BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College field hockey team with a traveling party of 67 including 22 players headed to Europe from January 8-17 to tour Spain and Italy for nine days of sightseeing and international games.
DAY 1 - Barcelona, Spain
The Hounds landed safely in Barcelona, Spain after a 7-hour flight from Newark, New Jersey around 12:15 p.m. After the Hounds left the airport, they boarded two charter buses that took them to the Arenas Mall, which was used as a bull fighting ring. Inside the team, staff and parents were able to find different options in food. A big hit was the Gelato! They also had the opportunity to hit up some of the shops while they we're also allowed to go to the top level of the mall to see a view that looked over the circle in Plaça d'España.
The team then went to Park Guell where they we're able to visit Gaudi's creation of the beautiful park. The Moravian crew had the opportunity to see Barcelona from a bird's eye view and were also able to take some breathtaking photos. Some of the Hounds even had the option to take a 15-minute hike to the top of the mountain at Park Guell where you could see the entire city and surrounding areas, including the mountains and the ocean.
After an afternoon of exploring the crew was able to come back to the hotel and relax for a little before eating dinner at L'ovella Negra where the Hounds were served multiple different portions of Spain foods. Also, in Spain they usually eat early dinners and they usually start at 8:00 p.m.
DAY 2 – Barcelona, Spain
The Hounds took to the streets on day 2 in Barcelona where they got to explore the city by bike! On this bike tour, they were able to stop at some of Barcelona's historical places, such as the Sagrada Familia which will be the tallest cathedral in the world standing at 150 meters and will be completed in 2026. Other locations visited were Park De La Ciutadella, Gotic village, Olympic village and Barceloneta Beach. Another location visited was Arc de Triomf, which originally was supposed to be the Eiffel Tour before the decision was made for that landmark to be in Paris. The team also had the chance to shop and go to a market called La Boqueria where there we're many varieties of foods such as fish, meats, and sweets.
After a long afternoon of seeing the city the Hounds sat down for lunch at Taller de Tapas where they had the chance once again to try many different Barcelona plates.
"Our team's trip to Europe was an incredible experience for everyone, but I was especially grateful to have been able to travel to one of my dream destinations- Barcelona, Spain," commented freshman Hailey Miller. "I am a Spanish major, so for me it was a truly life-changing experience to be able to apply my knowledge of Spain and also enjoy the rich, local culture for a couple of days. Being able to play field hockey internationally was also an incredible opportunity, because we were able to connect with girls our age who shared the same passion as we did. This was a trip that I will truly remember and cherish forever."
DAY 3 – Barcelona, Spain
On day 3 of the Moravian Field Hockey team's European trip, the team, staff and parents all went to the site of the 1992 Olympic Games. The 1992 games changed Barcelona drastically in many ways and has come a long way since the Olympics. The Hounds got to explore the Olympic Museum and also had the chance to see the Olympic arena where track & field was held. After walking around the Olympic facility, the team hopped back on the bus and headed back to the hotel until lunch at 4:00 p.m. The team ate at a buffet where there were multiple options of food.
The team then hopped back on the bus again to head to their first game of the trip! They played in Tarrassa, Spain against a women's field hockey club team. After the game our team exchanged a gift to the other team which was a Moravian Athletics Magnet.
"Our trip to Europe was an experience on its own, but the added fortune of playing local teams from both Spain and Italy was unbelievable," stated junior Sara Cruz. "I can't leave out the amount of food we ate. All of the fundraising for this trip was well worth it. I definitely will not forget the memories we made as a team."
DAYS 4 & 5 – Naples, Italy
Day 4 for the Hounds in Barcelona! On the team's final day in Spain, they got to adventure into the city and do many activities, see many different historical landmarks and eat some Barcelona food for the last time. Some of the crew went to the Sagrada Familia and got to see the inside of the cathedral, some went to the aquarium, got to walk on the beach and go on the boardwalk.
On day 5, the Hounds packed their bags and headed for the airport to take off for Naples, Italy! The team landed around 2:00 p.m. and hit the ground running. The team took a bus/walking tour around Naples to see different historical landmarks. They also got to walk the streets of Naples and see and smell all the local restaurants and shops. The team then headed to Dal Soldino Napoli for their first Italian meal.
DAYS 6 & 7 – Rome, Italy
On day 6, the Hounds went to Pompeii to see the ruins of the late city destroyed by the nearby Volcano Mount Vesuvius. After their long morning in Pompeii the Hounds headed to Sorrento to eat some Italian food and walk around town and shop.
On day 7, the Hounds made their way to Rome by bus! After two hours, the team arrived and hit the ground running with their first stop of the day at the Vatican. After the team went to the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and many other historical landmarks. The team then grabbed a bite to eat and made their way back to the hotel after a long day in Rome!
"Going to Europe with our team was such an unforgettable experience," explained senior Elizabeth Hrehovcik. "It was an amazing opportunity to be fully immersed in another culture with not only friends but our families as well. Although our cultures and languages may have been different, we were able to bond with other teams through our love for field hockey, the game we all grew up playing. It was truly an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone."
DAYS 8 & 9 – Rome, Italy
On day 8, the Hounds final day in Rome they went to the Colosseum and Roman Forum with a guided tour guide and learned about the two historical landmarks. After the team got to venture off for lunch in the city of Rome.
At 4:00 p.m., the team headed out to their last competition in Rome. At the beginning of the game each team had to walk to the middle and then exchange their gifts to each other. Moravian gifted the S.S. Lazio Hockey Team a Moravian magnet and the other team gifted our girls a sticker of their teams' logo. After the exchange, the game was underway and both teams played very and had a lot of fun. After the match, the Hounds had the chance to sit with the opposing team at dinner and talk with them.
"This trip was an amazing experience for our team to play the sport we all love, to try different foods, and to explore different cultures," said sophomore Jamie Golubinski. "Having the chance to interact with the field hockey team we played in Rome was incredible. It was a trip of a lifetime."
On day 9, the Hounds had one last morning in Rome before leaving for the airport. Some of the team members went to the Trevi Fountain again, visited the Spanish Steps, and were able to visit the Santa Maria church, which was right next door to the hotel. After their last adventure in Italy, the team headed back to the hotel to pack their bags and head to the airport.