June 6, 2005

Saturday, June 4 –

Our sticks arrived a day late and Friday arrived hot and sunny, so practice Friday morning proved to be more than just a warmup, especially since the field was artificial turf. Lots of people hadn’t picked up a stick in a few weeks, but the workout was a good start for the lacrosse portion of the trip.

After lunch we took an hour-long bus ride southwest of Prague to Karlsteijn Castle which was built in the 1300s by King Charles, the same individual responsible for the Charles Bridge. It was a beautiful drive into the country and the hills, with several quaint villages and fields full of red poppies along the way.

The castle itself sat way up on a hill and required an uphill walk of some distance by all involved to reach it. We took our time on the way down, grabbing some snacks along the way.

The weather turned cold Saturday and it rained much of the morning. We had a two oclock workout that included both the Notre Dame squad and about 20 Czech players, three of them coming from Btatislava. It was a good session, with a half-hour scrimmage at the end — though much of the work came in the pouring rain. It was something of a circus-like atmosphere at the Slavia club facilities, with multiple football (soccer) games going on, along with some sort of outdoor rock festival — and a men’s field hockey game right before our session.

Friday and Saturday nights were all on our own, and everyone had a chance to see more of Prague. The Irish are slated to play the Czech team at noon on Sunday and all involved will take part in a boat ride later Sunday night as part of the Lacrosse Without Borders program.