Ice skating

Parisians in general are not the best ice skaters (roller skating is different). However, each winter, during a few weeks (until end February), the City of Paris offers some possibilities to learn. A few ice rinks are available, one in front of the Town Hall. It’s free of charge; you can rent the skates or bring your own.

This makes the look of the place in front of the Town Hall quite different from last summer weeks, when instead a garden was installed here (see previous post).

Last Wednesday afternoon, when most school kids are free, I spent an hour or so watching. A few of the boys skated quite well, but scared a bit, sometimes trying to slightly overdo it. However, it’s obvious that many tried for the first time. It seemed to me that the girls had more fun, whether in standing or laying position. (I didn’t try myself – haven’t been skating since I was a kid in the ice covered Sweden.) The best skater was in my opinion the young guy on the top picture.

It’s open until late in the evening (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays).


stromsjo said...

Lots of fun and laughter there, no doubt. I'd put a helmet on the kid if it was mine. Ice is hard. Still, a lot safer than venturing by skates into our archipelago before the ice is thick enough as some dumb people do here each winter.

Cezar and Léia said...

Hello,Peter! Smart pictures! We envy the cold and snow, as we're suffocating here with over 30 C... Have a nice week!

Anonymous said...

une belle ambiance festive! dommage que tu ne prennes pas plus de risques à la prise de vue: flou de mouvement, filé etc.....

GMG said...

Hi Peter! Great show at the rink on the Hotel de Ville! And of course you have some superb collages...
It doesn't seem so close to walk to the concert, but I imagine you had a great time; hopefully there was no verglas... ;)
(Friday I saw Gounod's Faust at the São Carlos Opera House in Lisbon; great performance!!)
Loved to see the Abbesses Metro station; like that name and the fact that it is the station for Montmartre...
Have a great week!

Neva said...

I do not skate well....too afraid of falling and breaking something....but I imagine if you skated as a kid it would come back to you like bike riding!
Nice photos today....as usual.

Michelle said...

That looks like fun! Some of those pictures crack me up!! It really is amazing how different it looks for the past picture.

Rhi said...

looks like this would be a blast!!

Virginia said...

Oh how wonderful to see everyone having so much fun trying to skate. Was your Paloma out there??? Ice skating is really hard. I applaud all the ones who tried it. I myself have never ever been on skates but a few of my granddaughters have had a go at it. These are wonderful images Peter! Winter in Paris has been a feast for the eyes this winter, oui?

SusuPetal said...

Skating seems like fun -it's years since I've last skated. At the railway station square in the middle of Helsinki there is also a possibility to skate, it's usually crowded.

Olivier said...

belle série de portrait de patineurs, moi je patine un peu comme le petit garçon qui est parterre ;o)) Je trouve que cette patinoire, c'est une bonne idée. J'espère un jour que la ville d'Évry fera de la grande place une patinoire (remarque pendant une semaine c'était le cas ;o)) )

Cergie said...

"Parisians in general are not the best ice skaters"
Je sens comme une critique larvée là, espèce de scandinave...
Ils sont pas bons non plus en ski de fond.
Lorsque j'étais ado, et s'il faisait très froid, une patinoire était installée place des Vosges à Epinal et pendant quelques jours on s'en donnait à coeur joie et y courait dès les cours finis. Tout le monde s'y retrouvait.
Puis il y a eu la patinoire artificielle et la magie n'a plus été la même.

alice said...

Peter, if you try, let your handbag at home (these two young ladies made me laugh)

Bettina said...

I love your photo collages. And the little guy in the top photo is so cute, these photos really brings out a smile with everybody enjoying them selves. You should have tried though, isn't it like riding a bike; you never forget ?

This square in front of the Townhall is so great because it's never the same.

lyliane six said...

Tu n'as pas essayé de t'y remettre? Tous les jeudis je patinais sur roulettes et j'en faisais encore il y a une vingtaine d'année. J'ai appris mes enfants à en faire et Michel aussi!!!
Il y avait une grande patinoire aussi à Budapest.

Anonymous said...

Oh Peter j'adore ce post. Il est extraordinairement vivant et joyeux !

Tu l'as fait remarquer toi-même, mais c'est impressionnant ce que les attitudes des filles sont différentes de celles des garçons - et tes photos séparées par genre le révèlent magnifiquement.

J'adore ta première photo.
Et je reprendrai la question de Virginia: y'avait-il Paloma parmi eux?

Ruth said...

Ohh!! This is wonderful. I didn't know they froze a rink in front of City Hall. Memories memories. I grew up skating on the ice covered baseball diamond by the river in my small hometown. My favorite times were under the lights at night, with music piped on the loud speakers. Boys would play hockey in a roped off area. I got very cold though, and maybe a little frostbite. We did have a warm-up house though with a big furnace.

Thanks for these great photos of skaters!

Anonymous said...

joli post, surtout les photos des gens qui se cassent la gueule. :-))
c'est effectivement très vivant.
Et toi alors? tu ne fais pas de patin? quand j'étais petite, j'allais tous les mercredis matins à la patinoire avec mon frère. Je patinais très bien, et je faisais donc des matchs de hockey avec les garçons.
Mon papa a joué pendant de nombreuses années comme hockeyeur dans une fameuse équipe suisse.
Maintenant il m'arrive d'aller voir des matchs de hochey avec des amis. En Suisse, on a de bonnes équipes. Mais c'est vrai qu'en France.... ouarfffffff

Rakesh Vanamali said...

I'm sure that must be a lot of fun! Great pictures.....they are reflective of such fun loving people!

Anonymous said...

