Today was a rest day, which gave us an opportunity to explore the city of Antwerp, instead of just seeing it from bus windows.
The day started off with a sleep in and a late breakfast. I decided to try the muesli, as the bacon and eggs I’ve had every morning so far had gotten a bit old. The muesli was good, but I still went up and got some bacon afterwards. I’m padding this out as much as I can, because the morning really was very uneventful. We also got our washing done, which means I now have clean socks again, which is always a highlight of these trips. Our hotel room currently looks like a bomb went off in a laundry basket, with so much clothing hanging up on furniture to dry. It turns out the mirror above the desk/dresser is not fixed flush to the wall, and so it’s ideal for hanging socks on, with the top of the sock tucked into the gap between the mirror back and the wall to stop the socks falling.
After we hung out our washing, we caught the light rail into the center of Antwerp (I’m not allowed to use the actual name for an electric light rail system, as apparently I “say it weird”). We were then essentially left to our own devices for a few hours, and got to exploring. Several of my teammates warned me not to nod off, and sadly, I don’t think the novelty of that is ever going to die away. I managed to get myself a Belgian waffle, something which I had been looking forward to for quite some time. Safe to say, it lived up to expectations. One thing I did not get is any diamonds, set in jewelry or otherwise, for any significant other who may or may not be waiting for one, despite the not-so-subtle suggestions from my aforementioned teammates that it would be a good souvenir to take home, what with Antwerp being the diamond capital of the world and all. Sorry dear. Both Ash and Jess C managed to get themselves interviewed by what appeared to be a TV reporter with a korfball, who was walking the main shopping street of Antwerp. I think he is doing some reports on the tournament, and was using the rest day to find out what the people of Antwerp thought of the tournament, when he happened to luck upon us, and used the opportunity to grill us on our tournament so far. Both girls acquitted themselves well in the interview (not that we’ve seen the published versions yet), despite their general embarrassment at having a camera shoved in their face (the cameraman seemed very keen to get close ups of both girls faces).
After we left the city center, it was off to dinner. Once we got back to the hotel after dinner, Jess M, being the good Victorian she is, organised a Melbourne Cup sweep for the team and Australian officials. The race will be run overnight our time. My €10 got me Prince of Penzance and Sky Hunter, so I can probably kiss that money goodbye. Someone, however, is bound to be very happy in the morning, before they then realise that drinks at the after-party are on them.
Tomorrow puts us back into the swing of the tournament, and back to early games, which is probably the routine we are most used to, at least as used to it as you can be after doing it twice. We have a big match against Poland, which will have a huge say in our final position at the end of the tournament, as will all matches from here on in. As always, all the match info is available on the National Teams page, including live streams. For everything else, remember to keep checking the Facebook page to keep up to date.