Friday, January 09, 2009

Ice Skating in Holland

All across the Netherlands people are suffering from "Skate Fever". Due to global warming, they have not been able to do their favorite pasttime in the winter, skating on the canals and ponds that are everywhere! Well, this year, for the first time in 12 YEARS, it is cold enough for the water to freeze enough for them to skate. They just held their National Championship of Ice Skating outside for the first time in 12 years as well. Almost a whole generation has passed that has not had this opportunity. And it gave us a little chuckle to watch as the skaters are so used to being inside on a oval rink, turning in one direction only, that outside they struggled with turning the other way at times! But the people are so thrilled to be outside skating. As we drove along the dikes, you could see people skating everywhere! Ted said that she went out last weekend and skated to the next village, along with thousands of others. I wear one size larger than Ted and I'm wondering if I can squeeze into one of her pairs of skates? It'd be fun. Although I've never skated on anything larger than a small pond or an indoor rink, should be an experience! But here is me, Agnes and Ted in front of a lake area in Friesland where there were hundreds of skaters enjoying the beautiful day.
Agnes' boys were out skating on the canal in between the homes (one of which Agnes was born).

Tomorrow is the last day the ice will be strong enough to skate on, so there were reportedly over 1,000,000 people on skates today. Here is a news link to the area called "Kinderdijk", an area of canels and 17 windmills. A helicopter flew over and showed all the skaters out just in that area alone. Oerhollands schaatsplaatje bij Kinderdijk --scroll down to where it says....."Oerhollands..."(translated: Oldest Dutch custom (of skating) skating picture by the Kinderdijk).

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