Friday, January 30, 2009

Substitute for the real thing?

Ice makes kayaking around Woerden impossible since more than a month now. As an alternative for the "Friday-morning paddle" 4 members of Kayakclub Wyrda (and 2 special guests) put on the ice-skates for a tour in the polder.

But this isn't exactly what it looks like... The ice is too thick to paddle and too thin too skate. That's why we moved to an artificial ice rink: the track of FlevOnice in the Flevopolder. Unique in the world: a 5 km long the track in the middle of the polder.

It's fake but it gives an outdoor experience quit close to skating on natural ice in the polder. Different from other rinks you're not only making little rounds ona racetrack, but you are skating serious distances in a widespread landscape with head winds and following winds.

Almost every landscape in the Netherlands is man-made and artificial. Paddling in a seakayak in the Waddensea is one of the very few outdoor-activities left to experience "real" nature. Most other outdoor-activities we do in man-made landscapes. But it's something of the last decades that deliberately artifical constructions and landscapes are made for just one purpose: to create an outdoor experience. The constructions are getting bigger and better every year.
Twenty years ago, I went to the Rhur in the Eifel for white water kayaking, to the rocks of Freyr in Belgium to climb, to the Alpes to ski and to the Taunus in Germany for mountainbiking. And now I can do all this right on my doorstep:

WW-kayaking on the white water track of Dutch Water Dreams in Zoetermeer.
Climbing on Monte Cervino, the climbing wall at Outdoor valley in Bergschenhoek.
Snowboarding in Snowworld in Zoetermeer.
Mountainbiking on the track in my backyard in Woerden, created on an old dump, landfill.

Wat een leven...

No comments: