The police in Hamburg warned against it. But despite their concern, some 35,000 Hamburgers spent part of their Sunday skating, or just walking, on the frozen-over "Aussenalster," the large body of water in the heart of the city.
Many locals had been hoping for a repeat of 1996, when a frigid winter resulted in a kind of city festival on the ice, complete with mulled wine and grilled sausage stands. This time around, the ice never quite became thick enough -- 20 centimeters is considered safe -- for officials to give the green light. But nobody fell through on Sunday. And they could tank up on treats at stands set up along the shore.
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