“ Ice skating rink in Krakow, Poland. „
Origo Lodowisko, Krakow
Origo Lodowisko is my local ice skating rink here in Krakow. A few weeks ago, we decided to go ice skating and with both of us being relatively new to Krakow we did a Google search and found that Origo Lodowisko was our closest ice rink.
Origo Lodowisko in Krakow is located at Eisenberga 2. There are regular trams and buses which run to the area, however from the nearest stop it is still a good 10 minute walk away. The ice rink is signposted as Lodowisko and quite easy to find from the tram stop.
The opening hours of Origo Lodowisko vary from day to day so it is best to check the website http://www.lodowisko-krakow.pl to check what time the sessions are on your chosen day. The sessions are 1 hour 30 minutes in length and the start times and frequency of the sessions vary depending on the day. You must arrive at the start of a session otherwise you will have to wait until the next session begins.
Entrance and Skate Hire
Origo Lodowisko is an old looking building with a lot of graffiti art painted on the sides of it. The entrance is located down a few steps and through an old wooden door. As we walked in I felt memories coming back of being a child in the 80's entering a sports hall. Just inside the entrance is a small window to pay the session cost and for skate hire if you need it. The entrance is 10zl or 7zl if you are a student and have your valid student card. Skate hire is 7zl. Exchange rate as of March 2012 is £1 = 4.89zl.
The skate hire area is to the left of you as you walk through into the area for changing from shoes to skates. When we visited Origo Lodowisko the skate hire was staffed by a man who seemed reasonably pleasant and gave us a choice of hockey style skates or figure skating style ones. We chose the hockey style ones and were also given 2 plastic bags about the size of a sandwich bag each. At this point I was a little confused as to what the bags were for, then it was explained to me that I needed to wear the sandwich bags on my feet inside the ice skates! The idea of this is that it keeps the ice skates from having sweaty germs inside for the next person, I tried to explain that in the UK we have sprays that they spray inside them for this, but I was told they don't have that here and I needed to wear the sandwich bag. In all honesty this wasn't an issue for me, it just seemed really random and strange!
The skate hire area doesn't take your shoes off you and doesn't have any lockers either so you will need to be prepared to take your personal belongings with you. You will also need to give the skate hire attendant some kind of ID which they will keep safe until you return your skates.
So, sandwich bags on, ice skates on and actually feeling reasonably comfortable for hired skates! So, lets go...
The Ice Rink
The ice rink is advertised on the website as being inside, this is only half correct and undercover would have been a better description. To get to the rink you need to go outside and walk along a path that has had a rubber coating put on it and leads to what I can only describe as a large marquee style tent. The ice rink is located inside this tent.
The ice rink is a medium size and has a couple of benches around the outside of it. These were pretty full up with peoples belongings and shoes.
The rink only has one entrance and exit to it so as you can imagine this area was a little crowded to begin with which made it a little awkward to get on to the ice with people slipping over, but after a couple of minutes the rush was over and we made it onto the ice safely.
The ice quality was good, when we first got on the ice it was fresh and smooth and easy to glide along. I could see it was rather shiny and wet in patches so I did everything possible to avoid falling over as I didn't really fancy a wet bum! After about 45 minutes the ice began to have a snowy effect to it and it wasn't so easy to skate smoothly on, but it was still enjoyable. Due to the ice having a snowy effect there were a few people who thought it was good to make snowballs and throw them at each other, thankfully they kept this between them and we didn't get hit! The staff didn't seem to mind people throwing snowballs and made no attempt to stop them.
At the end of our session we were lucky and managed to find a spot on the benches to change back to our normal shoes. Taking the ice skates off was painful as by this point my legs and feet were aching and the boots had started to rub a little bit. The sandwich bags were still in place and as gross as it sounds I decided to re-name them sweat bags! They were grossly sweaty and made my socks feel very unpleasant when I put them into my shoes. I really think they should invest in some shoe spray for the comfort of their customers!
We then made our way back to the skate hire area, returned our skates and got our ID's back with no issues at all.
I was unable to locate any toilets at Origo Lodowisko which was quite frustrating as after an hour and a half ice skating in the cold a toilet was called for. I would presume they have toilets somewhere but if they do they are hidden away somewhere and not very well signed.
Overall I would recommend Origo Lodowisko in Krakow as long as you are prepared for taking your belongings with you and you don't mind wearing 'sweat bags' on your feet! Ice skating here was a fun experience and I will be going here again, but next time with a change of socks for afterwards!
Thanks for reading :)