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Irina's Blog: Rafiki Or Gandalf...?

American Irina Falconi, one of wtatennis.com's resident bloggers, writes to us from beautiful Bad Gastein this week. Today she wraps up her trip with hikes, views, fan questions and more.

Published July 11, 2014 12:13

Irina Falconi

Friday, July 11, 2014

Well friends, Bad Gastein has truly touched my heart.

What better way to end a fabulous trip, than go on the Gasteiner Tram that goes all the way to the top of this fabulous mountain?

Shelby and I decided to END the day that way, but I started my day with a mile hike uphill, literally so uphill that while I was running, I could also touch the concrete ground with my hands without having to extend them all the way. It took a while, and some serious calves work to get up there, but the view was just so spectacular, it was totally worth it.

After Shelby's match where she got her first Top 20 win and a berth into the quarterfinals, we decided to get a ride up the mountain tram. Since you know Bad Gastein knows how to do it well, we got free vouchers to go up and down the tram. Oh, by the way. You can totally hike this mountain. So if you wanted, you could just buy the going up trip, or the going down ride---whichever you'd like. Since we decided that we weren't going to test our mountain hiking skills yesterday, we stuck with just going up and down the mountain. At first, when were going up, it was super "Sleepy Hollow-esque" due to the fact that there were clouds EVERYWHERE!!! You couldn't see the sun, and you really couldn't see other mountains. We got our own little tram to ourselves, and the photography started happening. We were documenting everything, that at the first stop we had, we actually got off thinking it was the end of the ride! We realized that there was still ONE more ride, so we got on, but not before we gasped...

We had never been that high above ground---ever.

We both had a minute of just total awe. We could barely see the city of Bad Gastein anymore, and we couldn't see the top---so we were pretty much a floating tram in the clouds. It was a pretty surreal experience! Once we got up there, we followed some people heading towards a structure that would have had an amazing view without the clouds, but it was still pretty gnarly. After that, I found a walking stick that made me feel like an authentic Austrian, or Rafiki from Lion King, or Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. Whichever you think.

Once we left that area, we saw a suspension bridge sign that we for SURE had to hit up---but NOT before some--- HOT CHOCOLATE! How could we not have a hot chocolate when we were up over 8,000+ feet, and were freezing our butts off!

After a the BEST hot chocolate in my life, we went on the suspension bridge, and started training ourselves for the eventual sky diving that we are planning. No biggie.

All in all, Bad Gastein has been just fabulous!

I am off to Sweden to play next to the beach---I know, rough life.

Thanks again for the support and see y'all soon!

- I

Who has it better than you? Pat
I am sure there are people that have it better than me, but I am truly enjoying every second of this life! Enjoying every moment!

What are some of your other favorite tournaments during the year and why? Jennifer, USA
Favorite tournaments during the year usually depend on three things: 1. Location, 2. Result, and 3. Food. I would say that the 100K in Prague is fabulous because of the hospitality, downtown, and the food. I really love the French Open because of the culture I'm currently learning French and wouldn't mind living in France for a bit in a few years. In the beginning of my career, I fell in love with Troy, Alabama---it's where I fell in love with country music.

What is the biggest culture shock you've ever had travelling the world? Klaus, Germany
The biggest culture shock was when I witnessed a person going number two in the middle of the streets of Beijing. But don't worry, he had toilet paper with him!

Irina's Blog: Mega Awesome Player Party
Irina's Blog: Heaven On Earth
Irina's Blog: Ich Liebe Bad Gastein

Follow Irina on Twitter by clicking here!

Irina Falconi

Irina Falconi

Irina Falconi

Irina Falconi

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