Aug. 12, 2006
The Notre Dame men’s tennis team continued its three-country European tour by heading east from Munich, Germany, to Salzburg, Austria, on Friday. There the Irish took in the sights of the city famous for being both Mozart’s birthplace and the sight of the filming of “The Sound of Music,” and senior team captain Stephen Bass checks in with a diary describing the sights. Check back to und.com for a recap of the team’s match against a team of Austrian pros on Sunday, as well as a diary from senior Ryan Keckley about the team’s first day in Vienna.
Men’s Tennis European Tour Diary #2 – Munich, Germany to Salzburg, Austria; Stephen Bass
As I awoke in Munich at 7 a.m. on Friday, I became concerned for our ability to stay on schedule, when I realized that two of my teammates, Barry King and Brandon Pierpont, had stayed out a little later than everyone else and now were forced to rush to be ready for our 8:30 a.m. train to Salzburg. As we rushed over to the train station to catch our ride, Ryan Keckley and I took a little detour to grab a few souvenirs. With about five minutes to spare, we hopped on the train, only to notice that our alumnus, Eric Langenkamp, was sitting alone outside on a bench right in front of our train, trying to catch the last few minutes in Munich all alone. We finally get everyone on the train and looked forward to our trip.
The train ride to Salzburg featured scenery that I could believe. With a beautiful countryside and an amazing display of scenery, I was hoping we could stay in Salzburg for a longer time. Our team arrived in Salzburg an hour and a half later, and we all rushed to get something to drink at a nearby Burger King. (Sports information director) Bo Rottenborn came in with the team and decided to take some pictures of the Burger King, but proceeded to get yelled at by the cashier for doing so.
We eventually made our way to the hotel, Itzlinger Hof, about a half-mile away, and checked into our rooms. The hotel rooms had an extremely interesting and very different setup. The shower had a clear window visible to everyone else in the room. Yes, you might think that the shower would have a curtain on the inside that you would be able to pull down, but the exact opposite was the case: the curtain was actually on the outside of the shower, apparently there for couples who enjoyed viewing each other shower. Our team immediately realized that this might pose some problems for our never-nude and mute alumnus, Mr. Langenkamp. For those who are curious, the English Dictionary has yet to recognize the term “never-nude” and is currently seeking the approval of the AAEL (American Association of the English Language) for its addition.
About an hour later, our team, Coach Bayliss and Mrs. Bayliss congregate in the lobby to make our two-mile pilgrimage by foot to see the sites of Salzburg and eventually reach the top of the Hohensalzburg Fortress. As the journey began, we found Mrs. Bayliss to be extremely knowledgeable about the city, and she explained to us that it was celebrating the 250th birthday of famed composer Wolfgang Mozart, who was born in Salzburg. Our team crossed the pedestrian footbridge and entered Mirabell, a breathtaking garden and array of flowers that is impossible to describe. We later learned that the movie “The Sound of Music” was filmed in these gardens and across the city of Salzburg. Our team continued the trip to the Hohensalzburg Fortress and stopped numerous times for “team photo ops” (TPOs), as Barry King likes to call them.
When we finally reached the top of the fortress – perched high on a hill – it made the walk all worth it. One of the most stunning sites I have ever seen in my life appeared in front of my eyes: a spectacular view of the unique architectural structures of Salzburg and the surrounding countryside, while two other countries (Germany and Switzerland) lay just beyond the mountains in the distance. Our team stayed on top of the fortress for some time, posed for multiple TPOs and eventually made our way back down the fortress. We spent a couple of hours around Salzburg’s “Old Town,” buying a few souvenirs when I was startled to find that my teammate Santiago Montoya had snuck up behind me and pulled my shorts down in front of a large crowd. I finished purchasing my gift, and deemed to retaliate on my teammate at some point over the next week or so.
Finally we made our way back to the hotel around 6 p.m., where most of the team crashed immediately and some even slept through the night with no break in between. Eric, Brett Helgeson, and I decided to get a good meal at the hotel and head back to the room afterwards. With no phone or alarm clock in our rooms, we were awakened on Saturday by the knock of Coach Bayliss at our door with plenty of time to spare for packing, breakfast, and hopefully a great trip to Vienna ahead.