Emily Mitchell, UCSC Women's Basketball Player, updates us on the team's preseason trip to Spain.
Fourth day and game day! We started our morning a little later to get some extra rest before our game. Our afternoon started with a trip to a castle in the small town of Hostalric. We hiked up to the Castle of Hostalric ruins and were astonished by the buildings and the views of the town and farmland below, as well as the neighboring castle across the mountain top. It's said that the two castles were built like this to see if one was coming to attack the other.
After tiring our legs, we played our first game at 7. We played older women and college-aged players. It was tough at first to play after not practicing for a few days, but after the first few minutes, we started blowing out the competition. We also had to get used to the foul calls and the key being slanted. There were multiple offensive fouls on both ends that were not recognized, and small touches that were fouls in the eyes of the referees. Otherwise, we pulled together and played a well-rounded game, resulting in a 68-56 win.
We finally ate dinner at 10, like true Europeans!
Fifth day in Spain and we are ready to dominate our second game! After breakfast, we headed to the gym for our afternoon game against another Lloret de Mar team. They were a little younger, but definitely knew how to move the ball and use their physicality against us. Having had an international game under our belt, we were more comfortable at tip-off and throughout the entirety of the game. It was a rough and contact-heavy game, but once again we played together and used our team chemistry and individual skill sets to control the game and pull out another W.
We cleaned up after the game and set out to Tossa de Mar, an old fishing town on the Costa Brava. It's also where Frank Sinatra visited Ava Gardner, who was there filming Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. We were hungry and needed to eat before sightseeing.
For lunch I had the typical Tossa de Mar fish dish, Cim I Tomba (literally "top and turn"), and I definitely recommend it! After one of the best meals I've had in Spain, we were ready to see the best scenery on the Costa Brava. We hiked through the castle-like remains and to the historical museum at the top the hill. Looking over the edge was incredible! The beach, the ocean, the greenery from the mountainsides all in one. It was relaxing to just stand there and observe.
After our trek back down the hillside, it was beach time! Some of us stayed in the water while others collected rocks and sea glass to take home. On our way back, we grabbed some meringue cookies they had freshly baked. They barely lasted the first ten minutes of the bus ride back to our hotel. Another successful day in Spain for the Banana Slugs.