The Ursinus College men's basketball team is spending 10 days in Portugal and Spain, the squad's first trip abroad since going to Iceland, Amsterdam, Bruges, and Paris in 2015. Follow this page to keep up with their travels as the Bears report back to the States with a blog entry every day from the Iberian Peninsula.
Senior guard Eric Williams Jr. reports on the Bears' journey, which got off to a rough start as their flight from Philadelphia was delayed. As usual, they managed to keep a positive attitude.
Day 1: Finally International
The Bears are finally international! They had a rough go-around last night. The flight was delayed and everyone needed to de-plane around 10:15pm. The next available plane didn't come until 1:00 a.m. During that delay time the Bears played a series of games to keep us busy and our fellow passengers entertained. Games consisted of tag, soccer with a water bottle, football with a water bottle, and two brief dance shows which were applauded by numerous people. The Bears found a way to have a great time while having a possibility of not even getting a flight. Nothing was going to dampen the excitement.
Days 2-3: Kayaking and taste testing
The Bears were successful in their first game against a professional Portuguese team, Immortal. The final score was 99-67. Prior to the game, the Bears spent most of the day sea kayaking. For many, it was a rough time in the open sea paddling with a partner but one thing for sure is that everyone had a great time.
Day 3 kicked off with a taste testing tour. The Bears started with a bruschetta topped with sardines and oranges. Then there was a brief tour of historic buildings and structures of Faro, a small historical fishing village. The next taste was super fresh goat cheese. We learned it was made less than 24 hours ago and the lemonade was made upon our arrival.
We then learned a few things about the history of Portugal. We found out that Portugal has been ruled by Great Britain, Spain, the Arabs, the Phoenicians (who founded Faro), and even China for a short time. We then proceeded to eat a whole sardine, maize, clams, and fresh squeezed orange juice. The tour ended with a unique dessert tasting. There was passion fruit and a sweet pastry. This has truly been a great experience and will only get better and better.
Day 4: Paddle Boarding and Game #2
The Bears kicked off their last full day in the Algarve with some free time to explore and enjoy the beach. The weather has been perfect each and every day so far!
After the free time the Bears went paddle boarding before their second game. There were way more people who were able to stand on the paddle board than anybody expected. It quickly turned into a competition of who could stand the longest. On the paddle boarding excursion the Bears had a tour of a few coves and famous beaches.
In the second game of the international trip, against Algarve Select, the Bears won 89-62 and improved to 2-0. It has been a great experience to play against professional athletes.
Tomorrow we head to Seville, Spain bright and early. Everyone is super excited to experience another place!
Days 5-7: Seville
The Bears left Algarve and headed to Seville on Friday, August 10th. It was about a 4-hour trip, but it was well worth it because the Bears loved Seville. They went on a couple separate tours where they visited the Cathedral of Seville and the Real Alcazar of Seville (where Dorne in Game of Thrones was shot). The Bears also saw a famous Spanish dance called Flamenco and gave it a standing ovation at the end. Paired with awesome views and a nice hotel, the trip kept getting better!