This entry was written by Erica Ridella and Caroline Staudle
Day 5 – March 23, 2016
Today started out with a beautiful sun shining through our hotel window as our first day in Barcelona began. We all went downstairs to be greeted by a magnificent breakfast. This breakfast had fresh fruits, all different kinds of breads, pastries, cereals, fresh fruit juice, and even PANCAKES! While sitting down eating our breakfast we met a little boy from Florida playing in an international tournament here. He was very excited to meet us and wanted to take a picture with all of us. We all met outside following breakfast to load the bus and head towards the center of Barcelona. Our first stop was taking a tour of Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, which is one of the biggest attractions in Barcelona. Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is a Catholic Church built by artist Antoni Gaudi that has been under construction since 1882 and is expected to be finished by 2026. The architecture of this church was inspired by nature, which can be seen from the pillars inside the church which look like trees to show there are strong religious roots. On the outside of the church, several stories of the Bible are told through the architecture. The pictures we took at Basilica de la Sagrada Familia really do not exemplify how beautiful the church really is in person.
Following our visit to Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, we headed over to a local market in search for our lunch. This market ranged from fresh meats, to fresh fruits, and empanadas. Most girls on the team got fresh fruit cups and empanadas for their lunch prior to our game. Once we finished at the market, we headed back to the hotel to rest up and get ready for our first match in Barcelona. Our game was played against Sant Gabriel. As we were on the bus headed to the game, everyone was excited to get on the field and see what the Spanish style of play was like. Before the game started we mingled with one another and Sant Gabriel gave us a banner, similar to what you see in professional international games. Sant Gabriel was very technical and quick on and off the ball, which we realized very fast. Unfortunately after a hard fought game, we came up short. Following the match we had the chance to thank Sant Gabriel and their fans for giving us this opportunity to play against them and learn from this experience. With all of us taking something away from this game, we loaded the bus to head back to the hotel where some people grabbed a quick bite for dinner. We are looking forward to an exciting day tomorrow and the opportunity to play another game.