Penn State Field Hockey Holland Trip: Day Five
Day Five in Holland as told by Field Hockey student-athletes Shay Cannon and Delani Higgins
May 12, 2016
The Penn State women's field hockey team, under the direction of head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss, has embarked on a nine-day, five-city exhibition tour of The Netherlands, playing five games against a variety of competition in the most renowned field hockey country in the world. Through the student-athletes' own words and pictures, the #PSUFH2Holland daily blog chronicles their adventures on and off the field.
Days 5 & 6, May 11-12
Shay Cannon, junior, Wilmington, Del.
"Hi everyone! On Wednesday we arrived in Utrecht with the luxury of yet another beautiful sunny day. We are staying at a hotel in central city. Our hotel is very modern and contemporary along with luxurious rooms and great views. It only takes about five minutes to get to Central Station, which we must walk through to get to central city. As Emilee Ehret described in yesterday's blog, we have had the opportunity to tour all that this city has to offer.
"On Wednesday night we enjoyed dinner in the city with different groups of teammates. Some of us ate at Smaak Eten & Drinken. I've noticed many stores and restaurants here are very small. Eten & Drinken was no different. I was very surprised to walk into a restaurant with a single cozy-sized room consisting of about 10 tables. It looked like a room in a house! Despite the size of the restaurant, we unanimously decided it was the best meal each of us has had thus far. Some entrees included steak, salmon, spare ribs and tortellini, all with a Dutch spin. After dinner we enjoyed gelatos while others searched for the infamous Dutch stroopwafel and ice cream.
"I've quickly learned you always have to be on the look out for bikers and mopeds (the primary sources of transportation). If you give them an inch, they will take it. Bikers do not slow down for those who are walking! Traveling through this city, I felt like I was in a movie strolling through the cobble streets along the canals listening to live guitar music. Nowhere in Delaware have I experienced this! The Dutch culture is breath-taking. Although it is different than what I'm accusomed to, I could definitely get used to it!"
Shay Cannon (left) and Skyler Fretz had a rockin' good time touring Utrecht.
Delani Higgins, Hummelstown, Pa.
"Hi everyone! It's Thursday afternoon and we've had a busy day so far in advance of our game tonight at the Leidenscheen Oegstgesster Hockey Club in Oeggstgesst, Holland. We spent most of the daytime today trekking around the city center of Utrecht. The city is built on the canal, so there are so many great opportunities to get a look at how the people of Utrecht spend their time and get a glimpse of their culture.
"On Thursday morning, the two teams split into two separate groups for a morning expedition to an 'Escape Room' - a room in which you get locked in with your group and you receive different clues to find your way out within a time limit of an hour. It's a good team-building exercise, with an emphasis on communication ad collaboration.
"I was lucky enough to be in the second group, so we slept in a bit longer that the first group. To get there, we ventured through the train station to the Dom Tower, where we met with our tour guide, Judith, who took us the rest of the way to a place called 'Mysteria,' where the escape room was located. The room was medieval-themed and right beside the canal -- so it was below street level. As the first group finished, our teammates were not allowed to give us any clues. But they did freak us by saying how scary it was down there. That did not relax our nerves at all.
"The leader of Mysteria came out and invited us into a little room in the canal wall. The room was tiny and the man was wearing an outfit that reminded me of the wizard in Fantasia. He told us that he was a part of a 1500s society led by Cornelius Foxeus, who had learned the gift of living forever. He said that back in that time people did not like that kind of magic and that they had to live in the tunnels of the canal bridges ever since.
"We were then blindfolded and led into the escape room. We were all handcuffed to metal rods in a wall and locked into the room. 'The Voice of Cornelius Foxeus' told us we could take our blindfolds off to start our attempt to escape. If we escaped in time, we could become a part of that society that lives forever, if not...well, you get locked in there forever. We took our blindfolds off and eventually worked our way out of the handcuffs. We got clues on how to escape by looking through books, standing on stones to make doors open and placing compasses on the right spot on a map. My favorites were placing the chess pieces on the right place on the board and lining up mirrors to let a light shine through to expose another clue.
"Suspenseful music played the entire time, as my teammates wore monk costumes in hopes of gaining clues -- we didn't get clues, but we did end up looking ridiculous. At one point, Brooke Birosik thought there was a clue in the attic. She wasn't tall enough to reach the door, so she got Shay Cannon to open it. A taxidermy fox fell from the top and scared all of us.
"To finish the game, we had to translate shapes and numbers into the correct letters. We then put the letters into a lock that looked like it came from the movie 'The DaVinci Code.' Unfortunately, neither group was able to finish the last code as each team missed a different letter. Thankfully, Cornelius Foxeus could see how hard we worked to get to the last clue, so the didn't lock us up in there forever. It was a fun experience and at the end we all tried on medieval clothes and took pictures.
"The rest of the afternoon was ours to shop, stroll the sidewalks of Utrecht, take kayaks up and down the canal, and grab lunch. A couple of us decided to look through a 'make-your-own jewelry' store down the street from the escape room. We then got Italian pizza at a restaurant along the canal, which was amazing. From there, we found our way back to the hotel to rest up for the game. I'm excited to see what tonight's game and the trip have in store!"
Under blue and white
skies, Delani Higgins takes a canal-side selfie.
Left to right, in Utrecht: Skyler Fretz, Delani Higgins, Gini Bremley, Kirsten Gouchnauer, Shay Cannon and Mary Nell Smith.
Team members dressed up in medieval-style costiumes as part of the Mysteria escape room experience.
Shay Cannon enjoys dining outside along the canals of Utrecht.