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DOYLESTOWN JUNIOR RUGBY CLUB HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS
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Day 3, Cardiff- WRU Training, Millennium Stadium and the Bay
 

Today was our third and final day in Cardiff, Wales. We started out the day training with the Welsh Rugby Union. Training with Chris, Tom, Owen, and Cameron, was a very positive experience and we learned a lot useful information and techniques. After the girls cleaned, up 19 members of the tour went and toured the Millennium (Principality) Stadium. We were lucky enough to be able to go into the locker rooms and hear an inspirational speech from a coach, walk through the tunnel leading onto the pitch, the Press Room, the Presidential Suite, and the small hospitality suite. We also learned how darn expensive renting a hospitality suite is.

The remaining eight took the time to go and explore the Doctor Who Experience. Both groups enjoyed themselves.

Then the 19 members headed to the Cardiff Bay area to meet up with the other eight members of the tour. Some of the girls pretended they were five and got ice cream and rode the carousel, which was located right next to Cardiff Bay. Afterwards, we boarded back onto the bus and headed into central Cardiff. Everyone got some last minute shopping in. We returned to the hotel for dinner. The girls are getting ready and rested for our long day tomorrow.

~Mackenzie and Sam T

 
Day 4 in Bath and Stonehenge
 

Day Number Four,

We adventured out of our beloved Park Inn hotel and filed into the tour bus. As we waved good bye to the hotel we set our goals high for Baths The bus squeezed between nooks and crannies on the roads of England, and many nested in the seats. We soon arrived to the Baths of England. As we entered glorious Roman remains, we were humbled by the awe inspiring architecture and left breathless by the beautiful baths. We were fortunate enough to be able to taste the clear, healing water, flowing from deep within the ground, heated by the Earth itself. Many did not desire the taste of the mineral saturated water (the mineral content was primarily sulphate, calcium, chloride, sodium and bicarbonate). As we ended the tour of the Baths, we adventured into the streets of Bath. Some took to food while others splashed around the shops. (Some also “held” pigeons) We collected again in front of the abbey and the baths. We filed into the beautiful Abbey. We were amazed at the wonders that laid within the building. The rest of the hours we wandered the streets. We filed into the bus again and took to the trail to the “Stones”. As we drove to Stonehenge the anticipation was palpable as we eagerly searched the horizon for the magnificent rocks. However we couldn’t see them until we had taken another bus to the formation. As we arrived, many scurried ahead to get pictures of the mysterious boulders. As we wandered around the stones many branched off to wonder alone, while others stuck together. Only a handful took the 20 minute walk back down the rolling hills towards the center. Looking over the amazing hills of greener and farms that lined the horizon. Lastly we all took to the bus one more time to ride to our new luxurious hotel in London.

Tune in tomorrow to read more about how DTown takes on the UK.

~Courtney & Rayna

 
Day 1... Departure and Arrival
 

Good afternoon faithful travel followers! Today has been fantastic, although slightly exhausting. We left Philly at around 8 PM on Friday night and time travelled to London at approximately 7 AM, from there we traveled by bus to Cardiff, Wales (another 2.5 hour trip!) for an exciting Six Nations match. Wales played Italy in their last match of the 6 Nations tournament. We were able to watch Wales crush Italy, laugh with good friends, and experience some awesome Welsh music. A mens choir and marching band sang and played a few songs before the match, including both national anthems. After the match we were able to take a scenic walk to our bus and travel back to our hotel for some much needed rest, relaxation, and showers. We are all so excited to be spending this time together and it is awesome to be able to strengthen our team through this amazing opportunity. Stay tuned for more updates as the days go by! Tomorrow we go to Cardiff Castle and play our first rugby match against the Cardiff Blues RFC.

Liv

 
Cardiff Day 2
 

Today was the second day of some GREAT jet lag. We all started off touring Cardiff Castle in the center of Cardiff, Wales. Most of us went to the top of the “Keep” and broke off throughout the rest of the main buildings to explore. The “Keep” overlooked the moat and we could see Principality Stadium from behind the castle. Many of us walked through the Cardiff Castle wall which had been converted into a bomb shelter during World War II. Propaganda posters lined the walls and an air raid siren came through speakers.

After Cardiff castle, we ventured off in groups and went to many different places. Some favorite things we found included the Welsh Lovespoons, a Catholic Church (entering late on Palm Sunday and getting mean looks from the people), the rugby shops, Head above the Waves, and multiple tea shops. Welsh Lovespoons are wooden spoons which were to given to loved ones, and are now given to friends and loved ones. Head above the Waves is a little shop inside of an Arcade. An Arcade for in Wales is like a pass through mall lined with little shops.

