August 19, 2010

Quinnipiac Men's Basketball In Europe: Day 4

Well we parted ways with Amsterdam this morning, for the sunny skies of Belgium. One difference that is immediately noticeable is that the amount of English being spoken has been lessened here in Belgium. I was very surprised by how much English was spoken in the Netherlands. There was practically no language barrier and everyone seemed to be able to communicate in our native tongue. Here in Belgium, there is still a lot of English being spoken, but far less than Amsterdam. From what I hear, this will act as our warm-up for our trip to Paris in a few days. According to our tour guide, there will be little or no English in Paris. But we will save that for when we actually get there. For now, we are still here in the home of the French Fry (that's right, Belgium is where the French Fry originated).

Today, upon crossing the Belgian border, we cruised through Antwerp on our way to our first destination of Brugge. This historic city is easily the most beautiful city I had ever seen. Of course, I would forget my camera for this landmark city. We saw so many historic buildings including the Governor's house, and a Basilica that held a cloth that is said to have been soaked in the holy blood of Jesus. This was an incredible opportunity to see and even touch something of such significance. Brugge, like Amsterdam, is a city with several picturesque canals and old time, historical buildings.

After we navigated through Brugge's remarkable landscape, we hopped back on the bus and headed 45 minutes down the road to Ghent, Belgium. We haven't been here very long, but already it seems as though beauty is common trait among Belgian cities. The architecture is astounding, and the cities as a whole, seem like cities right out of the movies. I probably took 25 pictures on a two minute walk across the canal to dinner.

Tomorrow we will be playing in our second game. I think everyone is excited to get back on the court to play again. I think the one of the coolest moments so far was when they played the star spangled banner before our first game. The games are obviously no Olympic games, but in a sense, it's almost as though we are representing our country over here in Europe. I don't know how the other guys felt about it, but for me at least, hearing that song, which was played for us, was a memorable moment that I won't soon forget.

As a closing remark, I'd like to give some recognition to our managers who have and still are putting in great work to make this experience even better. To Mike Papale, Leigh Weissman, John Acampora, and Stephen Elfenbein, much thanks!