Wednesday, January 7, 2009

“Zimni Stadion Stvanice" Prague” 7/1/09 Day 174

Day 174 (Slide show) (Video)

At first the day was turning out to be another boring cold Prague day. I was hanging out writing in this blog and occasionally turning around to look at my bikes and dream when I got this email. It was from a Couchsurfing friend who told me to look at a post about ice skating. I was contemplating the gathering. Sounds like fun as long as I don’t fall on the ice and break my ass. It might be worth the risk if only to see the arena where we were to meet.

This place is called Zimni Stadion Stvanice and is the oldest Ice skating rink in Europe. The place is on an island in the river north of the Old Town Section and was for a long time the only way to travel across the river. In the 11th and 12th centuries the island was a major market area. Traveling from the North Shore to the Old City Center was hazardous and other bridges keep getting torn down or burned. (Read the link provided above. Sorry, it is a translation but you can get the jest of the place.) Also there is some great history about Czech Hockey.

It was very cold out and hard to find the way to walk out onto the island but I found it. About 15 people showed and the place got a little too crowded for me but I had a good time. I didn’t fall although some other folks did. I used to skate a lot when I was very young. It came right back to me. I specifically told a friend from Portugal to be carful about injuring her wrist if she falls. She heard me and later I saw her holding her wrist.

I wish I would have written down all the names of those who were there but I’m not that good. I thought I had a picture of everyone but I guess not. But those who I remember were Andre, Laura, (wrist problem) Ruben, Asia, Emre, Barbara, Martina and others. I almost forgot Kate. Early on my picks for the ones to most likely to hurt themselves was Emre and Rubin but they managed to stay healthy or lucky.