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  • - [Marc] Castles are built to last, right?

  • One hundred years, 500 years, a thousand years.

  • So why build a castle that only exists for three months

  • and has to be rebuilt every single year when it melts?

  • Well, what if that was the point?

  • What if you were building it not for the finished product,

  • but just 'cause you like building stuff?

  • (chainsaw buzzing)

  • - We're just creating for fun,

  • creating something that's going to melt.

  • - [Marc] And because you want to make something

  • that looks like it belongs in a fairy tale.

  • - I'm Sleeping Beauty.

  • It's nice to meet you.

  • - I was just blown when I saw it.

  • - Blown away.

  • - [Marc] Even if it can't last forever.

  • But then, the best things in life never do.

  • (excavator rumbling)

  • So in what faraway land of ice and snow

  • might you find this unique castle?

  • Tell me at what state to be?

  • - America. - New Hampshire.

  • - [Marc] This is the aptly-named White Mountains

  • National Forest.

  • Now, there's no doubt that this is one of the most

  • beautiful parts of the country.

  • But people who don't like the cold tend to stay away

  • because temperatures here have been known

  • to fall as low as minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit

  • with wind chill.

  • Yes, minus 100 degrees.

  • - We have trees, and we have a lot of land,

  • and we have the Ice Castles.

  • (ethereal music)

  • - [Marc] For the last four winters

  • this hidden corner of New England has been home

  • to the Ice Castle, a gargantuan structure

  • made up of over 25 million pounds of ice.

  • Thousands of visitors come to explore the turrets,

  • tunnels, slides, and sculptures that seem

  • to have sprung out of the ground like magic.

  • - They have really fun slides with lights in them.

  • - I'm ready for anything!

  • - And a fire-breathing princess.

  • (screaming, exclaiming)

  • (whooshing)

  • - I was scared she was gonna blow up the whole thing down.

  • Then we call the fire department, and then something bad

  • would happen, and maybe she would get arrested.

  • - Arabelle and Lily are best friends,

  • or worst enemies, depending on the day.

  • Arabelle completely looks up to Liliana.

  • I think she wants to be like Lily one day.

  • - Come on!

  • Whoa!

  • Why do I keep on slipping?

  • (shrieking)

  • - [Marc] How did you feel when you first

  • saw the Ice Castle?

  • - I felt amazing.

  • - I felt like how did they build this?

  • It could be all magic.

  • - Um, they might have done magic, I don't know.

  • - [Marc] The Ice Castle is, in fact, built with magic,

  • but it's the kind of magic that results from a group

  • of craftspeople working in subfreezing temperatures

  • for a cumulative 8,000 hours.

  • (chainsaw buzzing)

  • - We actually harvest our own icicles here,

  • and then we take them and stick them

  • where we want the ice to grow.

  • And then we turn on the sprinkler system

  • and overnight it'll grow together,

  • and once it grows together it's strong enough

  • to get up on top, and we keep building from there.

  • - [Marc] And there's another group of people

  • who help shape the castle without even knowing it:

  • the visitors themselves.

  • - I like for people to touch it, and get in it,

  • and see them interacting with the ice.

  • They're essentially helping me carve

  • because the heat from people's mittens and bottoms

  • will continue to carve the castle and smooth it out.

  • I'm gonna try to knock off this part.

  • - Is it fun?

  • - [Woman] Yeah, it is fun.

  • - Is it like all year? - It's really fun.

  • No, no, we start building in December, usually,

  • when it gets cold enough.

  • I think you have to be 18, but you just apply online.

  • I really like telling children how it's made.

  • I'm like, this is the next generation of artists.

  • I like to work with happy accidents,

  • and ice is great because you don't

  • have a lot of control over it.

  • It's all up to the weather, and it changes all the time.

  • New Hampshire, it's a tough place to live

  • because you have to be able to handle the winters.

  • I think everyone's a little stir-crazy,

  • and you just don't know what to do

  • when you're trapped in your house all the time,

  • and especially if you have kids.

  • I feel like art could help to make connections

  • and work through things.

  • - How do you spell sadness?

  • - S-A-D-N.

  • - Art is a great way to work through problems,

  • and emotions, and putting emotions into something.

  • - Is that you?

  • - Mm hmm.

  • - I feel for my children because for most of their life

  • it was almost picture-perfect, and then it went from

  • perfect to crumbling really fast.

  • - Ow, wow.

  • - [Woman] Whoa, okay.

  • - Well, my mom and my dad got in a divorce.

  • Sometimes stuff is just for the best,

  • and sometimes that's just gonna happen.

  • (quiet music)

  • - Christmas wasn't like all the Christmases before.

  • So we went to the Ice Castles, and I think it was

  • just the pick-me-up we all kinda needed.

  • It was a day away from reality, and it was magical.

  • Maybe it's not a bad thing that they're experiencing

  • heartbreak so early on because they're learning

  • that there is life after heartbreak.

  • You can go through something and you can be

  • in a lot of pain, and you can get through it,

  • and you can come out stronger.

  • - If Arabelle's sad, I would give her a hug,

  • and say, just try to think of the good times you had,

  • or the good times that you will have.

  • - [Marc] All good things come to an end.

  • Maybe that's what helps us realize

  • that they are good things.

  • And besides, who knows?

  • Something even better might be around the corner.

  • - I'm happy to see it melt.

  • It needs to be renewed.

  • It needs to melt.

  • - [Marc] Sometimes, though, mother nature needs

  • a little bit of help.

  • (excavator beeping)

  • (ice crumbling)

  • The Ice Castle is so big, that even when temperatures

  • get above freezing it has to be knocked down

  • because it takes too long to melt.

  • - I definitely embrace change.

  • Dive into a season, and then as soon as you're sick

  • of that season, that season's gone,

  • and there's a new season.

  • When spring comes, I start to garden.

  • Soon as the drips of the Ice Castles start happening,

  • I was like, OK, let's have some springtime.

  • I want to see plants burst out of the ground,

  • and I want to tackle them.

  • (cheerful music)

  • - [Marc] Are you excited to go back next year?

  • - [Together] Yes.

  • - I'm so excited because maybe there will be

  • another fire-breathing princess, and the slides

  • hopefully will still be there.

  • And maybe there'll be a little change.

  • Mm hmm.

- [Marc] Castles are built to last, right?

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A2 UK GreatBigStory marc castle magic melt season

An Ice Castle Brings Magic Before Melting Away

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    Evangeline posted on 2018/11/06
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