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Sunday, August 10 - Final report by Slick and Beeker
On our last day in Scotland, we took a two and a half hour scenic bus ride to the highlands where we visited Ballachulish and Fort
Willliam. At Ballachulish we admired the green mountainous landscape and slate rocks. Some of the girls decided to climb high on a
steep ledge overlooking the view of the stunning lochs. We then took a short bus ride to Fort Williams where the team grabbed lunch and
finished any remaining shopping for gifts and souvenirs before the long, traffic-jammed, journey back to Stirling. For dinner, we
dined at a Scottish pub in Bridge of Allen and enjoyed our time together at our last team dinner. It is hard to believe that our time
is almost done as we are now packing up and getting ready to head home tomorrow. We seniors are going to miss everyone, but we hope
that this will be a great experience for the team to take with them as they enter the coming soccer season.
Saturday, August 9 - by Bear (Emily Baracy) and Jess (Jessica Malkin)
Sleeping in, till 8:30 a.m., was nice today. Our schedule changed due to complications with our morning opponent cancelling. We ate
our breakfast, had time to get ready, and headed out to Perth, the hometown of our tour guide Woody. In Perth we had two hour to roam
around: shopping, eating, and just hanging out.
After relaxing two hours we hoped on a bus and headed to a professional football game; where we cheered on Woody's home team St.
Johnstone. The match ended with St. Johnstone winning 1-0 due to a penalty kick late in the match.
From there we headed to our own game where we played a Canadian team. The game started slow, but we picked it up as time continued. Late in the first half we scored a goal and the match ended 1-0. Danielle Petzak made a run across the box and connected with a cross from Emily Carefoot.
This has been a great experience playing soccer here and we are looking forward to relaxing in the highlands tomorrow.
Friday, August 8 - by Kelsey Bos and Kirsten Bonzelaar
Finally, a late breakfast (8:30am)! Morning was spent walking our way up to the Wallace monument, one of the most recognizable spots in Stirling. The 246 steps to the top were all worth it for the birds eye view of the Scottish countryside. It was definitely a day for layers - a breezy morning with a warm and sunny afternoon. After lunch, we made our way to Edinburgh for a day of shopping and sightseeing.
The streets were packed with tourists of all nationalities flocking to every street performer in sight: from bongos and gospel choirs, to ethnic dancers and men hanging on ladders. We grabbed a quick dinner and made our way to the opening night of the Edinburgh Tattoo festival. The Tattoo festival is a combination of military bands from all nations. The overall favorite was the Swedish Top Secret drum corps. From the tossing of the drumsticks between drummers, to the flaming drum rolls, they were quite a sight to see. The backdrop for the festival was the Edinburgh castle in all its splendor. After the mass exodus, we made our way back to the bus for a drive home filled with songs from Woody to a glimpse of the "Scottish moon". It was a great day, but we were anxious to get a little shut eye before our game tomorrow.
Until we see you in the States,
Keepers of the blog, Bos and Bonzi
Thursday, August 7 - by Danielle Petzak and Bethann Hamer
Today was our most beautiful day in Scotland yet. We started our day off with a morning practice underneath blue skies and lots of sunshine. After that, we showered, got dressed, and set off to Bridge of Allan. We enjoyed the local cuisine for lunch, trying out various bakeries and cafes. Shortly afterwards, donning our matching white Scotland tees, we made our way back to St. Saviour's Church. Our main duty for the day was to help the community by participating in different service projects throughout the town. We divided into groups and set out to make a difference. =) Some team members weeded, some watered the beautiful flowers in the park, while others had a bit more intense manual labor. Some of us were lucky enough to witness a nice game of lawn bowling played by some very sweet little old ladies. We were then treated to some homemade Scottish desserts and refreshments; we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel.
After enjoying a nice dinner of fish and chips, it was game time. Little did we know, the opposition we were about to face had some of the best players in the country; seven played for the Scottish National Team! Despite their talent, we played exceptionally well. The end result wasn't what we'd hoped it would be, but it was a very fun game and we learned a lot. We returned again to the hotel to rest up for the big day in Edinburgh on Friday.
Wednesday, August 6 - by Kristen Schwenk and Kara Marsman
Good Morning America! (* to be read with a Scottish accent)
We woke up this morning to a pleasant surprise, sunshine. J We started the day off right with a hearty Scottish breakfast and proceeded down to the Parking lot to jog and loosen up our tight muscles from last nights football match. After our jog we went up to our rooms to prepare to lose some pounds, both climbing and shopping. We boarded the bus and made our way into Glasgow, Scotland's oldest city for some team building and climbing at the climbing center. We all split up into teams to learn the 3 main tactics of climbing; belaying, knotting, and movement. The climbing center was housed in an old cathedral, boasting stained glass windows and vaulted ceiling - was absolutely brillant. We all attempted to tackle the wall while leaning on each other for support as well as trusting our teammates with our lives as we dangled 40 feet above the ground.
