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FRYMBURK, Czech Republic – This year's unusually cold winter has turned a Czech lake resort into a skating heaven.
With ice thickness well over the necessary 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) and a long spell of icy weather, the country's largest lake is open for skating for a record three straight weeks.
Enthusiasts and volunteers led by local firefighters began maintaining an icy track on the vast frozen surface of the Lipno dam in the Sumava mountain range, in southern Czech Republic, some six years ago. But recent mild winters had interrupted access for skaters for safety reasons.
Volunteers have maintained a 15-kilometer (9 mile) long and 8-meter-wide track this season, which has attracted some 10,000 Czechs as well as visitors from nearby Germany and Austria.