Tuesday, June 21, 2011


First off, Happy Summer!

Told you I would be back. It was a tough day yesterday, I suffered through that night for some reason tossing and turning in my bed until 4 a.m. and was up 3 hours later for weights. But I got a better sleep last night.

I would like to take the time to give a shout out to the Barcelona Transit system. Unlike the manipulative and greasy Calgary Transit, you actually get money back when you don't have exact change... Calgary take note, if you want people to pay 3 bucks, just do it already or give me back my change!

Here is a wide shot of Barcelona taken from Park Gael, you can see the Sagrada Familia there in the middle. You're going to have to take my word for it but you can also see the Mediterranean Sea from here. I apologize for my iPhone 3Gs low quality photos.

Here are a couple more photos of Park Gael, a lot of Goudi structures.

Busy place.

Guillaume and Frank, I think there was something significant about this photo... Something about a movie but I can't remember.

After the park we jumped on the nearest metro and headed to the beach. The whole group was there and we spent close to 4 hours in the sun, unfortunately I have no pictures to show. Of course even if I had, they probably wouldn't have been very appropriate for this blog... Ha. It was cram packed full of people, nothing like the night before.

A few members of the team came back with very bad burns. I'm super glad I didn't take off my shirt and extremely happy that I caked on layers of sun screen periodically throughout that day. It was painful watching them put on their skin suits the next day at ice.

Speaking of ice here is a picture of the rink.

We share it with the French short track teams and the Mens French hockey team. It's a rough session when we skate right after the mens hockey team, fortunately their stay was short in comparison to ours.

I spend a large portion of the evenings playing Euchre with Michael, Jess and Jess. For a long time now, maybe 5 to 6 years, it's been Michael and I versus the Jess squared. For this camp, we have an ongoing tally of wins and currently it is 11 to 8 for Michael and I. The girls are catching up... But there's only a few days left to the camp!

The rest of the time is spent with my roommates, Remi and Francois-Louis either playing Jenga or watching An Idiot Abroad. Very funny show.

Louis, focused hard on the task at hand... Heh...

The following weekend (this past one) a few of us went and visited Villefranche de Conflent. This is a photo taken in the upper fortress which overlooks the main fortress below. We had a garrison style meal after a quick guided tour. I wish I had taken a photo of the platter of meat they gave us, consisting of pork chops, sausage and blood sausage.

I'll post a video soon of something I climbed just outside the fortress. It may be too large of file to post, especially with how slow and inconsistent the internet has been.

Here is an outer view of the upper fortress with the sign just out side the main fortress.

We had a chance to spend an hour in Villefranche de Conflent. Very beautiful streets which mostly consisted of souvenir shops. A highlight from this part of the trip was seeing Michael consume 9 euros worth of candy in as little of an hour! In his defense, the candy was a little expensive... But hats off Michael!

Here is a photo that I took inside the walls, Jess Gregg is just walking ahead in the crowd.

After that, we got back on the bus and took a short trip to a natural hot springs. I'm not a fan of water or even hot springs, especially when it's already hot out, so I opted out and took a short hike by myself. Here is a nice view from a couple hundred metres above the hot springs. Again, you'll have to take my word for it but on the left cliff top there are remnants of a very old structure.

We just finished our last hard practice of the camp and only one day of training remains before we head home on Friday morning. It's been a great trip and every moment has been worthwhile. But I am looking forward to getting home and having some free time to relax. Every day here has been go, go, go and it will be nice to shut down for a day or two.

Oh, and Congratulations to Jon and Veronick on their new little addition to their family!

Anyways, I'll try my best to get the video up next.

In the meantime, Enjoy!


Completely random post, but those who know me well enough won't be that surprised. I'll finish updating Barcelona in a bit.

A link on refereeing in ancient times. And we thought we had it rough these days... ;)


Monday, June 20, 2011

Barcelona and Beyond

Well it's 12:42 a.m. here in Font-Romeu and despite how ridiculously hard today's training was I cannot sleep... Cruddy insomnia. Just kidding... But seriously, this isn't the first time this has happened this camp. I've had a number of nights where I can barely sleep a wink. Lucky for you, I will sit here and write a blog post while chilling to the soothing melodies of the xx.

On the bright side, I'm slowly catching back up to the rest of the group. Leading into the camp I was a little behind on on-ice volume but I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable and smooth. Every day is a challenge but it is very rewarding.

For "recovery" last weekend (not this past weekend but the one before) we went down to Barcelona. Ha...

I don't think much of us got much recovery, apart from a very good sleep down at sea level we did a ton of walking and sitting in the sun. Both of which are very draining, especially considering we were not used to either of those activities up in Font-Romeu!

Olivier Jean had already been to Barcelona a couple times and because we were only going to be there less than 24 hours total, he mapped out an awesome root for us to maximize our time there.

As soon as we touched ground we broke up into small groups and toured. First we (Frank, Alex, Guillaume, Francois-Louis and I) hit a bunch of Gaudi architecture, here are two pictures of some of the structures we saw below.

The world famous Sagrada Familia, under construction...

And Casa Mila.

Afterwards we took a long walk down one of Barcelona's more famous touristy streets, La Rambla. It wasn't particularly interesting beyond it being very busy so we veered off pretty quickly down a side street in search for a place to get some food. We found a decent place for some beer and tapas.

The random side street, believe it or not significantly less busy than La Rambla.

A little more walking and we found ourselves at the beach, where all the team managed to reunite.

Voila, the Mediterranean!

Ok, I think I'm finally getting tired so I will stop now. I will leave you with a cool picture of a random street when we got lost getting back to our hotel that night. I will try and get more in soon!


Friday, June 10, 2011

A few Photos

I'll post more as the weeks go by, we head to Barcelona tomorrow afternoon, so I should have plenty then. Unless I forget to take pictures.

Gabs leg after wearing compression socks for the past 24+ hours of traveling. The stuff we put ourselves through...

An abandoned old hotel that Michael had come across the day before. Time for some further investigation!

Such beautiful decor in these rooms...

And what a view this hotel provides! That is ours the closest on the right there (doesn't offer as good of view).

Another great view from a different room.

The terrace leading up to the main entrance archway.

Like I said, the awesome view from our first floor apartment (taken this morning). We've been told that Font-Romeu provides at least 300 days of sun a year, but based on experience those claims lack credibility.