Friday, November 23, 2007

Walking in a winter wonder land

In a time when global warming and major climate changes are the talk of the town, Dutch insurance company Aegon (one of the biggest insurance companies in the world) comes with a good old Dutch winterscene. The island is dominated by the flat fields of the Netherlands with frozen streams.

The scenerty reminded me of the legendary 'Eleven City Tour' a 200 Km long skate tour which was last held in 1997 (it's been so long since then we have had enough ice). Due to the requirement that along the route the ice needs a minimum thickness of 15 cm. it's only been held 15 times since 1909. When it's on though, it's a national holiday.


The second picture reminds me of the Bridge of Bartlehiem (a tiny village a.k.a. Bethlehem in Frisia, which the tour passes two times en route to Dokkum and back to the finish at Leeuwarden).




It's almost impossible to have a guaranteed thickness of 15 cm. everywhere on the track, and especially under the bridges the ice grows slowly. To safeguard the over 15.000 skaters that usually participate there are occasional 'kluning points' where skaters have to pass a bridge on the road. These parts are usually carpeted so the skating irons don't get blunt.

But alas, that's ancient history now. Let's concentrate on speedskating. And so does Aegon, who's been sponsoring a Dutch speedskating team for ages. The center of the sim contains a mega iceblock which holds the Aegon logo. On top of it, there's a speedskating ring.



At the side of the ring you'll find this seasons speedskating calender and you can buy (~!@#$%^) skates for L$ 900 and try it out. Get outta here, I like freebies!

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Aegon/128/128/0

Last but not least, a new Dutch company has arrived in Second Life, this time the USP XS4All, though they're not open for business yet. (SLURL)

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