Netherlands is known for their ice skaters and for a good reason. Ice skating is more than just a national sport, it’s part of the Dutch culture and tradition. Following this cold week, we had a increadibly beautiful weekend with most of the standing waters being frozen. Frozen to the point of you could go ice skating.
The Dutch Ice fever
Already during this week the so-called ice-fever arised and people were getting more and more itchy. Channels begun to freeze (ducks complaining!), and in the daily news journal the weather forecast included a forecast about the thickness of the ice layer. Shops that were seeling or renting ice skates were totally sold out already halfway through the week!
And then you realize how amazing it actually is. Close by where we live, is the Gooimeer and it was frozen. Yes, part of the sea froze and people could go to ice skate there. I’ve never seen such a big place where you could make your rounds, it is honestly just beautiful.
It took me some time to get a picture without a crowd of people in it, honestly.
Since I don’t own “Schaatsen” (ice skates) anymore since I was a kid, we had to get creative. Luckily I could borrow some of the old traditional under-your-shoe ones. Guess it doesn’t get more Dutch than that :-)
Anyways, it was a very pleasant experience. And now I understand the typical Dutch Icefever. Ice skating on a frozen lake or sea is something very unique and you need to see it yourself to understand the Dutch Ice fever :-)
Elfstedentocht - Eleven city race
Btw - there is also the famous Elfstedentocht, the eleven-city-race (not happening this year) spanning over 200km over whole Netherlands. When it’s possible to ice-skate on the connecting channels from 11 cities, this is a round race starting from Leeuwarden and going through Friesland in the north of the Netherlands.
The last one happened in 1997, and it almost happened in 2012.
All in all, this was a very nice and pleasant experience, I wouldn’t like to miss :-)