Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Red Bull Crashed Ice in Valkenburg

I just had one of the best weekends I have had in a long time.  There is no place I love more in the Netherlands than the province of Limburg with their rolling hills, open land, beautiful scenery and houses that seem to come out of a fairy tale book.

A month ago I saw a commercial on the television for some Red Bull crashed Ice event.  I have never heard of this before but it looked so extreme and so Canadian!  I told my husband right away to book a hotel because we are going to have a weekend away and see this event.

We arrived at our hotel in Schin op Geul and was greeted by the sweetest couple who own/run the hotel.  I fell in love with their darling Limburgs accent - how could you ever get mad at someone with such a sweet accent? We quickly found our room and I noticed right away a lady bug was on the window sill.  I joked with my husband that a lady bug inside is a sign of good luck, but then I noticed another, and another and another. I quickly realized we had an infestation of lady bugs.  I guess we were being blessed with a lot of luck! I mentioned it to the hotel keepers and they were very accommodating to change our room to an equally nice but bugless room.

After a bite to eat at a local pub we quickly made our way over to the train station for our 2 minute train ride into Valkenburg. The train was packed with other excited crashed ice supporters and while we tried to squeeze in I tried to control my claustrophobia.

The event took place on top of a big hill (or most Dutch would consider a mountain) in Valkenburg, and we had to climb that hill.  The climb was torturous! It was apparently only a 12% inclination but it felt much more and we were trying to go as fast as we could because they had already announced that once it was full they were not letting anyone else in. I think the walk up the hill was to ween out the weak!

Once the gate opened up we ran in for the best spot we could find... right after one of the big jumps!  A perfect photo opportunity spot.  These men were moving at access speeds of 70km/h so you can imagine how difficult it was to take pictures in the dark but I think we managed fine.

 Above: Scott Coxall (Canadian) lost his helmet in the beginning of this race but luckily was not disqualified.
Final standing was: 
                    1st Arttu Pihlainen (Finland)
                    2nd Scott Croxall (Canadian)
                    3rd Kyle Croxall (Canaidan)

This video was taken by someone just behind us.  I was the one with the Canadian flag (of course).  My friends and family who were watching it live at home were also able to spot me as the only one waving my Canadian flag in the mass of people.

Here are some highlights of the race

I hope this comes back again next year! I certainly recommend this for anybody!


Tammy said...

wow looks like you had a really great spot! Some great photos too! What was the name of the hotel you stayed at? Was it close to the caves and stuff? I AM going there next x-mas (I say that every year).

Candee said...

It was Hotel Bemelmans in Schin op Geul and I absolutely recommend them too! I still have their key if you want a free room lol
It's not right in Valkenburg but by train its 2 minutes or just a three km drive from Valkenburg. We didn't want to stay in the busy Valkenburg. It was so quiet and beautiful where we were. I would go back in a heart beat!

Sonya said...

I'm so glad you were able to get away for the weekend and enjoy such a fun event! the pics are fantastic : )