After travelling through Cardiff, we travelled our first rugby the game against the Cardiff Harlequins. We had a hard first half facing bridging and some tough players from the “quins”. We borrowed three fantastic players overall but played a great second half. We suffered a loss but worked hard (72-39). The social was cool in the clubhouse. We spent the time trying Welsh foods, such as crisps (just chips with odd flavors like prawn and cheese, onion and cheese, and cheese and bacon) and Welsh marshmallows and chocolates. Google proved that our American “Lays” chips came before their “Walkers” crisps, which had the exact same logo. We compared cultures, languages, school systems, and even more FOOD. We exchanged shirts and *RUGBY* necklaces. Shout out to our talented bus driver whose last day was today.

-Amelia and Keeley

 
Day 5 and 6
 

Day 5: Windsor Castle and Berksire Barbarians

Wow what a day 5! Getting stuck in 3 and a half hour traffic on the M25 made for a great afternoon of team bonding. We played a very intense game of Heads Up in two groups, and have great video of the girls taking turns and the rest trying to sing and hum the song so they could guess it. Caution -video mode is for non pro singers!  After we finally got off the bus we went and took pictures in front of the Windsor castle, then got a little bite to eat. Windsor castle is a big, stone, castle that the Queen of England sometimes lives at. When we went to Windsor castle, we got selfies with the guards. Then off we went on the bus again to go play fantastic game against Berkshire Barbarians in Reading. At the social, we learned gibberish from the English girls. They were super friendly and very British. Two of their players, identical twins, played with the team. Their accents were awesome. They also thought our “accents” were awesome. Um, what accents? I (Kylie) also taught the British girls how to whip. It was great fun. Haha, God bless America. We had a late but very enjoyable night!!

~Sarah and Kylie

 

Day 6: London travels

 We had a very eventful day. First, we woke up and had breakfast, which consisted of eggs, sausage, bacon, and most importantly baked beans. Then, we packed the bus and went on our way to London. We started off with a walking tour guided by Steve. We were at Buckingham Palace to witness the changing of the guards, which was great. We traveled to Trafalgar Square and then we saw Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Parliament building. From there, the group split up and went on different journeys. Some went on a river boat and saw the London Bridge and the Tower Bridge. Others went on the London Eye, a 450 foot Ferris wheel that overlooks London, and moves very slow. Some people made it to Platform 9 ¾ and we bought some things at the Harry Potter store. But…through that emotional journey, Kylie Corless wore a…Paris, France shirt…in London England. During the adventures, each group got lost, but were reunited at the end at the Marble Arch. For example, Sophia’s group went through “the tube” (London Underground) and struggled with finding the right way back to the group.  But we are all safe and sound in the hotel now. It was “rainy and dreary and gloomy all day” (Sophia). We saw a lot of cute dogs. Anyway, uhm… we went back to the hotel exhausted, where we then had dinner… Which consisted of chicken, carrot soup, potatoes, veggies, prawns and some really good pasta. Smh. And then finally, we went into the hotel lobby and wrote this. Good night.

~Sophia and Brynn

 
Day 7… Friday and our final game
 

Sam K, Alex P, Mia W, and Julia V were due to write the last two blog sessions, but we did not get a chance to make it happen.

Friday, the last day of our UK tour was a great day. We started out with a tour of Twickenham stadium, the home of England Rugby. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and had a GREAT singing voice. We learned all about the history of rugby in England, and got to visit various areas of the stadium, inclubing a hospitality booth, the President’s suite, the locker room and even the field! Everyone had to try to touch it. The field, like in Cardiff at Principality Stadium, is a blend of natural and synthetic grasses. It is maintained by grounds-staff and in the height of the season, the grass is mowed twice a day by push mowers. The person mowing walks 7 miles in one session. We were able to visit the store after the tour and pick up lots of souvenirs. Then it was back into London where we split into groups to fit in one more attraction. Some rode the London Eye, some took the boat cruise, and some made it to the Tower Bridge.

Following our last two hours in London, the team made the ride to St. Albans, where we played our last game against the Old Albanians U19 girls. Their fields and club house were gorgeous, and the referee told me that the locals call it the “Yacht House”. It is where the team, Saracens, practices. We started the game with three of the OA players, who were happy to join Doylestown, after getting over how tight our jerseys are. LOL Overall, we borrowed several players from the, cycling them into different positions. The game play was great, but we were once again beaten by fast runners who made breakaways on the outside edges of the field. However, the Old Albanians players really enjoyed our team and later told Sam K that we were one of the best games they’re played all year.

 

Overall, we lost every match, but learned a lot. We were able to move people around in different positions, and came together as a club. Doylestown U19 girls are definitely looking forward to the Spring 2016 season, and are ready to kick some butt!

Happy Easter, and THANK YOU to Steve and Wynn, our EPL Tour guide and fearless bus driver!