Thursday, 10 March 2011

Tour skating on the Weissensee

Techendorf am Weissensee
After some very busy weeks, with many creative projects I will tell you more about in my following articles, I've finally found some time to update my blog with our skating adventure on the Weissensee in Austria in the first week of February.

Me on my Swedish skates

My dad is a keen ice skater and I started to learn it on the frozen lake near our house when I was about 5 years old. I have fond memories of the many trips I made with him when I was a teenager, the cracking sound (is a good sign!) of the ice on lakes and canals, the "koek & zopie " stalls (cake and hot chocolate) along the way and the happy atmosphere all around us!
I'm feeling the rythm again!
Every year the Dutch ice skaters travel en masse to the Weissensee for the "Alternatieve Elfstedentocht".

 As the weather conditions in Holland are very unpredictable these days, it's very unlikely that the traditional tour in Friesland can go ahead, so many people do the alternative one to skate 200 kilometers on natural ice.

Skating suits hanging to dry

My dad has been there for many years and this year he asked us to join us.
Jaap in full gear
For Jaap it would be the first time on proper skates ever, so he was very excited (and a bit nervous on his first day). He impressed eveyone with his skills and could even manage to do "pootje-over" (cross-leg) in the corners!
After 5 days of lessons we signed up for the tour. You could decide how many kilometers you wanted to do. Eventually Jaap managed to do 52!
The beginners skating class
Jaap started his tour at dusk...

...and finished after 5 hours and 52km!
Unfortunately I wasn't able to do a long distance because of my weird feet that give me pain when doing extreme activities, but in the end I skated around the whole lake impressively quickly. Here we are showing our official document and medal!
We proudly present...

The whole week was just superb; the food and wine in our hotel was delicious, sunny weather the whole week, a beautiful area also for walking, nice people and being active outside every day.

Austrian puppets welcome us at the hotel
Happy skaters!
Views to the Dolomites in Italy
Me and my men

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