Neude on Ice

Indoor Ice Skating
It seems like Neude (one of the central squares in town, in front of what used to be the post office) is never empty for long. The latest installation is a long building taking up most of the square. Inside? An ice rink! From now through 8 January, you can go skating every day, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

We stopped by Neude yesterday on our way to the kerstmarkt on Twijnstraat and couldn’t resist going in to see what was on offer. Along with the actual ice rink, there’s a very nice looking cafΓ© serving sandwiches and a few warm food items, as well as a variety of drinks. I was surprised at just how nice it is inside, especially for a temporary structure. I guess this is the winter version of the beach-side restaurants that pop up for the season.

It’s pretty reasonably priced, as well, with skate hire costing €5 and unlimited skating time costing €5. It almost makes me want to go ice skating, despite the fact that I think I’ve only been twice before and that was more than 20 years ago. As with roller skating, I tend to cling to the wall with a death grip for the first hour or so. Still, it always looks like so much fun.

If you do go, I think you’re supposed to have gloves. Also, Norwegians are not allowed. No, really! I checked the rules and it says Noren are not allowed, and that translated to Norwegians! I’m not sure why there’s such specific national xenophobia; maybe they just don’t want to be shown up by their Nordic cousins to the north. Or maybe Noren are a type of those long-blade speed skates, and actual Norwegians are allowed in. πŸ˜‰ I suspect this to be the case, since the Dutch are no slouch when it comes to speed skating, having won numerous medals.

So, if you’re in Utrecht and want to get in a bit of ice skating while we wait for the lakes and canals to freeze over — perhaps this year will see the Elfstedentocht? — head to Neude and try to keep your bum dry!

16 thoughts on “Neude on Ice

  1. That sounds like a lot of fun! I try every year to gather enough courage to give ice skating a try, but I guess I’m already too old (and let’s face it, my bones already too brittle) for that… So I might just go to look.
    I didn’t know there was a kind of skates known as Noren … Glad to know they’re not encouraging neither xenophobia at the Neude πŸ˜‰

    • It really does look like it would be fun just to go watch and have a nice warm Chocomel (or gluhwein or Irish coffee). Maybe with enough of the latter, it will be easier to get the courage to try! Hmmm. I think there’s a name for that … πŸ˜‰

  2. I happened to walk past that yesterday when I was in Utrecht. It looked very nice, like a step-up from the temporary rinks built in the squares in Amsterdam. I think you’re right about the “Noren” though, we noticed everybody was wearing ice-hockey skates. A few weeks ago, we went to an outdoor rink/track in Amsterdam, and we were the only ones NOT wearing the speed-skates.

    • I noticed that the orange (of course) skates for rent were more ice hockey style, in terms of the big heavy boots. The rink is still relatively small, so besides not being built for speed skating, I think it’s probably a bit too short to build up any real speed!

  3. Yes, “noren” are those long distance speedy kind of skates with the longer blades, not the actual inhabitants of Norway πŸ™‚

  4. I would love to go and see if I can still skate, I used to be in a figureskating club for a while as a girl, though not long enough to learn any of the cool tricks. I can’t skate in hockey-type skates though, did they also have the white laced up boot type skates? (kunstschaatsen, as in “figure-skating skates”)

    • Sorry for the late reply! I didn’t see the lighter-weight boots, only the big heavy orange ones, unfortunately. There’s going to be another skating setup at the Spoorwegmuseum next week. Maybe they’ll have better skates!

  5. Hahaha I loved the thing about the Noren. They are indeed the speed skating skates… But I love the way you used the literal translation there… Put a smile on my face

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! It made me laugh when I first translated it. Quite a surprise! πŸ™‚ It’s funny how things can take on new meaning when you have to choose a translation.

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