Today, for the first time, I saw a private ice rink in someone’s garden. I know that Geneva loves ice, but I didn’t realise that people had their own ice rinks. It makes sense, I suppose. If you love ice skating and you’ve got the space, why not have an ice rink? It was in Chemin de Beraille, a rather well-to-do address in Villette, on the outskirts of Geneva.

It was a good time to see that ice rink, since yesterday I got on the ice myself for the first time. The City of Geneva operates several ice rinks and for the princely sum of 2 Swiss Francs you can hire skates and get on the ice. You can’t go wrong for just two Swiss Francs.

Except, of course, that not only could I go wrong but I could also go quite spectacularly wrong. So wrong that the last time I fell over, other people on the ice said that they felt the reverberations of thudding onto the ice. The chaps in the rink office wondered if I had concussion. I didn’t, I only hit my knee on the ground, in a rather dramatic falling forward as I tried to reach the expected safety of the fence.

Trying to make it look like I was moving

Trying to make it look like I was moving

Other than having a sore knee and a skin burn today, I’m doing pretty well. Well enough that having watched some videos about ice skating basics, I’m looking forward to my next trip onto the ice rink. The rinks will only be about until the end of February, so I’ve not got long to get practising.

Getting out on the rinks is one of the things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I went ice skating once or twice as a child. I wasn’t confident and I didn’t learn anything or get the hang of it, so had we stayed in the UK it was something I was unlikely to try. But being in Switzerland and having a child, are two good reasons to try and skate.

Yesterday, as well as my own ice skating travails, L and Mtoto also got on the ice. While I was wearing the biggest shoe they had on offer, Mtoto had a skate with two blades on each foot, which strapped around the shoes he was already wearing. He was also the right size to take advantage of the learning frames that are on hand for children. With some help from L he happily got on the ice. He fell over several times, but never like his Pappa, thankfully.

If you fancy having a go yourself, there are rinks at Bastions and Charmille as well as at Meyrin, Sous-Moulin and Carouge. After learning how to skate myself, my next ice-related adventure must be going to see the Servette ice hockey team in action.