Turkey: Sleigh rides on frozen lake attract visitors

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ARDAHAN, Turkey

Tourists can ride on sleighs on Turkey’s frozen Lake Cildir up until April.

Located in the northeast on the border between Ardahan and Kars provinces, the second-largest lake in eastern Anatolia becomes ice-covered as temperatures fall below zero.

When its thickness reaches around 40 centimeters (16 inches), fishing enthusiasts break the ice and catch fish like Eskimos.

Mayor Kemal Yakup Azizoglu told Anadolu Agency that number of tourists is increasing every year.

He added that they hosted many local and foreign tourists this year, despite the onset of a late winter and the pandemic.

“We expect guests until the first week of April. Currently, there is an ideal ice cover especially for a sleigh ride,” he said.

He said that an outdoor park with icy tunnels and cave in the district has been a major tourist attraction. The Ice City — a project inspired by installations in Japan and China — was opened this year.

Kurtulus Kilic, who was riding on a sleigh, said he is happy that winter lasted long this year.

“The weather is ideal now. The ice has an ideal thickness for these weather conditions. Our guests can enjoy sleighs on ice-covered lake for at least 10 days,” he said.

Those riding sleighs abide by the COVID-19 rules, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance.

*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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