Did I ever mention that I come from Finland? Yes, the country of SNOW and ICE and polar lights. And LONG winters. The country of WINTER SPORTS. The country where every kid learns to SKI and SKATE almost before they can even WALK… Therefore, I find it just a LITTLE BIT disturbing, that my kids have really not mastered the most common winter sports, like, let’s say the ones I just mentioned above… Actually, to tell you the truth, up until now they had not even tried these out… ok, sliding down the hill with a sled doesn’t count. I figured this nonsense needs to change now. Only problem was, there was no snow. As a matter of fact, we hadn’t seen even a tiny hint of snow this winter… so the question remains, just how do you exercise winter sports without any snow???
Definitely there’s some snow somewhere in the Alps. But going to the Alps for downhill skiing sounded like a bit of an extreme idea for starters. Knowing my kids, I think we would have ended up with paying big bucks for nothing. We would have had two screaming kids on the top of a skiing slope, refusing to go even half a meter forward. I seriously needed to think of something else…
Luckily there’s nothing my new best friend, THE MIGHTY GOOGLE, cannot solve. I found the solution closer than I could’ve ever imagined. There’s an ice-skating park almost around the corner! KEBA Aarau is within reach from us with public transportation (!) and it IS open! Even though the weather is not exactly the most wintery-like. I quickly discovered, that they had two skating rinks, one inside and another one outside. And even better, you don’t need to own ice skates, you can rent all the equipment needed from the spot!
Our little Princess has been asking to go ice skating for a loooong time. So she just loved the idea that we could make a little girls excursion to a place that has a skating rink. So off we went, me and my little Princess. She packed her pack back and I packed my purse. We walked down to the bus stop and mounted the moving iron giant. Just a few stops later we changed into a train, and I listened to her constantly babbling about how she would just FLY ON ICE and make pirouettes and all… Yeah, just WAIT and SEE, I thought grimming wryly but didn’t say anything.
And really, it was kind of exiting for me too: I had been on skates last time about 20 years ago (yes I am old, no need to remind me!), and was not exactly trusting on my skills anymore.
Anyway, after a little map reading and walking, we found KEBA and right in we went. We rented the skates and went to the dressing room to get ready. As soon as I was putting the skates on, I noticed my worries were pointless. It came from somewhere inside of my backbone, how and how tight to wear them skates… the same continued when we got to the ice, it was almost like I never had a twenty-years-pause. I couldn’t believe myself! Me, the one who didn’t really think of skating as the number one favorite sport back at schooldays, was floating on ice and enjoying it beyond wildest imagination. Soon I even discovered that I was able to teach my poor little Princess (who had noticed it was not that easy at all to float on ice…) what she should do with her suddenly so very slippery feet!
Even to my bigger surprise, after falling down about half a million times my little Princess was not ready to give up, but was trying even harder to learn to skate. And finally, slowly she was getting a hang of it. First she learned to go forward with this learning-helper-penguin (we never had such a thing as kids!!!) and finally she was ready to try without the penguin. Boy, was I proud of her when she succeeded to go half a rink around without falling down once!
We tested the outdoor ice rink and the indoor ice rink, but preferred outdoors while it felt better to breathe fresh air. We skated almost three hours, until our feet were hurting (Cool thing about KEBA, there’s no time limit!) and almost crawled back to dressing room afterwards. Putting normal shoes back on felt exactly as weird as I remember from my childhood. We made a deal to come back soon and hobbled back to train station with our hurting feet…
What a cool day it was! And what a happy little girl and a happy mommy came back home. Next night I was dreaming about floating on ice, and when I needed to get up for whatever the reason (you know, happens sometimes when you have little kids in the house!), half-asleep, I was trying to move like I had skates on and almost stumbled over… and was wide awake! For some strange reason the sleep kept on escaping my eyes afterwards…
PS. We were there wery soon again, this time with the whole family! <3