Monday, December 17, 2012

BarGelona 2012-13 Christmas Ice Rink

This Christmas, the same as last year, Plaça Catalunya has been converted into a festive Ice Rink called BarGelona - the play on words there in Catalan, "gel" is "ice". Unconfirmed reports last year suggested that the installation of the rink was to stop another camp-in of the 15-M indignados who had spent so much time there in the spring, and not just an impulse to encourage Christmas shopping and spending to boost the economy. Either way, it must have been a success, as it's back.

Skating Rink at Plaça Catalunya

 The rink is sponsored by local companies and banks, and is a little different to last year in the layout and organization. In a similar way to last year, there are plenty of vouchers flying around the shops and bars easy to pick up but this year seems like a better deal. Last year, you got 2 x 1 for 30 minutes skating and this year it's 50% off instead, so for 4,50 € you get an hour's skating time (but I'll get to that later).

bargelona ice rink on barcelonasights blog
I went with my kids and some other from their school last Friday, and there was very little wait to get your skates and get on the rink. You must take gloves - otherwise you have to buy some - and kids have the option of helmets (all free) and there are free lockers to drop off bags, coats, etc. as you can get quite hot skating around. I assumed before we arrived, that time would be regulated every hour -i.e. they blow a whistle on the hour and swap those who have been on with those waiting, in a similar way to last year. So, we got booted up with our skates and were patiently waiting for it to come around to the hour. Then we noticed that other people behind us just got their skates, and went straight on the rink, so we thought as there was only 20 minutes to go before the hour mark, they're probably just turning a blind eye to the time - you can see from the photos, it wasn't heaving. 
skating rink with view of bar

Well, we skated for 2 hours, and could have gone on for longer, I reckon, as no-one asked us for our tickets  or seemed to be controlling the time, and we only left as my daughter was really tired. So great value for money too! AND on the back of the tickets we were given to skate, there was a voucher for a free snoog-scarf from Banc Sabadell which I picked up this morning, too!

Child skating with help of plastic penguin - Barcelona Sights
There is a refreshment area at the back with a bar, waffles, hot chocolate, etc. and plenty of room to sit down and take photos for those who aren't skating. There's also a smaller rink for the little ones who can practice with the big heavy plastic penguins - apologies for the photo being so blurry, I was trying to catch the action!

Fancy a winter break to Barcelona? Come and stay with BCN Rentals apartments for some great deals. And for a quick look at the city's sights, check out this Barcelona Guide.


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