Friday, August 21, 2009

The End of a Swiss Trip

Well I finished up my Swiss trip and I'm back in good ol' Austin. The trip finished up nicely but I'll start from where I left off.

We raced the last weekend in Bern.Saturday, a women's UCI Italian team came out, Selle Italia, and a few Bigla and Cervelo girls came out. It was a 4-lap circuit race with two climbs per lap- one longer, gentler one (still steep by Texas standards) and one short and very steep one. The steep one didn't go so well for me. My abilities right now aren't quite there, but maybe next year. I did catch back on after the first time through but then couldn't make it up again with the group. I finished two minutes down from the group, so it wasn't the end of the world and I guess I'm getting pretty good at time trialing by myself ;-)

Sunday was an 8-lap circuit race with a 300-meter pretty steep climb. I ended up basically doing the whole thing alone again but the team did well and won the race. It's a bit discouraging with how the last few races went but I have to look at the progress I've made this year and how long I've been racing and training. I'm happy with the improvements for the year and now I know where I am lacking and what I need to do for next year. It was sad saying good bye to the team Sunday but I think we'll keep in touch and hopefully I'll get an opportunity to see them again. Everyone was so awesome and their awesomeness really made the trip extraordinary.

Shannon, Peter, and I opted for a touristy finish to the trip and packed up the bikes for the remaining three days. Monday was Peter and my long-awaited Zurich tourist date day. We headed to downtown Zurich and walked around Bahnhofstrasse (used to the world's most expensive shopping street), old town Zurich, and the lake. We went in a few famous cathedrals like the Grossmuenster. It was a super fun day with super awesome company ;-) We were so exhausted when we got home at 9pm from all the walking.

Tuesday was another busy day, starting with a trip with Shannon, Peter, Rebekka (Benji's sister), and I to visit Benji in the hospital. He had gotten surgery on his nose so he can breathe again. He had this really nice single hospital room and I swear it was nicer than the average hotel. We just had a two hour dance party and said our farewells. In the afternoon, Shannon and Rebekka went shopping and Peter and I took a boat ride on Lake Zurich. It was really relaxing. It was pretty warm the last few days in Zurich. While it was only 32 degrees Celcuis, that ends up being pretty warm when there is no A/C anywhere and buildings are even warmer with no fans either. Phew.

Boat Ride

In the evening, we met with Shannon and Daniel downtown for our night out. First we went to a traditional Swiss restaurant. Peter got this crazy beer that they light on fire. It was pretty cool. After we went to a bar that was on the roof of a building that overlooked the whole city at night. It was really cool. We later went to this other bar across the city called Pure Pure where the waiter was hilarious. We had lots of laughs and fun that evening. I'm glad we got to go out like that once during the trip and once was probably enough for me and for my wallet (everything is so expensive in Switzerland!).
Shannon and Daniel...they don't get along haha

Peter and I

Wednesday Shannon and I left Weiach in the early afternoon after a delicious curry lunch made by Benji's mom. We got back to Embrach and packed up our stuff and our bikes. In the evening, Daniel came back to Embrach and picked us up for a movie in downtown Zurich again. We saw "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp. After the move we came back to Embrach and said our farewells :-(

After a missed alarm, we got to the airport a little late and got to struggle getting checked in and going through security and all that fun stuff. The plane ride itself was pretty uneventful besides a proliferation of small, screaming, and seat-kicking children on the flight (which means no sleep). We arrived in Atlanta where we spent an hour and a half going through customs. They were a bit suspicious about me bringing Haribo gummy bears back. Haha. I got to my flight just a minute or two before we started boarding and enjoyed a very turbulent flight back to Austin (no sleep there either).

Tammy picked me up from the airport and we went straight to the Driveway where I saw friends :-) It was so hot with capris on, but I guess that's Austin for ya. It was lovely seeing everyone and I'm looking forward to more hanging out tonight. I got back to the explosion that is my new house. It's going to be a lot of work to get unpacked before school starts but I think it can happen. I was so tired and couldn't get my mattress, so just fell asleep on the floor on a blanket at 9:45pm.

Today is just a day of getting internet stuff done (like getting internet for the house!), starting unpacking and moving furniture, and a welcome home party in the evening. It's nice to be home though!

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