Dienstag, 2. Oktober 2012

Singapore - a wonderful experience!

It was 27th August. I woke up in the morning being really excited because in a few hours I would start my journey to Singapore for the World Youth Championship.

After the last European Youth Cup in Imst (where I finished in 11th place, what means first out of finals) I was like really disappointed and I wasn't motivated to climb competitions anymore. You have to know that because of the lack of money in the FASI (Federazione Arrampicata Sportiva Italiana) this year we have to pay all the competitions we are taking part, on our own. In the special case of Singapore it would cost us 1000 € (without counting the food, which is quite expensive there). So after the comp in Imst I was not motivated anymore to go to Singapore and I thought it would just be a waste of money (I could rather spend this money on a trip to Rocklands or so), but the flights were already booked and so I had no other choice.

So, back again to the 27th of August. As I said I was really excited and I was also motivated again because since Imst some time had passed and I had the chance to train and built up some endurance which was still missing. I felt stronger now but I also knew that I was by far not strong enough to compete with the best, so my goal was to reach the semifinals.

I left home knowing that it would be a really long journey till we would finally reach Singapore but nonetheless I was excited. I met up with my friends Andrea Prünster and Andrea Ebner and the father of Andrea Ebner took us to the Milano Malpensa Airport where we met the rest of the Italian team (this team turned out to be a really amazing one). We checked in our luggage and went to our gate. Our first flight to Frankfurt was pretty short and after about an hour we were walking to our next gate where our next plane to Singapore was waiting. Since the airport in Frankfurt is the biggest one in Europe, we even had to take a train to come from one terminal to the other one!

This is not good...

Our plane to Singapore was an Airbus A380, one of the biggest planes and I was really impressed by how big this plane actually is. But all in all, as long as you are not sitting in first class, every plane is very much the same: pretty much uncomfortable. So we were sitting inside this big plane watching some films, eating some disgusting food and hoping that the 12-hour flight will pass as quickly as possible. I don't know why but unfortunately I'm not able to sleep on a flight, so it's been really hard for me sitting there for 12 hours, but at about 4 pm local time we finally reached Singapore.

Would have prefered to take this flight =)

As I stepped out of the airport I almost got kicked back in. The last time I felt something like this was in a 90 degrees sauna. I had to struggle to even breathe and it was so incredibly hot and humid. But it slowly got better and I had to live with it anyway. We had to wait for quite a while till our taxi came which took us to the hotel. After about 24 hours of travelling I finally lay down on my bed being really tired. But it was not time to sleep yet. We had to go to the climbing wall for the opening ceremony. After that we got a kind of buffet there with some typical food. We then decided to go for a walk but I just wanted to go to bed as quickly as possible because I was really tired since I had not slept for more than 24 hours and the competition was on the next day.

I woke up feeling quite strong and confident for the competition. I did not even feel anything of a jet lag, so I was pretty happy about that. But as I saw the breakfast my confidence fell immediately and I already knew that I would have to buy some Nutella and some bread. I didn't know what I should eat so I decided to take the "american breakfast" which was mainly some kind of toasted bread, an egg and two sausages. It was not really good but I had to eat something to gain some energy. We then went down to the climbing wall which was about 5 minutes away from our hotel. First of all I had a look at the starting orders. I would start as 51st so I had plenty of time until it was my turn.
As it finally was time to climb the first route I was warm and felt quite strong. I started my climb and had some trouble on the starting section but then reached easily a fairly good rest. I shook both my hands and was ready to climb on. But then, two moves after, I suddenly came off. I still have no idea why, I wasn't pumped and I hadn't even slipped off. It is still a surprise for me. So I was really angry about this kind of "mistake" but finished the first route in 26th place with some more guys in 26th (26 enter into the semifinals). Knowing that, if I wanted to climb the semifinal, I would have to climb much better the next day I finished my day swimming in our amazing pool.

On the second route I started much earlier (as 14th or so). I really like it to start early so I felt strong again but also knew that the route is was going to be harder than the first one. I climbed better but nevertheless I was definitely not happy with my performance. I was quite sure that I wouldn't make it to the semifinals but I had to wait until the last climber. In fact he went off before me and so I ended my second day again as 26th, and that meant that I had reached the semifinal. I was super happy but I also knew that once again I had to climb a lot better than these past two days.

