16 February 2014

Canadian Winter Wonderland

Ottawa: It’s been a mild winter for most of Europe, and by the time February comes around I start missing the snow. Normally this is when I would go on a ski vacation in the Alps, but this year I have decided to go to Ontario for a change for some real winter with lots of ice and snow. Just do it like the Canadians do: bundle up and enjoy the cold.

There’s nothing better than going ice skating on Ottawa’s frozen Rideau Canal, an almost 8-kilometre long winter wonderland in the middle of the city. You can go skating for hours on the Skateway and afterwards stroll through Confederation Park, admiring the delicate ice sculptures of the Winterlude Festival. And I followed my friend Misty’s tip and stopped by a stand on the Canal to enjoy a hot Beaver Tail pastry drizzled with lots of cinnamon and lemon juice - the perfect snack in freezing temperatures.

From top left to bottom right: Ottawa’s most elegant auberge, fit for a queen: Fairmont Château Laurier; Social Restaurant & Lounge; winter fun across the river in Gatineau’s Jacques-Cartier Park aka Snowflake Kingdom; nothing better than beaver tails during a snowstorm; Sidedoor restaurant serving modern Canadian cuisine; snowshoeing in Gatineau Park; maple delights

My favourite ice rinks around the world

The Rideau Canal, Ottawa/Ontario
With the function of connecting the cities of Kingston and Ottawa in Ontario, Rideau Canal is a great place to ice skating; in fact it is the largest ice rink in the world which lets you go on and on and on....

Red Square Ice Rink, Moscow
Feel like a Russian princess and skate around the Red Square. It has even staged Olympic ice-skating events in the past.

Somerset House, London
I think that Somerset House is one of the most beautiful ice rinks in Europe. The setting is in one of Somerset House’s 18th-century courtyards. The restaurant Tom’s Kitchen by chef Tom Aikens is a great place for lunch or to warm up between rounds.

Wollman Skating Rink, New York
It is located in the southern part of Central Park, making it one of the rinks with the best views in the world. It is open from October to April. I like to go for a walk in Central Park before I put on my skates.

Rideau Canal; Wollman Skating Rink; Somerset House; Red Square Skating Rink

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IRMA

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