This weekend for the first time in my life I went ice-skating! And not on an ice-rink – but on a frozen over lake in the Amsterdam forest!
Here in the Netherlands, ice-skating on canals, rivers, lakes etc was once the norm, is a National sport, and the Dutch all seem to be born with skates on! Whilst there are plenty of ice rinks, the Dutch truly find great joy in living life on the edge – skating on naturally formed ice-rinks!
In The Netherlands, there is a very famous race – The Elfstedentocht. This is an ice-skating race that spans some 200kms up in Friesland, only when the ice gets thick enough! The last time this race happened was in the 90’s as there hasn’t been enough thick ice, much to the dismay of Dutchies nation-wide!
And due to this climate change (yeah guys, it’s a thing!) there has been a lack of leisure ice-skating in the Amsterdam region. However, on Sunday the Bos Baan was iced over and the Dutch were excited to break out their ice-skates once more! (Yes, everyone here has their own pair of ice-skates!)
We headed down to the Bos (Forest), donned our skates (mine borrowed) and gave it a go! The Hunk has never been this puppy-dog excited to do anything since we met, so I knew this moment, finally getting to skate on natural ice, was a big deal. I saw many many Dutch people gliding at great speed along the ice, not a care in the world.
Me, on the other hand, well…. I was terrified. The thought of going through the ice plagued me but I did my best to get out there and give it a go, no matter that I could hear the ice cracking underneath me.
Hunk and his family members taught me the basics, walking on the ice whilst I practiced making heart shapes with my feet, learning how to push off the slippery ice, bend my knees and relax my feet!
As I’ve never skated, I found the whole thing rather difficult. Even with the guidance of the born-with-skates-on-Dutchies, I was shitting myself the entire time. However, after a while, I got the hang of it and was skating like a pro!
Okay. That was a lie. I was able to go about 20 metres in either direction, as long as I was holding onto someone at all times. My biggest accomplishment? I didn’t fall. 🙂 Check out my Instagram to see me in action!