Finding slippery seasonal fun

  • 2008-12-17
  • By Jana Belugina

HILL WITH HISTORY: The mound that now hosts the ice rink covers buildings that were destroyed by war.

TALLINN - To those who are sensitive to below-zero temperatures and think Mother Nature only created winter as an excuse to sit by the fireplace 's the Tallinn City Council will prove you wrong.
The open-air ice skating rink is the best place to spend an outstanding time in the very heart of town. This year the entertaining fresh air activity celebrates its third anniversary 's and this year the rink is going to be open all the way through to the very last day of March.
The ice skating rink is located on Harju Street's leisure zone. It looks like a small hill with a church on the top, but this relatively unassuming site actually holds the ruins of old buildings that were destroyed during the war.
In the summer the mound is covered with green grass, blankets and teenagers playing guitar, singing songs and enjoying the sun.
In the winter it turns into a snow-white miracle, reminiscent of the landscapes from the Snow Queen fairy tale. Glass Christmas tree-like pyramids, rich illumination and energetic music bekon to the youth.
The unique atmosphere not only attracts children, it also brings large 's and often loud 's groups of friends and families.

"We are coming here every year, in the middle of the working week with friends. This is kind of our winter tradition" said Irina, a visitor to the rink. "It helps to refresh after work and spend  quality time together," she said.
Anastasia also prefers to visit the rink with her family: "This is a perfect reason for us to gather all together and spend some time fooling around in the fresh air."

This glamorous rink is open every day from 10 in the morning till 10 in the evening. This makes it equally accessible for children during the day time and working people in the evenings.
For those who do not posses the ability of ice skating, there are professionals on duty every day to remove all possible excuses and allow anyone to enjoy the rink 's some even get addicted.
The skates can be rented out at the entrance and only cost 25 kroons (1.6 euros). The skating itself also comes at the very affordable price of around 40-60 kroons, depending on the time and day of the week.
Those that work up an appetite sliding their feet across the ice can head over to the cafe, located just next to the rink. There, it is possible to enjoy a bowl of delicious hot soup while watching others ice skating, or simply gaze out over the panorama of Harju Street.

Considering that the winters recently have been mostly snowless and barely reaching into the negative temperatures, the rink is, of course, made out of artificial ice. However, this allows people to visit it in almost any weather, whether it is sunny and the guests are wearing tee-shirts, or it is raining and an umbrella is needed 's which nevertheless can be quite romantic.