Monday, February 20, 2006

Reading Week 2006 – Day 3

When we awoke, after a slightly chilled sleep, we found that Vladi had been awake pretty much all night. He had not brought a camping mat, and his sleeping bag was “three-seasons.” He had spent several hours in the heated washroom, and then in the campground restaurant when it opened. So, our first order of business was to find him some better equipment. Luckily, in our small mountain town, we found a sports store, which still had a wide selection of swimming equipment (including a cheap inflatable mattress).

We had tickets for an afternoon hockey game, so we had a chance to slowly walk around Torino, which was not particularly interesting. There were a few statues and historical buildings, like anywhere in Europe, but without the Olympics, I don’t think there would be much reason to visit. The highlight of the tour was lunch: we found a small cafeteria, with amazing pasta at very cheap prices.

Since we were traveling with two Latvians, we had chosen to go see Latvia play Sweden. Our seats were even further up into the nose bleeds (back row!). The Latvian fans were much louder than the Canadians had been. There were strict rules preventing people from bringing food or noise makers, which the Canadians had followed but which were apparently not enforced. Some Latvian fans even managed to bring in drums. One group also had a Latvian flag that was so large it covered about fifty people. By comparison, the Swedes were quieter, but more heavily drunk (notable especially considering this was an afternoon game).

The game was lots of fun in the first period (several times, Latvian players seemingly tripped on the blue line and fell down). The mood became subdued by the second period, when the score quickly climbed to 5-0 for Sweden. After the game, we found yet another amazing (cheap) restaurant.

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