Alexandra Kalinowski reminisces as she swishes across the ice at the Tower of London Ice Rink.
You know it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when ice skating rinks pop up across London. Forget the lights on Oxford Street, the sound your skates make as they skid to a halt across the ice bring me back to winters in Michigan. Unlike Dad who grew up skating on the lake, we’d always visit the parking lot decorated in large snowflakes and paved with ice. We’d leave Mom in the aching cold as we went round and round and round again. Bless her. I’d spend hours there.
Suffice it to say it’s been a minute since I’ve hit the ice. As I made my way towards Tower Hill, my phone began vibrating with message after message from my ice skating buddy for the evening, Sophie. A tirade of “no freakin’ way am I ice skating. There are only professionals on the ice. 12 PRO. Holy Ice Age in Heaven. Finally, one guy whose speed is under 220km/hr.” I was dying of laughter but the butterflies in my stomach began to flutter.
By the time I joined her, the pros must have evacuated, and bloggers with a camera crew of three were skating. In dresses. Like I’m not the fashion police and I recommend skating sans coat because it gets bloody hot, but I have to say an eye roll ensued.
Because between photogenic micro-celebrities and sweet couples, Sophie and I set out with our penguins… Because guess what? Getting used to the rhythm again is like super weird. You’re ankles are in immense pain, and your thighs are in danger of pulling a ligament, and you’re so nervous to let your feet stray too far apart. It’s scary and thrilling and a feeling that must feel something like flying.
We had the best time whizzing around and must have spent close to two hours on the ice. Laughing. The Tower of London, Shard and other buildings south of the river sure beat the views of cars in a parking lot. And the flowing snowflakes made for some magical lighting.
If you fancy ice-skating this winter (until 2nd January) and you’re new to how it works in London, you need to book your place. Yes it’s that popular. The Tower of London Ice Rink is priced at £14.50 for adults and includes rentals. Enjoy those 45 minutes on the ice and warm up with some mulled wine or hot chocolate afterwards in the lodge. I could even bring Mom as she’d be able to sit warmly inside and overlook from her thrown.
Tower of London Ice Rink is located at Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Find out more at toweroflondonicerink.co.uk.