I woke up in the morning of the finals and as I opened the curtains I couldn't believe my eyes. It was raining. It was raining heavily. Definitely way too much to climb, even though the wall was overhanging. Since the wall wasn't covered it got completely wet from the backside. The starting time of the semifinals was delayed and delayed. At noon it eventually stopped raining. Of course the wall was totally wet so the the starting time was set at 15.30.
I was the second to start (we were in two in 26th place) so I had to be prepared for 15.30. At 15.15 we went out to have a look at the routes. The first part of the route looked kind of strange but the second part of the route was looking really cool on a lot of crimps. We went back into isolation. The first two climbers had to be ready immediately, so I set down there on the chair and was waiting for my turn. The first climber went off quite early so I walked out my way to the route. I really wanted to reach the "cool - looking" second part of the route but the first part turned out to be way harder than expected. I climbed quite well and got the first sequences in the right way but then, exactly as on the first route, I suddenly just came off. Ok this time my foot slipped a little bit but that's no excuse for why I fell off again that early. Almost everyone of the climbers after me had some trouble at the start but most of them passed me, even though a lot of them climbed just one or two moves further than me. I finished in 23th place but if I had done three more moves I would have been in the final. But ok, now it was time to enjoy Singapore and I was really syked to watch the finals.

Singapore at night
The next day we spent just swimming and watching our team-mates in the speed competition.

We had now two days left in Singapore and we decided to visit the city, since we were living on an island (they were celebrating the birthday of the island: 40 years =) ) a little bit outside of the actual city. I really hate cities. You just walk around all the day, you enter in 1000 different shops and at the end of the day your legs hurt terribly. Despite that I went with the other guys into the city, because it's a kind of "must". So we took the "Angry birds cable car" and the metro to get in there. As I entered the metro I was impressed by how many people were sitting there staring at their iPhone or any other super big mobile phone. No one is reading a newspaper, or at least they are reading it on their phone. I felt like I was 100 years back in time with my old Nokia.

This guy is definitely cool!!

Angry birds cable car

So we took that metro to China Town. Basically we visited one big street which can be considered as one mega store where you can buy anything you want, faked or not! It didn't last long and I was totally wrecked. But it was still quite early and the other guys walked in and out in a million different shops, so the only option for me was to fight myself through this "nightmare" street following the other ones. And then we finally reached the end of the street and I just wanted to return back home and jump into the swimming pool but it was not time to go home yet. Some of us wanted to visit "Little India" and so we took the metro to "Little India". As we arrived there and walked through some streets we were surprised by how ugly this place actually is. We even saw two guys fighting on the street. Strange people there!
No one wanted to spend more time there and so we started our way back home (finally). I was just so happy when I jumped into the (a little bit too warm) water of the pool. I survived another city!

China Town
Little India

Little India
Since we were living on an island with a lot of adventurous attractions (wave house, sky diving...) we decided to spend our last day trying some of them. The first one should have been the wave house but as I saw the prices I changed my opinion. Some other guys of our team tried it nevertheless and I was really jealous watching them. I spent the rest of the day in the swimming pool and in Mc Donalds.

This is good =)
Our hotel with swimming pool!

At 6 pm it was time to start towards the airport. After quite a while in the metro we reached the airport where we visited Burger King for the last time and then we went for the check in. It would  be a long, long journey.

After the 12 hours flight over half of the planet we reached Frankfurt where we had to wait about 4 hours for our next plane to Milan. That plane should start at 9.30 am and when it was time to get on board they said the flight was canceled due to a strike of the Lufthansa. I was already destroyed from all the waiting and now we had to wait till 16.30 for the next plane to Milan. It was a nightmare!
Then, at about 4 pm, they called us for the boarding. I was so happy when I finally set down on my seat. Come on, just one hour was missing and we would be back in Italy.
After a "short" one-hour flight we walked out of the gate to get our luggage. We were waiting, and waiting, and waiting. But no luggage. All our stuff had probably got lost somewhere in Frankfurt. It was unbelievable. I was completely devastated. We had to give them our addresses and phone numbers so that they would be able to send us our luggage back home as soon as they would find it. I just wanted to go home!!!!!!!

My parents picked me up in Modena north and brought me directly to Merano because I had to go to school the next day. I was super tired when I finally lay down on a wonderful bed. I had one single thing in my mind before I fell asleep: despite this horrible journey back home it's been AWESOME!!



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