Stanford Arrives in Rome, Italy

June 15, 2006

Welcome to 'Stanford's Women's Volleyball Trip to Europe'. During the next 14 days, the nationally-ranked Cardinal will embark on a trip that will take the team to Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia. The trip will include days of sightseeing to some of the most beautiful parts of the world, in addition to playing seven matches against some of the top teams in Europe. Each member of the Stanford women's volleyball team has been asked to their experiences during the trip. Internet access is extremely limited in this part of the world, but we will try to keep you updated throughout the trip as best as posssible. Today's first installment will be written by senior outside hitter Nji Nnamani.

'It's FINALLY JUNE 14th! The day that my teammates and I have been waiting for. The anxiety for the European Tour has been building like a snowball going down a mountain in the Alps! On the bus ride to the airport, it was obvious that most of us have turned off our brains...I heard someone whisper 'where are we going?'

The flight from San Francisco to Munich, Germany was 11 hours! But believe it or not, it went by quickly. Most of us used it as a time to recover from the lack of sleep during finals week. One thing I immediately noticed in the Munich Airport was that soccer has taken over the world! There were numerous billboards, signs, flags and jerseys worn everywhere. This World Cup fever has even spread to an airport lingerie store where they were selling Ronoldo underwear, and bras with a Brazilian flag.

We all expected to have a 'short' layover in Munich, but boy were we wrong! After half the plane was boarded, an announcement was made to get off the plane. We later found out that the plane could not be boarded because there was no pilot or flight crew in the plane. In my eyes, not having a crew or pilot is just a minor setback. If the crew was unavailable, I knew I could fly the plane. On second thought, that would be a terrible idea since I struggle to find El Camino Road in Palo Alto.

To kill time, we decided to watch David Beckham...I mean England (of course) play against Trinidad and Tobago. It is unbelievable how much people love soccer in Europe and the rest of the world. Waitresses, janitors and random people would stop what they were doing to watch a soccer game. Soccer gets more love than 12-year-old girls at a 'N SYNC that's A LOT OF LOVE.

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