Dutch Team arrives in Valencia
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) / MANISES / VALENCIA (Spain) - The Dutch National Softball Team traveled to Valencia in Spain on Friday-afternoon in a 2 hours 15 minutes flight.
After arriving in Valencia, where it was 41 degrees Celsius (!), the team checked into the hotel and took a look at the playing sites for the upcoming European Championships, which opens next Monday.
On Saturday, the Dutch squad will play an exhibition game against Great Britain.
Less than 48 hours after returning from Oklahoma City last Wednesday-morning, the Dutch Team was back at Schiphol Airport near the Dutch capital for the flight to Valencia.
Due to problems with baggage-handling at Transavia, all flight of this carrier were delayed.
Luckily, the delay lasted only 30 minutes and at 1:35 PM Captain Glabbeek and his crew guided the Boeing 737-800 (a plane from KLM, but operated by Transavia) took off.
Two hours and 15 minutes later, the plane touched down at the Valencia Airport (also known as Manises Airport, as it is located in this city 9 km west of Valencia), but experienced some turbulence during the descent.
It was reported that some 2000 people did not received their luggage today due to the baggage-problems, but luckily we got all our luggage and equipment.
When leaving the airport, we immediately experienced the current heat in the Spanish city first hand, as it was 41 degrees Celsius (!) today.
A heatwave is currently active in the area, which includes the nearby island of Mallorca, but also the northerly city of Barcelona.
In the weekend, it will be less hot (only 36, 37 degrees Celsius), but it is expected to get hotter again on Monday when the European Championships will open.
After a few minutes, the bus arrived to bring the team to the hotel, which was only a 20 minute ride.
At the hotel, the team was greeted by Business Manager Rich Hooff, who had arrived some days before from Italy.
There, Rich coached a youth softball-team in the Little League European Finals, but unfortunately lost the final game, meaning his team didn't qualify for the Little League World Series later this year in the USA.
The checking in at the hotel also went smoothly and after that, it was off to the playing site, which is only a 10 minute walk from the hotel.
When the team arrived at the main field of the Campo Municipal de Béisbol y Sofból at the Viejo Cauce del Río Turia, there were surprises concerning the field-situation.
As was reported earlier this year, the infield of the playing fields indeed is grass and only has dirt at the bases, the pitching circle and the home plate-area.
When we were at the field, the national team of Germany was preparing for an exhibition game later in the evening against host Spain.
The Dutch players of Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers were greeted by one of their teammates of last year, German national team-player Christine Müller-Höcker.
By the way, the playing fields are situated in a nice looking park, which is located in a dry river (the River Turia) and is 9 kilometers long!
From Field 1, it was then on to Field 2, which is located further on in the park.
There, the same situation, a grass infield, with only dirt at the bases.
But also a weird outfield-fence, which enables the balls to go under the fence!
After viewing the playing fields, the team went to a restaurant near the hotel and then back to their rooms to rest.
On Saturday, the Team has a 2-hour morning practice scheduled and later in the day plays an exhibition game against Great Britain.
The European Championships open next Monday.
The Dutch Team then will open against France.
Schedule European Championships
|Where are we?|
We are now in Valencia, the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain with a population of 810.000.|
Valencia forms part of an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar and the world famous Spanish dish paella originated around Valencia.
The orginial Latin name of the city was Valentia, meaning strength.
A Roman historian explains that the foundation of Valentia in the 2nd Century BC was due to the settling of the Roman soldiers who fought against Iberian local rebel Viriatus.
Last month, Valencia was the host for the 33rd edition of the historic America's Cup (sail race) for the second time (the first time was in 2003).
Valencia has the biggest port on the Mediterranean West Coast.
The Turia River was diverted in the 1960s after severe flooding and the old river bed is now the Turia Gardens, which contain sports fields, a children's playground and a fountain.
Amongst the people who were born in Valencia are Pope Alexander VI (Pope from 1492-1503), King Juan II of Aragon and popular singer Nino Bravo.
Valencia has a changeable Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers.
At the airport, former Dutch national baseball-international Ed Tromp also was there
The pitcher/1st baseman greeted Head Coach Craig Montvidas, whom he faced
when the latter was playing himself
Ed Tromp was on his way to Aruba, where he also will visit the Kingdom Games
Also traveling with the Dutch National Team were Marlies Struyvé and Carolien Stadhouders
Marlies will be the Umpire-in-Chief; Carolien is one of the umpires
Ready to check in
After arriving in Valencia, everything has to be loaded again into the bus
The dry river Turia, which runs through Valencia
And from the bus, all luggage and equipment of course had to be brought into the hotel
Waiting at the hotel was Business Manager Rich Hooff
Waiting for the rooms
Head Coach Craig Montvidas and Team Manager Paul Boonstra
check the players into their rooms
After being checked in, the team went on to the fields, passing big palm trees
The team has a look at Field One
Field One for the European Championships
Another view at Field One
Head Coach Craig Montvidas has a talk with a German coach
Virginie Anneveld meets former teammate Christine Müller-Höcker
Then it was on to Field Two
A view of Field Two...
...and the unusual outfield-fence
The Team looks to Field Two
And after viewing the fields, it was off to a restaurant
One of the many palm-trees in Valencia