Day 199-200: ice hockey on a frozen lake!

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Flag of Germany  , Berlin,
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Today Paul and I woke up to a message from Marc saying that it was now or never. He has skates and will meet us at the train station. Let's go!

This may be the last day we have a chance. The ice will melt over the next few weeks!

Ummm ok I guess we are going ice skating today! How exciting!

We quickly got ready and made our way to the train station. On the way we passed an old man with a walking frame attempting to change a tyre on his car. He was really struggling down on the ground. Paul stopped and in our broken German / sign language told him to move over whilst Paul changed his tyre for him. He had obviously hit a curb or gutter or something and it was a shame because it was a brand new tyre. The man was so grateful that he shoved ten euros in Paul's hand. Paul tried to say it's ok, don't worry but the man really insisted and started saying thank you thank you in English. It was nice of him And it paid for our train tickets to and from the frozen lake. It felt good to do a good deed. The man really needed a hand too, he was really struggling.

We then made our way out towards Marc's place, to the famous Müggelsee. This same lake we took the boat out on during summer time. Such a pretty place.

The only difference was that it was completely frozen over! It was so perfect, there was very few people around being mid week and we almost had the place to ourselves.

Paul and I were a little wobbly at first, but we soon found our balance. Skating on a real lake is actually much more slippery than an indoor ice rink. Marc's hockey sticks also helped. We skated around, hitting the puck to one another and enjoying this new experience. Neither Paul nor I had ever been on a frozen lake before. It's a strange sensation, especially because we know this lake well. We have had a few party's on it.

As we became more and more confident we decided to skate around to the other side. It was a bit too risky to skate through the middle of the lake because we weren't sure it was completely frozen. So we skated around the outside, about 2 metres from the shore. It was such a beautiful day. The temperature was about 5 degrees and the sun was shining. We were all rugged up but as we skated, we shed more layers until we were just wearing our jeans, tshirt and jumper each, with a beanie too of course.

We had races and tried to play a bit of hockey..not that I had ever played hockey before, but it was really fun. Once again we both felt like kids, skating around the place, laughing, trying to do tricks and trying hardest not to fall over.

As we made it half way around the lake we were approached by a couple of guys who looked about our age. They asked us if we would like to play a game of hockey with them.

Sure thing haha but we are not so good.

We will go easy on you.

Ok let's do it! So the three of us joined the 4 guys and played a few games of hockey. It was really fun and Paul was surprisingly good at it. Marc too, but he plays every year so that's understandable. After an hour we were joined by Monique, Marc's friend from around the corner . She was really good at ice hockey and showed everyone up. It was a really fun day.

The guys were all from Kopenick which isn't too far away. They all spoke English and were really friendly. We really receive a warm welcome when we are asked where we are from, and we reply 'Australia.' Marc tells us that the Germans see Australia as a paradise and it's on every Germans wish list to visit. One of the guys sister was in Melbourne at the moment too which made for good conversation. They were also impressed with our coordination, being the first time on a frozen lake. Haha maybe they were trying to make us feel better!

The guys had to leave come 3pm, so Monique, Marc, Paul and I skated back to our starting point and enjoyed a lovely warm tea by the fire at the cafe by the water. We then drove back to Marc's place, had another tea and some beer for the guys, looked through Marc's shed, chatted and planned our skiing adventure to Czech Republic with Charly and Hubert! It's going to be so much fun, we are all so excited about it. Let's just hope that it snows!

We caught the 6pm train home from Marc's. He was working a night shift tonight setting up for the Berlin film festival, so he needed to have some rest before he started at 11pm. It was pretty game of him to skate all day, play hockey and then work a night shift. Haha he paid for it over the next few days!
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