We have finished our visits to the Czech Republic and Austria ICs with our Bahamas IC teammates and friends. Next stop ... Slovenia. More about that down below but first, a bit of a recap of our IC visits.
Prague was delightful. If you like beer, bread, sausages, meat and potatoes, you’ll be in heaven. There were some very good wines and other culinary treats, but the beer stood out as incomparable to what we’ve drunk elsewhere in our travels around the world.
We spent a couple of days sightseeing - went to Prague castle (very impressive), walked the Charles Bridge and took in a concert played by members of the Prague National Orchestra and held in the house where much of the film “Amadeus” was shot. How lovely to listen to Mozart’s music in such a beautiful setting.
Mas’s matches went well: 5 wins in as many doubles matches, playing with 5 different partners. Sue, unfortunately spent the second day of play in bed with a stomach bug so couldn’t help the team in their quest for victory. In the end, our team from the Bahamas managed to come in 5th, beating out the USA who finished last. Australia was the winner this year with Uruguay, Czech Republic and Hungary coming in 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. We left with heartfelt goodbyes and promises to meet again soon!
Take-aways from Prague:
We traveled with the rest of our Bahamas IC team to Vienna, Austria by coach on Sunday. Unlike the buses at home, there was a stewardess on board along with the driver. Free WiFi at a remarkably fast speed (you know how important that is to Mas), free hot drinks and cold drinks and food for purchase, a TV at every seat with free movies, TV and games. It was a 4 hour trip … about the same amount of time as traveling by air considering the time you spend getting to the airport, security checks and getting into the city from the airport!
Our Austrian IC friends picked us up at the central bus terminal and whisked us off to the tennis club for apple strudel and whipped cream … totally decadent and delicious! We didn’t mind the calories since there would be lots of tennis for the next two days although the weather was looking a bit doubtful treating us to a lighting show, thunder and torrential rain while we ate and caught up with our Austrian friends and met many new ones.
The next day dawned sunny and calm - perfect tennis weather. Mas distinguished himself only losing his singles in 3 hard fought sets to a player 10 years his junior who is ranked 3 in the Men's 55s in Austria, then went on to win his mixed doubles with Sue once again in 3 hard fought sets. Lunch was a welcome break but failed to provide the necessary calorific energy to make much of an impact in his final men’s doubles which he and Kit (our Bahamas captain) lost 6-1, 6-1. The only good thing being that the match was quickly over! Unfortunately for our team, our mixed doubles victory was the Bahamas team’s only victory as everybody else was defeated either by the Uruguayans or the Austrians. No matter ... the competition was good and everybody had a great day of tennis.
We have now arrived in Koper, Slovenia to play our first ITF tournament. From Vienna, we flew to Venice, Italy, rented a car and drove for about 2 hours to Koper on the Adriatic Coast - how exciting. Our accommodation is equally exciting as we rented an apartment through Airbnb and now we get to go grocery shopping (always an experience in foreign parts) and, even better, do laundry!
Mas Kimball has been a pro at Farm Neck since 2006. He & his wife, Sue, have traveled throughout the United States and internationally ... mostly to play tennis.
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