Canalcrawlers – 1, Elfstedentocht – 0

Crossing the bridge over Amstel River on the way to work

Elfstedentocht fever has gripped the nation this week, and whilst most of Europe has been concerned with piling on the layers and hibernating, the Dutch have been anxiously scraping snow off frozen lakes and canals and studying the thickness of ice.

The event in question is the world’s largest (and most irregular) speedskating competition. The course is 200km long and goes through 11 Frisian cities. Due to the milder winters, the event hasn’t taken place since ’97 but this week it was looking pretty promising.

After days of news reports on the thickness of ice, it seems that Elfstedentocht won’t be taking place due to weak spots in parts (it needs to be at least 15cm thick all the way round for the event to take place) and the possibility of the ice thawing over the weekend.

But don’t give up hope just yet, there’s still the possibility of another Big Freeze next week – frostbitten fingers crossed for that one! In the meantime, the country continues to relish its vast amounts of frozen water by skating along the canals…


…and creating makeshift terraces:

Extreme terraces in Leiden: photo taken by Hielco Kuipers



3 thoughts on “Canalcrawlers – 1, Elfstedentocht – 0

  1. I bought skates and making like the Dutchies on the canals today! wish me luck!
    Love the terrace on ice, hope I come across it on my skating adventure! What better excuse for a hot chocolate?

  2. Pingback: Amsterdam, canali dell'Amstel ghiacciati - Gallery | Neve forte - Punto di riferimento neve

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s