Monday, March 16, 2009

Skating on the Rideau Canal

Next week winter changes into spring … but in Ottawa it is still freezing!  
In winter, a section of the Rideau Canal passing through central Ottawa becomes officially the world's largest skating rink.
At either end of the canal, skates are available to rent, and every mile or so there are concession stands on the ice, where you can stop and warm up with hot chocolate or a Beaver Tail (a delicious pastry made of fried dough).
So this weekend I took my chance and for the very first time in my life I went skating. Although a little nervous, I managed not to embarrass myself. I never fell down. All I can say is that it was amazing. Everyone from tiny two-year-olds skating circles around me, to novices like myself, to kids playing hockey, to couples skating hand-in-hand. All were out in force.
The key, obviously, is to dress appropriately. Once I had bought my snow pants and proper socks, as advised by the natives, I never felt the sub-zero cold again (well, not much).

What a differences with the Hawaiian beaches a few weeks ago … 

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