I love your ice skating photographs, Peter. So nice to see so many people out having a good time while slowly freezing their feet. LOL

I have two new blogs to show you:

Dips Pen
Abraham Lincoln's Blog

krystyna said...

Generally I don't like much winter, but your beautiful photos showed what is fun in this cold seazon too.
Thank you Peter for great photos!

Cutie said...

I think it's been years since I last skate. I like it but I always fall down. Hehe... Everyone looks so happy and cheerful.

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

Hi Peter,
Aagain ice and skating and THAT IN PARIS!!! Wow that is awsome , we are really lucky eehh?Thanks for the show, here in HOLLAND its still FROZEN

JoAnn's D Eyes/Holland

hpy said...

ANd you were enjoying yourself looking at the skaters! (I'm still behind on my schedule, so bye bye.)

HZDP said...

ahh, ice skating, Peter, you can't imagine how many times i slipped when learning this.
Terrible memory...haha
Yes, i'll be back soon after 19th!

Rob said...

looks like such a fun evening to skate.

Mona said...

Wow! those children seem to be having so much fun!

Snow games must be fun!

Anonymous said...

Ice skating is so much fun ! To do, to watch and to laugh at.

Great pics.

Anonymous said...

*lol* They all seem to have very much fun.

Marie-Noyale said...

You must have bee on skates too to be able to get all this!!!

That is a fun idea... for those who enjoy it..and I am not one of them, but I can have ,as much fun just looking, like your pictures show!

Kate said...

This is a GREAT collection of fun photos. Since Minnesota has been so cold, only the hearty ventures out to outdoor rinks...usually young hockey players. I was struck by the skaters' clothes. Doesn't appear to be too cold or their apparel would look much different.

Heather said...

What wonderful pictures - everyone looks like they are having great fun! I loved ice skating as a little girl, but have not been in some time. My sisters and I spent as much time on the ice as we could growing up. Lucky for us to live in a city surrounded by many lakes and rivers!

Jill said...

Oh Peter, what a delightful post!What fun to see the skaters up close. Some of those boys show confidence on skates. I froze my toes many a time on the city pond in Ohio. Thank you for standing out in the cold for us!

claude said...

Je suis bien de ton avis, il est trop chou le petit patineur de la première photo. Il a l'air de bien maîtriser.
Je n'ai jamais fait de patin à glace mais quand j'étais môme j'étais la reine du patin à trois roues. J'ai du déjà te le dire : je m'éclatait sur les piste réservées du jardin du Luxembourg.

PeterParis said...

You are of course right for the helmets, but no... not here, like you see very few bikers with a helmet.

Cezar & Léia:
Don't worry, soon you will be back to lower temperatures!

Oui, je sais ... il faut que j'apprenne! Pourtant, je fais des photos floues, mais pas exprès!

PeterParis said...

Gounoud, another of my ex-neighbours I did not mention! Not too far, without photo-taking, it would have been a question of about 20 minutes!

Yes, maybe I should have tried, but the rink was full of young people only...!

Yes, for the Parisians, this is in general just for fun; they are not ay "serious" ice skaters!

PeterParis said...


No, Paloma was not there. I was with the grandkids that day, but had something to do in the area and left them for a (too long) while (they were taken care of).

Finns are of course better skaters than French - seems rather normal! :-) No wish to take it up again?

PeterParis said...

Normalement Evry fait "tout"! L'année prochaine sans doute. Il faut que tu parles avec ton ami Manuel!

Je ne permettrai pas de critiquer! Just un constat!

So, you noticed the handbags! :-)

PeterParis said...

I thought about trying, but... I had other things to do as an excuse.

Moi aussi, j'ai essayé les roller skates, mais c'est quand' même un peu dangereux à mon age. J'ai sagement abandonné!

Je préfère l'attitude des filles, presque toujours! (Pour Paloma, j'ai déjà répondu ci-dessus).

PeterParis said...

I forgot to mention that there is music around here also ... and you can skate until late in the evening. But nothing to heat you, except the exercise!

Oui, j'en ai fait - des fois avec des bras cassés comme résultat! Il faudrait qu'on parle hockey (suisse et autre) ensemble un jour! :-)

Happy that you appreciate!

PeterParis said...

I made the tour of (all) your blogs! You are incredible - as always!

Yes, there are good things also with the winter!

Ice skating is to a great extent the art of falling ... without hurting yourself!

PeterParis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PeterParis said...

French of course don't skate as the Dutch!!


... which now means that you ARE back!

PeterParis said...

Dusty Lens:
Yes, it's fun and people (especially the girls) seem t take it as pure fun!

You should try one day! Why not in Paris?

I understand from you comments that you have tried. Good!!

PeterParis said...

Almost all of them, I believe! :-)

No, I just watched - at least this time!

The temperature has gone up a bit - for the moment!

PeterParis said...

Natural ice!! :-)

It wasn't too cold that day!

Oui, le petit patineur était remarquablement bon!

Jane Hards Photography said...

This reminds me of my youth Birmingham Uk. Once a week indoor skating. Cold but fun. Lovely montage.

Unknown said...

Great ice skating photos! And some falls too!... :-)
This is something you just can't see around here...

Anonymous said...

je n'en reviens pas de la richesse et de la variété iconographique de ton blog ! la série sur les sculptures est super intéressante : bravo ! encore ! et qu'ils sont mignons ces petits choux sur leurs patins à glAce...

Claudia said...

Fantastic fun!

PeterParis said...

Merci pour ces gentils compliments!


Ming the Merciless said...

I can't skate and I think I'm too old to try.

Great collection of photos.

PeterParis said...

If you never tried before, why not try after all?