BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — The Connecticut College women’s water polo team is currently in Spain and head coach Matt Anderson sent in a report regarding how the trip is progressing:
The Connecticut College Women’s Water Polo headed off to Spain for eight days of water polo and sightseeing. The trip started in New York CIty where we boarded a flight to Barcelona. Once in Barcelona we were treated to a stay at a hotel in the shadows of Estadi del F.C. Barcelona “Camp “Nou” – the football stadium where Messi and his Barcelona teammates play.
After a morning swim at Saint Jardí to loosen out after the seven-hour flight the team was treated to a hole in the wall restaurant where they had Poke’ bowls and hamburgers. Back to the hotel to grab a few hours sleep they then had dinner to prepare themselves for an evening walk/metro ride into downtown Barcelona to watch the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. The stunning display of colorful dancing water fountains was quite a sight for all to see.
The next morning they boarded a train for a three-hour ride along the Spain shoreline, Mar Mediterra’neo, to Valencia where they made tracks to the Barbaria ‘19 water polo femenino polideportive Natzaret tournament, hosted by Water Polo Turia
The Camels where not nice to the tournament hosts as they posted a 6-0 victory over Turia. After a loss to Castello’n (eventual tournament winners), Connecticut came back with a 5-3 victory over Dos Hermanas. After three games in a five-hour window the team headed back to the hotel and had a combined dinner with the host club Turia.
Not only was the dinner festive as the teams quickly became social media friends, etc! The final of the Copa Del Ray football tournament was going on and the restaurant was packed and crazy loud with Valencia FC fans cheering on the local boys in their game versus hated rival Barcelona FC. Scoring an exciting upset victory the Valencia fans went crazy and a few Camels were sprayed with Champagne as the locals put on a classic celebration. The next day the celebrations continued as the Camels had their bike ride interrupted by cheering fans lining the street to welcome their victorious Valencia FC soccer boys home.
In the morning crossover the Camels lost a close battle with Claret Askartza, the club Connecticut College assistant coach Nila Ward played for, and finished fourth in the tournament. Returning to the hotel the Camels sailed up on bikes, and yes some of us looked like fish out of the water trying to navigate the cobble stone, tight, Renault (car) lined streets!
If you’ve never been Valencia – it is home to the largest aquarium (Oceanografic) in Europe. The bike ride took us through them incredibly beautiful path through the city by the cultural Les Arts, L’Hemisferic, Musue Historico Militar, just to name a few.
The team headed to a dinner of different tapas plates and then a walk through the art center of Valencia where they were treated to the wonderful night displays that this cultural city has.
Monday morning brought a goodbye to Valencia and a return trip to Barcelona.
Just like two years ago when the Connecticut College men’s team went to Italy, this summers tour was organized by Serena Gallone of Sportrip and includes local water polo star, two-time Olympian, Albert Espanol, who joins us along with Connecticut College Latino Studies Professor Julia Kushigian to bring their wealth of knowledge about the region to the tour of the city the Camels will go on the next few days. This tour included the Gotic Tour and something we all have been waiting for…a Flamenco Show and dinner!
Whew! We have only reached the halfway point and we still have training-games – with the local clubs and we will visit- Sagrada Familla , Boqueria, Ramblas and …maybe a shopping excursion left…!
More to come!