We write to you from the cold of the midwest, wishing we could go back to explore more stadiums, watch more matches and see more of what Europe has to offer. Our last few days in Munich were a great conclusion to our class and our trip.
On Sunday, the day after we went to the Bayern Munich match, we went to an open training session. The atmosphere was much different than it was at Ajax. Spectators were quiet and attentive to the players’ every move. Because it was a day after a game, the players who started the match were not practicing, but we were fortunate to see a few well known players, including James Rodriguez and Thomas Muller. Many of our classmates took pictures and had things signed by players after the training as well. After the training session, most of the class headed to the city center to eat and walk around.
Monday we went to Dachau Concentration Camp, the only concentration camp that was open and functioning the entire twelve years of the war. It was a somber and valuable experience and an important look into the history of Germany. After Dachau, we returned to the hotel before much of the class returned again to the city center, and it is important to note the top notch chocolate covered strawberries that were consumed.
Tuesday, our final day, started with presentations about our final essays. In these essays, we either applied our experiences and readings and thought about the ways in which we, as a coach, would prepare to coach the team of our dreams, or we looked at ways in which football and mediated football can be critically approached. It was really interesting to hear each person’s perspective of what they took away from our 23 days in Europe.
Our final free afternoons were filled with chocolate covered strawberries, visiting Olympiapark, more exploring, and taking in some German culture. We ended the trip with one final group dinner before we went back to the hotel to pack up our bags. We left our hotel at 5:40 a.m. Munich time and made it to Minneapolis around 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. It is nice to be home and not wearing the same clothes we have been wearing for the past three weeks, but it was a truly incredible experience.
In our post game interviews, we asked about favorite memories from the trip, and these are some of the memories to note:
- Ajax training and game
- Bayern Munich game
- Eating fish and chips
- Exploring Brussels
- Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House
- Training at St. Georges Park and the KNVB
We’d like to thank our fans, (yes, that includes you for being a dedicated follower of our blogs), our coaches, our families, and most importantly, our teammates, for getting us to where we are today.
In the words of Sir Bobby Robson, “I’m here to say goodbye--maybe not goodbye, but farewell.”
Claire and Meredith