wtorek, 7 lutego 2012

Icy hobby of the Dutch

Lately we're having a very winterish aura... Some of the fresh snow and the temperatures in a red. Clear blue sky... makes you wanna go outside (though a minute after you do that the freeze makes you wanna go back). Generally all the Dutch people are excited. All the media keep talking over and over about the Elfstedentocht, the famous Eleven City Tour. Everyday they are checking the size of the layer of ice and people keep calling to hotels in Friesland to check their availability. Everyone is hoping for the big event this year, since the atmospherical conditions seems to be going just fine.

Why are they so excited about that? Maybe because the event needs a very cold winter to happen, so the canals would freeze and the ice would be at least 15 cm deep? After all there would be thousands of people racing on it. Last time the tour was organised 15 years ago! Not surprising than, that the speculations about this year tour are bringing so many emotions. Or maybe because the winner of the tour becomes a national hero? Who wouldn't want to obtain such an honor? ;)

There are no doubts that the speed ice-skating for Dutch is like a ski-jumping for Polish. We have mountains and snow, they have canals and ice. We have Małysz and Stoch, they have Kramer and... the whole bunch of other skaters and since I'm not really interested in sport, I didn't even try to remember all these names. Anyway, the wave of cold is coming and the Dutch takes their skates and go wherever they can: canals, rivers, lakes, ponds... even a bigger slop would made them happy. This weekend we went to observe this phenomenon by the little lake near the city.

Two playing fields and a track around them on the frozen lake

The weather was indeed brilliant and despite the 8-degree freeze that day we have met a lot of people in the forest. The local ice-skating and ice hockey lovers were occupying the ice since the morning. I also wanted to try...

We were trying with Maurice to go through the smaller lake, but none of us have reached the middle... After feel steps we abandoned the idea thinking of the hole in the ice we've seen before, where the ice broke under someone earlier this morning. We definitelly did not ant to go through the ice and try some freezing cold bath!


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