January 31, 2010

Alstereisvergnügen 2010 (sort of) and means of Transportation across the ice

The Alster is open to walk on - sort of!

This lone buoy is frozen in the ice
Photo taken with a Canon 5D MK II

While officials decided that it is not safe enough to officially open the ice for an Alstervergnuegen on Friday, tens of thousands were not able to wait any more and started to "flood" the ice. On Thursday it snowed again heavily and the ice is covered 15cm of snow (6 in). While this is not a perfect condition for ice skaters it enabled many to "safely" walk on the ice.

When the Alster is frozen the regular means of transportation across the Alster such as the Alster Ships, Sail- and Rowing boats are obsolete.
Besides walking there are many other ways of getting across the ice and here are a few that I captured:

Many are playing ice hockey on the Alster
Photo taken with a Canon 5D MK II

Ice skates are the most obvious things to bring to a frozen lake. And to play ice hockey with a few friends on the weekend instead of soccer is a nice change. You have to clear your own field with a snow shovel - a perfect warmup and maybe more of an exercise than the game itself.

Kid is being pulled on a sled across the ice
Photo taken with a Canon 5D MK II

Many kids brought their sleds and their parents pulled them across the ice.

Kid is being slung around on a plastic pad.
Photo taken with a Canon 5D MK II

A modern alteration of the classic wooden sled are these plastic pads that are light and a lot of fun if you are being slung around in circles.

Fire fighters sitting on their rescue dinghy.
Photo taken with a Canon 5D MK II

The fire department is present around the lake to help out if someone breaks through the ice (remember, the Alster is not officially opened and close to bridges the ice is very thin). They have a special construction of a rubber boat with skids. This way they can safely approach the spot where the ice broke and the boat will keep them floating if they break in themselves. Fortunately, I did not see them having to rescue someone, yet. And they seemed pretty relaxed.

Small kid rides in a hi-tech stroller across the Alster
Photo taken with an iPhone

Small kids are being pushed over the ice in their strollers.

Man pushes his bicycle across the ice
Photo taken with a Canon 5D MK II

Others pushed their bikes. It was too slippery and too crowded to ride them across.

Man cross-country skiies across the Alster
Photo taken with a Canon 5D MK II

I have seen Cross-Coutry Skiing around the lake before. But skiing across it opens an incredible obstacle-less area. Probably the best you can get in the middle of a metropolitan.

Picnic utensils are pulled in a plastic sled
Photo taken with a Canon 5D MK II

And this is the best way to transport your picnic utensils (Glühwein, Coffee, Tea and Cake).

Man rides on a Segway across the Alster ice
Photo taken with a Canon 5D MK II

And as always, there is someone that takes it over the top: A Segway on the Alster - come on! ;-)


v3 said...

nice plase...

samyk said...

hey really nice blog !!
cool photos :D !