every play. We ate dinner after the match with
the other team and some of the spectators. We were then able to exchange
shirts with the girls and they gave us some awesome European shirts!!
After dinner we went back to the hotel, tired and
excited to leave for Brussels in the morning!!!
By "L Squared" - Lauren Huber & Lauren Tekavec