Editor’s Note: The Kansas State volleyball team is in on a European tour to prepare for the 2010 season. After completing their stay in each of three cities, one Wildcat will share their experiences with you. This is the final installment of the journal entries with sophomore setter Caitlyn Donahue on her experiences leaving Slovenia and in Venice, Italy.
VENICE, Italy – If you were to ask our team about this European trip, the one thing that most of the girls would say they were looking forward to would be traveling to Venice. After wonderful experiences in both Hungary and Slovenia, these two days in Venice have been nothing less than the perfect ending to our European experience. We took off for Venice yesterday morning, and our first stop was the Postajnska Jama (cave). It was an experience that none of us will ever forget. The size and beauty of the largest cave in Europe was absolutely breathtaking. Upon our arrival we took a small train to the inner most part of the limestone cave, and then by foot we were able to explore the rest of the cave which was approximately the length of 68 football fields. There was a bit of excitement within the cave as the tour guides surprised us all by turning off the lights in the cave and engulfing us all in total darkness. After a momentary “freak out” the lights turned back on and we were able to continue our journey. After that we hopped back on the bus and drove towards Lignano, Italy. Our bus stopped here and the girls and I were able to walk around the beach area and stand at the shore of the Adriatic Sea. Here we were able to experience our first taste of Italian pizza, gelato and affectionate Italian culture. We arrived at the hotel shortly after our beach experience and the girls and I got all dressed up for our first dinner in Venice. Although we had already eaten pizza and gelato for lunch, we were more than happy to indulge in another serving of pizza and gelato for our dinner, so we did just that. This morning we visited the Murano glass factory. We were treated to a special tour of the factory, and were given a private show by one of the artists, and I can honestly say it was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip! We were able to run around Venice for a little bit this afternoon to collect any last-minute souvenirs and gifts for our families and friends. After a quick dinner we headed to the gym to take on our last opponent of the trip. After a well-deserved victory, the Cats and I joined our new friends in an authentic Italian “get together” on the back porch at the gym. It was so neat to talk to the girls and compare the differences between our cultures and volleyball. But all in all they were just the same as us. Although they lived almost 24 hours away, they shared the same passion for the sport of volleyball, and we were able to connect with them as if they were our own teammates.
Signing out from Venice,
Kansas State Volleyball