After bidding cheers to our instructors, we went to KFC for lunch before heading to the pride of Glasgow, the Celtic Stadium. After finding our lost pounds at KFC, we headed to our Celtic tour where we embraced the history of the 121 year old football club. The highlight of the tour was walking through the tunnel and out in from of the Celtic pitch (field), which was voted best pitch in Scotland 2 years ago. At the end of the tour, we headed to the Celtic superstore to shed our last couple pounds on some new kits (uniforms). As the day passed quickly it was once again time to board the bus for a late afternoon practice session and dinner. When we got back to Stirling we quickly got dressed and made our way to Airthrey Castle pitch for stretching and small sided games. When practice was over we made our way back to campus for a beautiful dinner of chili, rice and fish. As the night came to a close the team relaxed together watching TV and playing cards - all in anticipation of another gorgeous day in Scotland!
Tuesday, August 4 - by Mallory Fox and Bethany Kicz
Our morning began with a lovely team breakfast followed by a journey to the historic town of St. Andrews, known for its elite golfing
and beautiful coast line. Despite the ever-changing weather we still managed to accomplish some quality shopping. After visiting the
cathedral ruins and seeing stone hedges dating back to the 1100's, we took pictures on the ever-famous bridge on the 18th hole; we
headed back to the hotel. We ate an early dinner and rested up for our home game at the Castle field in Stirling.
The field was
beautiful as it overlooked the scenic view of the Wallace monument. We played a tough game against Falkirk, but we felt we stuck it
out after the last three hard days we've spent together. After the game, we went back to our American ways, ordering Dominos and
relaxing as a team. We headed to bed early due to being tired and sore, but are all looking forward to a day of rock climbing and
team building in Glasgow.
Monday, August 3 - by Katherine Lovinger and Allison VanBeek
We began our day with breakfast followed by a light practice. After showering, we headed to Glasgow by bus for the afternoon. We visited Glasgow's oldest house which was built in the 1400's, and also visited the Glasgow cathedral. The cathedral stood out with its impressive dark, gothic architecture. On a visit to Glasgow's chamber of commerce, we learned about its history and caught a view of the city from the building's roof. Our remaining hours in the city were spent exploring the streets and many local shops.
We then headed to our first soccer match against Stenhousmuir F.C. We were excited to be on the field again as a team and despite some early nerves we played well and held them to a 2-2 tie. Scoring for Hope were Allison VanBeek and Lauren Miller. Overall, we were happy with how we played our first game back together and had another great day in Scotland.
Sunday, August 2 -- by Cali (Lauren Miller) and K (Kirsten Kaufmann)
We woke up bright and early this morning for church at Saint Savior's, a cute little stone and stained glass building nestled into the stately neighborhood next to the Stirling University campus. Afterwards we were able to visit with the church members over coffee and tea. We told them about ourselves and learned about them in return; the man I talked to had actually been to LA and told me all about Hollywood and Universal studios and how much fun he had.
As we left church we decided to follow the sound of bagpipes and wandered (with the help of Woody) to the Highland Games/Carnival - an interesting combination of 'bag piping,' dancing, track races, shot-put, bike racing (on the grass, very interesting), carnival rides and food. It was nice being able to see the culture and various traditions of the Scottish people and hang out for the afternoon.
From there we took taxis up to Stirling Castle, an old and very historically significant castle towering over the city on a great hill. After taking lots of pictures of the view out front, we went on a tour - our tour guide was incredibly enthusiastic and insisted on saying "ladies and gents" after every other statement - and learned all about the war history and people who once lived, worked, and died within the castle walls. While very interesting, the group was pretty tired and had a relatively short attention span; in the great hall we broke away from the group for a few minutes and took pictures in pairs sitting in the King and Queen's royal chairs. We loved walking around, exploring and hearing about the nitty gritty stories of the castle history.
We walked down the hill from the castle to the city of Sterling, snapping pictures
the whole way. The city is very scenic; a plethora of thin cobblestone streets,
stone buildings and towers. We arrived back on Sterling's campus worn out and
half asleep from taking the bumpy bus out of the heart of the town. After dinner
we joined back up in the game room for Wii bowling and Euchre tournaments (along
with the occasional book reader like me!) until we headed back to our rooms
for an early night, since breakfast tomorrow is at 7:30 a.m. All in all a wonderful
day full of hanging out and sightseeing.
Saturday, August 1 -- by Emily Carefoot and Nikki Franzese
Day one has been a long day(s) of traveling. It started at 4 p.m. at the international
terminal in Chicago, with a joyous reunion that turned into countless hours
of travel. Despite the LONG flight to London, we stayed entertained with the
Goodie bags and free movies. A thorough journey through
customs in London Heathrow Airport left us waiting for flight number two which
brought us to Glasgow where we were greeted by our
trainer "Woody". A short drive brought us to the Stirling Management Center,
on the Stirling University campus. Many of our rooms overlook the historic Wallace
monument. After a fabulous dinner and a short practice, we are off to bed to
prepare for an early morning
of church and sightseeing.