Saturday, May 23, 2009

23-05-2009 (Week 19) - Barcelona

So Scully and Margalit came on a European vacation. Margalit started in Amsterdam and Dublin with Bryan, and later came to the mainland in Madrid, Spain. Scully met here there before both of them travelled to Barcelona. Seeing as Barcelona wasn't all that far from Toulouse, they both decided it wouldn't be all that bad to stop by and pay a visit. And since I'd never been to Barcelona before, I grabbed my collegue Tobey and we drove down for the weekend, before picking them up and driving back to Toulouse.

The weekend started off interestingly enough. After finding a free parking spot in Barcelong (which is not an easy thing to do), I soon realized that I had forgotten something from my car. When I went back to check on my forgotten item, I discovered someone had smashed in the small triangular window of my car. So needless to say, I was worried the entire weekend about the car, and kept moving it back and forth to keep the theives at bay. Luckily for us, nothing got taken, and it didn't rain at all. But it did make the drive from Barcelona to Toulouse a little more interesting.

The first day saw a pretty relaxed viewing atmosphere of the Barcelona head, that was obviously an hommage to Brazil, and some awesome mac game beach ultimate. And in the ultimate game, it was not Scully, Margalit, or I who had the most consecutive macs, but none other than Tobey Vu, with a record 14.

Later than night we sat down for some food (where I've had possibly the best octopus in the world), and ended up partying all night until the break of down at a club that I originally thought permanently damaged my hearing. But a few weeks later, I was back to normal.

Our hostel in Barcelona seemed pretty upbeat. We had a ping pong table in which Tobey and I continually pounded Margalit and Scully. We also had beer in the vending machine, which is not all that uncommon. The best part of the hostel was that it was me and 7 girls in the same mixed room. I ended up sitting down and speaking a little French with two girls from Paris, which was pretty neat.

The following day we visited a lot of Gaudi architecture. He had created an entire houe we viewed as well as the famous La Sagrata Familla. That church is super amazing and I would recommend everyone get a chance to see it at some point in their lives. It is the most unique church I've ever seen, and apart from that, has great views of the city where there are areas to climb up.

After a long day of sight seeing, we went out later that night (Sans Tobey, cuz we wore him out the night before), to a ginormous club in Barcelona called Razzmatazz. It was enourmous, and lots of rooms with lots of people. So big we established a check point of where to meet if we got separated.

All in all, we saw sh!t hard, and we played hard. That was the theme of the weekend....


Sunday, May 17, 2009

17-05-2009 (Week 18) - Fontenay le Compte

Week 17 was the first weekend in awhile that I had the chance to stay in Toulouse. After a weekend spent at a local wine bar, playing a large game of credit card roulette where the loser payed for drinks the rest of the night, and climbing construction scaffolding to attempt to enter a foreign French party, I headed out of town once more to Fontenay-Le-Compte, France to complete the second leg of the French Outdoor Ultimate National Championships.

The tournament is comprised of two weekends of round robin play. There are typically 8 teams per division. The top two teams after round robin play will then play for the national championship. I should start off by saying we were not in the top division, but the second to best division. Therefore, we NEVER had the chance to win the French National Championship. The best we could hope for would be to move up to the premier division by finishing either first or second in our division.

The first weekend of this tournament we went 2-2, so there were already two teams ahead of us in the standings (at least), and we'd need some luck to finish in the top two. As it turns out, we played well all weekend, especially our zone offense, and finished the tournament 4-0. However, this wasn't enough as the two teams that beat us the previous weekend of the tournament emmerged as the 1 and 2 teams to advance to the premiere league next year.

But this blog is more about watching the French Ultimate National Championship. Although I've never been to the U.S. national championships, the athleticism seemed to be on about the same, but the careless drops surprised me, as can be witnessed in the video. I didn't get to watch the entire match, but there were too many careless mistakes from what I saw. But all in all, the teams were solid. Our team played great, and I'm glad I had the chance to experience the French Ultimate Championships.


Friday, May 1, 2009

01-05-2009 (Week 16) - Interlaken

Switzerland is the most beautiful country I've seen in the world. It could be that Interlaken isn't a fair representation of the country because it has a formation known as a saddle point, where there's two lakes on either side of the town and on the adjascent sides there are mountains. But oh what a beautiful place it was.

Besides being beautiful, Interlaken is the adenture capital of the world. And we certainly took advantage of it. We hit the ground running Saturday morning with the first canyoning adventure of the season. This involves sliding down rock formation, repelling down semi-cliffs, jumping off waterfalls, and trust falling backwards into pools of water. If your schlotty, it also involves getting head butted in the face. Although the water was freezing the rush kept us warm long enough until it was over. Our biggest jump was 8 meters (approx. 24 feet) and what i really liked about guides was that they didn't give you any time to think about what you were doing. You looked down at the pool, and you heard 3, 2, 1, ... and if you hadn't jumpe by then, they were pushing you, so you most certainly jumped, and loved every second of it.

But we didn't stop there. Later that day we went out hang gliding. I can't really explain the feeling of hang gliding other than saying it was absolutely breath taking, but I can speak for how long we waited to run off the side of the mountain. We waited hours until the conditions were just right. And in our case, the best conditions were no wind at all. So we had to run fast. And if you didn't know it, runing tandem with someone else when you're right leg lined up in the middle of their legs isn't the easiest thing ever. But we managed ok, and to make sure it work out, once we had liftoff he guided the glider real low to the ground (low enough that if i tried to stand then there wasn't enough room), to pick up some speed. It was exhilirating but a little bit scary as well. Also scary was when he did some stalls in mid air. Imagine coming to a complete stop when you're hundreds of feet up in the air. That's what a stall is...and you can kinda view it on the video if you watch closely.

That night we hit up the same club we did Friday night (except saturday night Slattery didn't get punched because he wasn't there, although me and Doherty almost got beat up by a bunch of Australian guys who claimed they were locals...drunkin idiots is more like it. We hit up the only restaurant open at 2 am (a local vending machine), and visited some back to the future private club that we somehow convinced the guy to let us in. Oh yeah, and at the end of the night, we ended up cornering a sheep in a tree, and Doherty slapped it in the face while I slapped it's ass. All and all, a very successful night.

Finally the next day we went river rafting (not very rapid at all), and called all adventures over with. However, we did manage a drive to Lichtenstein where there was a health festival going on. After that we drove through Austria and called it a weekend.

I would love to go back to Interlaken, so if you're ever up for it, let me know...