April 13th Day Off in Switzerland – We are Tourists

Blog entry #7

We enjoyed a day off today which was great! We have been going pretty hard since we started camp on April 2nd. It does feel like forever ago that we were facing each other in an exhausting 3 days – 3 game series!

After breakfast, I ventured out into town with Kim St-Pierre, Charline Labonté, Marie-Philip Poulin (my 3 lovely roommates from the 2009-2010 Olympic year) and Catherine Ward. We walked around shopping for everything and nothing at the same time. One thing we knew we wanted for sure was Swiss Chocolate. We spent about 10 minutes going through the 30+ kinds of chocolate available identifying the ones we could find back at home and making sure we were not selecting those. About 20 Francs later, we came out with our chocolate!

We then went for lunch to this wonderful Italian restaurant for traditional pizzas we had been craving for days! It was indeed delicious, so was the coke zero we spoiled ourselves to. After lunch, I was going to propose to play the ‘’Credit Card Game’’ to identify who would be the lucky person to pay the lunch bill. But Kim beat me to it, I was glad to accept and already eager for the excitement and adrenaline that game brings out of me. The ‘’Credit Card Game’’ is simple; we each put our credit card into a basket and ask our waiter to pick the cards one by one. The last card in the basket pays the full bill! It is not even that I am so scared that I would have to pay, I simply do not want to lose! Our waiter happily agreed to play the game which made it exciting. She asked: ‘’ Do you Canadians always pay the bill this way?’’ Us thinking we wished we had enough money to always play the game! Kim’s card came out first, which is a blessing for her, she seemed to have had her share of occasions where she was the buyer in the past. Charlie’s came out second. Charlie is famous for having to pay the largest bills we have had in the past! Then it was the turn of our youngest, Marie-Philip, to be saved for the day. Left were Catherine’s and my card. I used to be famous for never having to pay… well not anymore! Kim instantly wished she had taken an appetizer and a dessert! At least, lunch was fantastic even if i am lighter of 150 francs!  I guess it is never too harsh to pay for great friends! But someday I’ll get my revenge!

We were back at the hotel for a 2:30pm departure for a mysterious sightseeing outing! We took the bus to the Rhine Falls (Rheinfall in  German), the largest plain waterfalls in Europe, meaning that it had the largest waterflow, The falls are located on the High Rhine between the municipalities of Neuhausen and Rheinfall and Laufen-Uhwiesen. They are 150m wide and 23m high. Interestingly, the falls cannot be climbed by fish, except by eels that are able to worm their way up over the rocks. The falls are not spectacular in the same way that Niagra Falls are. But what is intriguing is the many, changing views of a tremendous amount of river water cascading over rocks. I can say that I would not have wanted to be in that water, especially considering my non-existent swimming skills! We also visited the castle Schlössli Wörth. Schlössli Wörth was first mentioned in documents in the 13th century and owes its name to the location on a small water-washed Island.

We ended our day with a nice team dinner at an italian restaurant where we enjoyed bruschetta, salad, veal, gnocchi, and risotto. Spoiled by Hockey Canada, I did not have to worry about the bill this time! I had a great dinner with Charline, Kim, Marie-Philip, Tessa Bonhomme, and Meghan Agosta remembering great moments from the Vancouver Olympic training year. We have great memories from games we won but we mostly remember moments that happen away from the rink when we were gathered together in a social setting. This is when we build friendship and therefore a team that care about one another on the ice. Dinners like tonight, we talk about for years. Exhibition game against Sweden tomorrow! I look forward to play!