Hawkeyes in Greece: VanderPol Blog

May 28, 2007

ATHENS, GREECE – – The Iowa women’s basketball team got its first taste of bad weather in Greece today as the Hawkeyes woke up to clouds filled with rain. The team was excited for its tour of the Acropolis, but the rain put a damper on the festivities.

Due to the inclement weather, Iowa rescheduled its tour of the Acropolis for Tuesday and instead took a bus tour around the city and viewed the 1896 and 2004 Olympic Stadiums. Then, the group split up and had some free time to visit the Plaka.

The skies cleared by mid-afternoon and the Hawkeyes took advantage of the break in the weather as the team hiked up a large cliff that overlooked the beautiful city of Athens. Many would say that the views today and tonight eclipsed Saturday’s tour of the Metora Monasteries. Today’s photo gallery is another must see.

Junior Nicole VanderPol talks more in depth about today’s events as she shares her experiences. The Hawkeyes will sightsee again tomorrow morning and then prepare and compete against the Greek National Team in its second of three exhibition contests. The game will be in the same gymnasium as Sunday and will again start at 8:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. CDT). Wednesday’s blog will come from JoAnn Hamlin.

Also, Abby Emmert is writing a blog every other day that is appearing on the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s web site. If you’d like to check it out, go to www.gazetteonline.com, scroll down to the blog section and click on When in Greece: A blog by Iowa’s Abby Emmert.

As always, daily photo galleries are being uploaded to hawkeyesports.com, so for maximum and exclusive coverage of the Hawkeye women’s trip to Greece click on Greece Central to follow the team’s adventures. Sorry for the delay, but the video postcards from this weekend will be posted on tomorrow (Tuesday).

The audio and video clips are free, but all visitors to Hawkeye All-Access, the multi-media pages of hawkeyesports.com, need to register.

Hello from Greece!

We just arrived back from a gorgeous hike up Mount Lycabettus, which is a mountain in the middle of the city that overlooks the beautiful city of Athens. In order to reach the top we had a 25 minute hike up a hundred or so stairs. It was all worth it once we finally reached the top. Overlooking the entire city of Athens with the Acropolis, the very first modern Olympic Stadium and the Aegean Sea in the background was truly breathtaking. What topped the experience off was the beautiful sunset in the background. Let’s just say I have never taken so many pictures in my life. Being able to see the sunset in Athens is one experience I will never forget!

However, the day did not start out all that well. We had a full day planned of touring the city and visiting The Acropolis. However, Mother Nature did not corporate very well. We had some unexpected heavy rain and had to quickly change our original plans. We ended up seeing the stadium of the first Olympic Games, and the site of the 2004 Olympic Games. We then had the option of going to the National Archeological Museum or Attica, the largest department store in Greece. Since I had already visited the Museum the day before, I opted for the department store to do a little shopping. I was a little disappointed when I left the store. I was hoping to maybe purchase a few things for my sisters and myself. However, because my sisters and I are not 5’5 like Kristi Smith, we were unable to find anything. Kristi on the other hand bought some great stuff and I am slightly jealous. After the department store, we dropped some people off at the Plaka, and the rest of us came back to the hotel. Since it was still raining outside it was perfect timing to jump into my comfy bed and read my book. When the rain finally cleared up, a couple of us players decided to head down to the Plaka to finish up our shopping.

Since we did not get to the Acropolis today, we are going tomorrow! Tomorrow night we have our second game against the Greek National Team. Our first game did not have the outcome we would have liked, however good things came from it. We were able to try the new defenses we had been practicing in the 10 days of practice leading up to this trip, and we were able to start our ’07-’08 season!

We still have so much to do and so much to see this week! Wednesday we go on a cruise of the Greek Islands. The islands are very popular among tourists. Then on Thursday we leave this beautiful city of Athens and head to Vouliagmeni. Well, I am about ready to head up to the rooftop pool and relax a little in the hot tub.

Go Hawks!

Nicole VanderPol