Ijskarten at de Uithof

The Hague Travel Blog

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The second of the jam packed days began around 11:00am. The plan: Snowboard. Yes, snowboarding in July in The Netherlands. You’re probably thinking that it’s impossible, but not when the slopes are indoors. It was even below sea level!

After a quick breakfast, we hopped on the tram that took us basically door to door. The Uithof is a large, unnoticeable building in the middle of a forest. Walking up to it, you had no idea what so ever what is inside. We trusted Kos and soon found ourselves in the middle of your average ski lodge. There was a little café serving warm drinks and food, a reception/sales desk, and people walking around in their ski wear in the middle of July.

But before we hit the slopes, something else caught our attention. Ijskarten. Huh? That’s what I thought at first too.
Moi, with a fresh haircut courtesy of Kos
Translation: Ice Karting. You simply drive go karts on a track that is all ice. For some reason at the time, it sounded like a blast so we did it.

After changing into our ijskarten suits and getting situated in our helmets, we were in our machines. I was pretty nervous at first and didn’t know what to expect. It took me only about a half a lap to realize how easy it was. Driving in North Dakota does wonders for your ijskarten skills. It was basically the same thing but you could do whatever you want. People were spinning out left and right as we had to make sharp turns and avoid large hay barriers. Needless to say, it was pretty fun.

After ten minutes of slipping and sliding, we grabbed some coffee and rented our snowboards and bought our lift tickets. Since I hadn’t really planned on snowboarding on this trip, all I had was a windbreaker and jeans.
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Luckily, they had gloves you could use for free. All together, the lift ticket and rental cost only 15 Euro.

We had to go through a series of doors into the massive freezer. The temperature inside is held at -5 Celsius (about 25F). When we went through the final door, the rush hit us. In front of us was a small hill full of man-made snow and two J-bar lifts. I was so excited to be back on a hill! Kos stayed on the beginner hill since he doesn’t have much experience while CS and I went to the “big” hill. The vertical drop couldn’t have been more than 200 feet, but that’s about the height I’m used to now in North Dakota. The J-bar (pretty much a tow rope to the top) was easy and we were soon at the top. The run itself was extremely short, but I can’t complain.
...and statues
I was snowboarding!

After about two hours, I went in for some food and to unwind for a few minutes. The slope closed at six, and at that time it was just a few minutes before 5:00pm. After eating, I went back to get a few more runs in until I realized my snowboard was nowhere to be found (they were name brand rental boards). I looked everywhere, but it was gone. It was even stranger because there were maybe 20-30 people in the entire building. Not wanting to cause commotion or perhaps be liable for the board, I just returned my boots and waited for the other three to finish. I still have no clue where that board went.

We took the tram back to Kos’s apartment, had a quick bite to eat, and then made our way back downtown. We finished off the action packed day with a trip to the cinema to see Harry Potter 6.
Interesting name for a bank
It was in English with Dutch subtitles. After the movie, we all went back and crashed in various spots in Kos’s apartment. I never thought I would snowboard on this trip, but that’s what makes travelling even more exciting.

The next two days in The Hague went by quickly. Clark flew back to Ohio on Monday morning. It was weird being a man down. He arrived safely back home on time. Sarah and I walked around The Hague that afternoon. It seemed like a smaller, less chaotic Amsterdam with plenty of beautiful buildings and parks. Nothing too exciting though.

After a relaxing evening of cooking and chatting, we decided to have a few drinks and walk around the town at night. It was pretty dead but we still enjoyed ourselves on a gorgeous evening.
Sweetski says:
"nothing too exciting" Yep, that's The Hague for ya :D
Posted on: Feb 21, 2010
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The Hague
The Hague
Moi, with a fresh haircut courtesy…
Moi, with a fresh haircut courtes…
More sites...
More sites...
...and statues
...and statues
Interesting name for a bank
Interesting name for a bank
Typical Holland scene
Typical Holland scene
Amsterdam?
Amsterdam?
The Hague
photo by: Sweetski