Aug 14, 2013
LAKE COMO, Italy - Despite not arriving back at the team hotel until 1 a.m. the University of Nevada men's basketball team was up and on the team bus at 8:30 a.m. headed for Lake Como. The resort lake is home to some of the most expensive homes in the country, gorgeous scenery and is surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the country.
After a slight unexpected detour that had the Pack travel to Switzerland the team arrived in Como. The bus driver zigged when he should have zagged on the way to the lake and stopped at the checkpoint to Switzerland. After talking with the guards at the boarder for a few moments the bus made a U turn around the building and we were on our way to the lake but we can say we visited the most neutral country in the world.
Arriving 20 minutes late to our destination we spotted the Florida State women's basketball team roaming around where the bus dropped us off and they were being guided by a fried of the Wolf Pack Dave. Dave was the guide on Nevada's last trip to Italy in 2009. After a quick hello by some of the coaches we headed for the tour boat that was going to take us around the lake. While passing by the many homes, hotels, resorts and other points of interest our guide explained what we were seeing. One of the homes that we saw was owned by actor George Clooney which meant more to the players than many of the names of a famous designer or local politician that owned a home on the lake.
After about an hour on the boat we arrived at the village of Bellagio. After departing the boat we were given 90 minutes to roam around and grab some lunch. Most of the players walked the narrow streets and climbed the many steps in the village. Several of the restaurants provided a picturesque view of the lake while dining. One of the establishments charged four euro just for the view while eating but it was well worth the extra cost.
While walking around we ran into the Florida State women's team we saw earlier and the Colorado women's team. Pack freshman D.J. Fenner spoke with someone with the Colorado team he knew. Strength and conditioning coach Kyle Sammons was stopped by a coach Sam from FSU who said to say hello to Pack women's head coach Jane Albrightas they were friends. You know now why they say it's a small word even halfway around it.
Many of those in the travel party purchased silk ties as a memento of their brief stay at Bellagio. Good chance you will see these ties worn by some of the staff at a Pack game this season. Others purchased something to take back to girlfriends or other love ones that were unable to make the trip. So those not along for the fun may be getting a surprise when the Pack returns home.
As is custom on this trip everyone arrived at the set time and assigned meeting place prior to getting on the boat to head back to the city of Como. Also which seems to happen most days it was near a gelato place and those that did not purchase a gelato from that particular store came with one in hand from the many others in the area.
After the boat ride back to Como it was on the bus and a shorter route was taken to the team hotel as to bypass the stop in Switzerland but we can always say we have been to the neutral country from World War II. Hopefully the officials can be as neutral when working the game tonight.
Immediately upon arrival the players grabbed their keys from the front desk and headed to their rooms to grab some rest before the pregame meal at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. departure for the game. The keys are left at the desk since they weigh about half a pound each and nobody wants that in their pocket while sightseeing. They sure are trusting here as when you tell them what room key you need they just hand it to you no questions asked. Somewhat like the old westerns you may have watched as a kid. In the states you would need three forms of identification to get a plastic room key that ends up in the trash at most airports because you forgot to leave it at the hotel.
After winning 86-67 last night the Pack looks to make it two in a row at 9 p.m. Hopefully we will arrive back at the hotel prior to 1 a.m. after this game. I'm sure we will be stopping for pizza once again, boy was it great last night, could be the best meal of the trip. Seems pizza is a postgame meal in whatever country you play but in Italy it does not come from a national chain. Make sure to order salami in Italy and not pepperoni as two of our fans that made the trip found out yesterday. Pepperoni is made with peppers in Italy but the said it was good as most of the food has been.
It's an even earlier departure tomorrow for a sightseeing trip to Venice tomorrow. At least no game Thursday night.
Make too sure to check out some of the photos from today's trip to Lake Como. The lack of high speed internet has limited the ability to upload many photos or any video so sorry for the limited viewing.
Check back tonight to see the outcome of the Pack's second game of the trip. .