For the final installment of the blog we’ll cover the last day and a half of our trip, which included our second game and our day in Paris.
After our first game and late return to the hotel Tuesday night, most guys slept late Wednesday morning in preparation for our second game later that evening. Around 330pm we loaded the bus and headed off to Antwerp for our game against the Antwerp Giants. When we arrived at the gym the court was being used for a youth practice (maybe 6 year olds?) and we were amazed at how well behaved and organized these kids were. The coach ran this practice like a drill sergeant, which was quite the contrast to many of our own experiences with youth basketball (Sixers Camp…) :
We played a tough game against the Giants, losing by 3 after missing a last second shot. Our team’s tough defense allowed us to stick with the Giants, despite the strong play of their guards. Here are some action shots from the game:
After the final buzzer, we were greeted by the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium (Howard Gutman), who was in attendance:
He talked to us about some of the defining characteristics of Belgium and the Belgian people and about U.S./Belgian relations. He also recommended that we visit Angelina’s , a cafe known for its delicious hot chocolate, the next day on our trip to Paris. We followed his advice and were not disappointed, some of us even bought a couple bags of their chocolate mix to bring home.
After the game we headed back to Brussels where we went into the city for a late team dinner. We also visited Delirium again, and found an Irish night club where some members of the team found their European/Delawarean soul mates.
Two hours later we woke up to head to Paris. Despite the lack of sleep, some people still had plenty of energy:
Our first destination in Paris was Notre Dame Cathedral, which was a pretty impressive sight. Next, we headed to Marche des Enfants Rouges, where we had lunch with a Haverford Alum. This lunch really showed us just how special the Haverford bond is, and that it even exists halfway across the world. It was cool to have lunch in Paris’s oldest covered market, since Paris is best known for its abundance of old covered markets.
After lunch we set out to visit the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Just about everyone set out for the Louvre first, but James and Cam went off on a romantic date to the Eiffel Tower. We never saw them again.
The Louvre was an incredible, albeit overwhelming, experience for everyone who went (except for Steve and Eli, the two grumpiest members of the group). We all made sure to check out the Mona Lisa and the other paintings in that wing, but beyond that different groups checked out different sections. Most of us came to the conclusion that we needed another full day or so to see everything, and so we are determined to make it back there at some point in the future.
The Eiffel Tower was also an unbelievable sight. Many of us were taken aback at the actual size of it. As a result, James and Cam (the two lovebirds) were the only ones brave enough to venture all the way to the top.
After a full, ten hour day in the city of love, we headed back to Brussels for one last night on the town. Needless to say, we left our mark on Brussels.
In the Brussels airport we spotted Winkler in line behind his long lost brother, Alfonz:
Thanks for following our adventures in Europe, we hope everyone enjoyed our coverage of the trip.
In conclusion, we’ll leave you with Brett’s final waffle count:
23. That’s an average of 4.6 waffles per day. Opposing teams who had been reading our blog actually referred to Brett as “Waffle Guy” after the game.
- Eli, Geoff, and photographer/digital mastermind Mark Loper
P.S. Here are some more photos: