Today was our final day of the European Tour. We got up in Maribor, Slovenia and left at about 8:45 a.m. (local time) to head for Venice, Italy, which is the final stop of the tour. On the way we stopped for a snack, and then about an hour later we stopped at the equivalent of an Italian rest stop. Although, the food there was much better then your typical fast food at American rest stops. They had steak and pasta, as well as an assortment of other things.
We finally arrived in Venice at about 2:45 p.m. (local time) or so after hitting a lot of traffic towards the end of journey from Maribor. After we arrived at the hotel, we quickly jumped back on the bus and headed towards the water taxi. We took the water taxi towards the San Marcos stop in Venice at about 3:30 p.m. After about an hour we finally arrived at the San Marcos stop at about 4:30 p.m. Once we arrived, we split up as some of the players went shopping and some just walked around to take in
the sights and beautiful scenery. At 7 p.m., we met back up at a restaurant and sat down to have an Italian family-style meal.
Following dinner, some players, family and coaches went back to the hotel, and others stayed to take a ride in the canal on the gondolas. About 21 players, family and coaches went on the gondolas with about five people per gondola. Once we finished the gondola ride, everyone took the bus back to the hotel.
Tomorrow the team will get up and leave the hotel at 4:15 a.m. (local time) to head to the airport. The flight leaves at 6:00 a.m. (local time) to go to Amsterdam, where we will then catch a direct flight that will take us back to Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport. The team will finally get home around noon on Friday, June 23.
The team heads home from a fun and successful trip. To many it was a once in a lifetime experience and a good time to bond with the teammates. On the court, Minnesota finished with a successful 4-2 record on the tour, and off the court the team got to be part of a lot of new and exciting experiences. The team would like to thank Cory and all of the tour guides throughout the many cities we visited for setting up and exciting and fun European Tour.
Malama Peniata's Diary:
Today we left the beautiful city of Maribor, Slovenia to head to Venice, Italy. It was about four and a half hours to Venice, Italy, but with traffic it took a little longer.
Once we arrived in Venice it was very hot. We were stuck in a traffic jam, stopped in at a self-serve Italian lunch place and finally made it to the hotel. The hotel is right near the airport. After we arrived there, we unloaded our stuff and headed into city. We had to take a 45-minute water taxi ride to San Marcos Square in Venice. Wow! It was the hottest, longest and most compacted ride.
We arrived at around 5 p.m. and had two hours to shop. The scenery was beautiful. There were large cathedrals, squares, narrow streets that led to different alleys, bridges, pizzerias everywhere and all sorts of different shops all around
Everyone was crowded into little shops watching Italy play in the World Cup. We roamed around the streets picking up last minute souvenirs. We all met at 7 p.m. for a family-style dinner. It was delicious!
We all gathered in the square afterwards for our last group meeting of the tour. Half of us headed back to the hotel and half stayed for the gondola ride around the city for 45 minutes. It finally started to cool off and our trip had finally come to an end. This was my first time out of the country, and my first time to Europe and it was a blast. Even though I did not have a cell phone I survived : ) Now we are headed to the airport at 4:30 a.m. (local time) and should arrive around 11 a.m. to MSP Airport. America here we come : )