I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, and so anything snow- or ice-related was a huge, big, fat deal. Shoveling snow seemed ridiculous and exotic, and I never really believed that ice could seriously cover the ground, like, more than ice cubes. That was from storybooks and simply crazy. So, when I was about 5 or 6, my parents took me and my siblings to the Ice Capades at the Neal Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, two miles from Waikiki Beach. I remember being demented with excitement on seeing the enormous ice rink as we entered the arena. What magical wizard had created this unbelievable oddity of the universe before me? It must have been around Christmastime, as I recall toy soldiers and shiny ornament-people skating around the rink and waving at ME ME ME. My dad even beat out the other dads to catch me a yellow styrofoam ball that one of the toy soldiers threw into the audience. MY HERO!!!! I cherished that styrofoam ball, and it outlasted even my Duran Duran obsession until I tossed it enroute to college.
But I digress.
Here in Denmark, most towns pull together a community ice rink for the holidays, and this year is Sonderborg's first go at it. It's free for anyone to use at anytime of the day (did I mention that nobody here really files lawsuits?), and you can rent skates for practically nothing if you don't have any. (I saw a lot of kids just running around the ice in their shoes like a giant slip-n-slide.) Part of a parking lot near our apartment was sectioned off with planks, and loads of little snaky pipes were laid down very close together, and then, one day, the black pipes were white, covered in frost, and then the frosty lines became a shiny sheet of ice. It was pretty cool to watch over the progression of a week. Unfortunately, it's been so warm here that there's often a giant puddle sitting on top of the ice, but that doesn't seem to bother the kiddies none.
(And I'm still trying to figure out a "capade" is.)