Hrad Castle and πŸ€πŸ

Today was a refreshing difference from yesterday. We woke up, cleaned and attended to some schoolwork from the US.

We were excited to meet our friends before they set off on an adventure to Prague. Ryan asked if we could see the Bratislava castle after all this time being here. Our friends were up for it.

As things go, this would include quite a hike up.

The views along the way were fantastic.
There are such cute shops on this walk.
We made it to the top and met our friends.

The inside was spectacular. It has a fantastic museum dedicated to the history of Slovakia and the castle itself.

The keys- see below.

Ryan found the stairs to the β€œcrown tower.”

There were many flights of these stairs.
Ryan had been waiting for this moment. He was able to use his map to see Austria from the tower.
Austria in the distance
We could see our neighborhood.
And the way back down
We did get to see the crown.

This will not be our last visit to the castle!

We said goodbye to our friends and are really excited to hear about their trip to Prague!

V was invited back to volleyball so she and I headed there. Again, she managed a practice with nearly no English so well. I still don’t know the details but she is so happy to be in the gym playing her favorite sport.

The boys were invited to come to meet with a coach today at Inter-Bratislava, the same complex where the professional basketball team plays. There was a practice going on and our boys folded right into the mix. The coach speaks English and was really friendly with John. V and I finished up and so we headed over to the practice.

They were playing a game with instructions in Slovak. John and I had no idea what was going on but the boys seemed to completely understand. They also were allllll smiles. Clearly they needed this. The Slovak boys were SO kind and welcoming to them. There were so many NBA jerseys which made them feel right at home. Joe will actually come back tomorrow to be with boys his age.

Joe took less than 3 seconds to get right in the mix.

The rosters for these teams were submitted months ago, so they will be able to practice with the teams and play in many β€œfriendly” games but not for the official games. We are all so happy that the boys will be in the gym running off energy and playing with other kids several days a week.

The coach is so nice and it is so helpful that he speaks English.
Outside the gym is this vending machine- for $2 euro, you can have fresh squeezed OJ!

We noticed that the Inter professional team was warming up in the adjacent arena. The practice ended early so all the boys could go. We followed the stream of people and sat front row to watch. There were no tickets? We were just happy to be at a game!

The coach of Inter chatted with John and Ryan at halftime – he played for the famous 1992 Croatian Olympic basketball team that took the silver medal, losing to the first American Dream Team in the finals.

V, Joe and I left to run back to the apartment to make dinner. We heard the final of the game was 112-29 for Inter. Everyone saw a lot of dunks! This will also not be our last visit to the arena for games.

We all ended today with smiles!

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