Teutonic knights thundered across the ice on horseback to conquer the isles in the 13th Century. Villages here have been constructed by pulling supplies across from the mainland. Bears, Информция для турагентств Гонконг wolves and moose venture to and from the islands in search of food.
These days locals look forward to the ice-driving season as it provides a cheaper and more convenient method of travel, compared to paying for passage on a vehicle ferry.
The traffic light turns green, and timidly I drive out onto the surface of the sea.
It's bumpy and slippery at the same time. A speed sign Hong Kong Land Operators instructs me to drive at 70km/h (43mph), and as I accelerate the speedometer needle passes through the danger zone of 25-40km/h.
The ice surface stays firm. Perhaps the vibration warning is a myth, but I'm not willing to challenge it.
Once I'm speeding along the ice road, I understand why locals have no compunction about using it.
It feels incredibly safe. It's rough in some stretches, and slushy and slidy in others, but never do you have the sensation that the surface could give way.
Ship on the horizon
A ship appears to be driving across a white field
At some points the track has deteriorated and large potholes have formed. Hitting these sends a jolt through the car and a huge spray of water and ice plan hong kong itinerary across the windscreen.
The road is marked out by juniper bushes about a metre high, which have been staked at wide intervals. In poor visibility, these shrubs are only means of finding the safe route across.
Huge cracks occasionally appear - not enough to break up the ice, but wide enough to create impassable gaps. At these points, the road controllers fix wooden planks as bridges.
On a sunny day like this one, the view is stunning. A desert of brilliant white stretches out in all directions. Small islands dotted about the bay appear as oases on the horizon.
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