Jan takes three careful steps with his skates on the ice. The first battle begins. The ice squeaks and groans. Cracks appear everywhere, but the ice doesn’t break. “Great,” says Jan. For the first time this winter, he is skating on natural ice.
The Oud Meer in Son en Breugel is traditionally the first in the region to freeze over when the temperatures reach zero degrees Celsius. The water is shallow, which is favourable.
The ice is not very deep yet. Two-and-a-half centimetres, at the most three. On the banks are Municiple boards saying: “Dangerous ice”. Yet, at around midday, there are a handful of ice lovers skating around on the frozen water.
“It is great feeling, and if you do fall and keep going, you will not fall through,” says one enthusiast. The skaters realise what they are doing is dangerous, but they cannot resist. The “skating fever” takes over, because “today might be the last day we can go for a spin on natural ice.”