Have you ever had that feeling that you have waited so long for something that when it actually happens, you just don’t recognize it? That is the feeling the last time Ron and I were at Heroes Square and noticed this beautiful new building that was set off right behind the square itself. It has been so long since I have seen it without scaffolding or other construction overcoats, I had forgotten there really was a building under there. I had thought that the giant lump was the national debt.
Well, I was wrong. It is the old ice skating building, renovated, remodeled, refurbished, reconstructed, re-energized and considering the last time it had a full body treatment was in 1968. Oopa! Long overdue! I have been able to uncover if that was the first overhaul since its opening in 1870, when Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince Rudolf officially opened the rink. He is said to have called it rinky-dink, but the Hungarians let the insult skate on by.
Just in time for Christmas, we hope, it will have its grand re-opening, though don’t wax those skate blades just yet. There have been a few financial problems along the way, including the City of Budapest reneging on payment, thus forcing the contractor into bankruptcy. The EU kicked in 3.2 billion or in other words Germany and France were major contributors. The Germans and French should skate for free when they visit. This is their tax Euros at work. Am I skating on thin ice here?
Once anyone is allowed in, skaters (not me) and spectators (only if dragged) will enjoy a state-of-the-art facility with new locker areas and skate rental services, as well as a bar and restaurant. Just what we need more of in Budapest: drunk people with sharp blades.