Over 65's AGGM - 2014 World Cup
30th May 2014, Barcelona
Day 2. The chronic insomniacs have their way once again as team 65 assembles for an early morning start to their first full day in Barcelona. Coach Clacko cracks the whip as we set off on foot to stretch the legs, around the local streets adjacent to the main Railway Station which was to be the scene of a bomb scare the next night when a posse of Policia, blue lights flashing, surround the perimeter with helicopters buzzing overhead. We head for the fashionable Real Club de Apollo de Barcelona for hockey training and abbreviated games against Spain 60's masquerading as a Barcelona team, and against Australian Grand Masters 60's.
Those of the fairer gender show that there are better ways of spending their morning and take the open topped red tourist bus route for a thumbnail sketch of some of the sights of Barcelona, including glimpses of Gaudi's architectural eccentricity. Timing their arrival at the Polo Club to perfection, the girls join us for BBQ lunch on the Polo Club's terracing overlooking the Polo ground, hosted by our Spanish opponents. The evening closes with the fountains on Placa de les Cascades producing a kaleidoscope of coloured water spraying and dancing to music in the night skies.
Day 3 opens with Clacko's class assembling to view stats and video of the previous day's hockey endeavours before we head for a training session back at the Polo Club. Fred and Gil are non-runners for now, recovering from injuries with the help of the friendly physio services of Nigel. And it looks like today we have another non-runner as Simon "Lunger" Williams will be heavily challenged with only one hockey shoe left in his bag after arriving back from the hockey ground yesterday and no time to visit the local sports store. But, miraculously, the said missing shoe turns up in Manager Ric's bag !!! No questions asked. We arrive at the ground in the rain, the pitch is waterlogged, and Coach's hockey class is on hold as lightening and thunder fill the skies. Player self-preservation is the order of the day and we remain in the dug-out as half the training time goes down the drain with the rainwater. But some hockey is better than no hockey for those with the half glass full outlook. The sombre grey skies give way to sunshine for some afternoon leisuretime, allowing for a pleasant stroll down La Ramblas, time to watch the world go by over a beer in The Mercat de la Boqueria, and amble between the market stalls selling cheeses, cold meats, poultry, vegetables and fruits.