Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ice skating on the canals

When we got back from South Africa, the temp dipped down to about 5ºF and stayed there for a couple days. That's when the excitement started. The canals started to freeze!

For two weeks the people in this country had one thing on their minds: the elfstedentocht. That is, the 11-city tour. It only happens once every 20 years or so and the last one was in 1997. It's a huge freaking deal. Only certain people can actually skate the race--and only on certain years. You have to get on a list or something. I heard they were talking about moving ice from one canal to the other, too. Wow!

So a couple weekends ago, the entire Kralinge Lake in Rotterdam was frozen. My boss (I'm sure he'll love this) is very nice and often on Fridays will say, "Ok, Meredith, I have something for you do this weekend." Though I'm never quite sure if he's going to say something about work, he usually offers excellent recommendations for things to do in Rotterdam--he is, in fact, a true Rotterdamer. This time, here was the conversation...

JL: Ok, Meredith, I have something for you do this weekend.
MG: Oh, really?
JL: You must go ice-skating.
MG: Yes, I'd really like to! But where can I rent skates?
JL: You don't have ice skates?!?
MG: Who owns ice-skates?
JL: Everybody owns their own ice skates!
MG: Of course they do.

So, we had to find ice skates. It was easy enough for me to find a nice pair of well-worn, long-distance Norwegian ice skates from the 70s in size 40. But poor Elliot--size 47 is just impossible.

And so we went! Elliot on foot and me on the irons. It was awesome. Pretty epic, actually. I'm really glad we had the chance too, because the next day...the snow started to melt.

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