May 16, 2005
As the Notre Dame women’s volleyball team continues its four-country European tour, sophomore-to-be Adrianna Stasiuk – who was a starter at opposite and a two-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week in 2004 – has taken the time to recap the final day in Prague, the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic. Among the highlights are a glimpse into the interesting world of authentic Czech cuisine and the second match of the trip for Notre Dame.
The Irish will next head south to Vienna, Austria. Check back to und.com for further diaries chronicling the team’s adventures, as well as photo galleries from Prague.
“Today was definitely an exciting day – packed with lots of sightseeing and competitive volleyball. We started our day off by taking the five-minute tram to downtown Prague, where we spent our last Czech crowns shopping at the stores. Some popular buys were the gorgeous Bohemian crystal pieces (which Prague is known for) and clothes. After we shopped till we dropped, the team ate lunch together at a cute Czech food restaurant where the menu was translated by our trusty guide Yurka. “Stuffed chicken” brought some surprised looks, but the food was great.
“After some last-minute shopping buys, we went back to the hotel, rested, and drove to the gymnasium and played match #2 against the Czech National Team. Although the Irish didn’t take a game from the Czechs, we competed hard and fought through close games, with the score of the fourth game being 25-23. The Irish left the gym thankful for the great opportunity to compete against the outstanding talent of the Czech National team.
“The day was hardly over, as guides Yurka and Corey took us to a small restaurant in Prague, which served authentic Czech food. The meal had what seemed to be never-ending courses … we ate potatoes, potatoes, and then some more potatoes. A few brave team members even tried steak tartar (raw meat) and some favorites were the sausage and potato pancakes. After we thought we could eat no more, five trays of fruit-filled pancake desserts were successively brought out to the tables and the team proceeded to polish the plates clean. After eating some great food, we ventured out to picturesque downtown Charles Bridge to get a view of Prague’s Old Town at night. The city looked even more impressive at night, and then we said an emotional goodbye to Czech guide Yurka. We will miss Yurka and Prague as we continue our journey through Europe!!”