Frozen canals

The Netherlands is caught in winter weather and ice fever right now. The canals freeze and everyone takes to the ice. I don’t skate, have never really been able to and won’t learn now with my vertigo, but I do love the seeing all the skaters on the ice. My husband can skate, as can my kids, and on Friday Mr Esther and mini-me braved the ice together…

Today Mr Esther went skating on his own and sent me this…

Tomorrow we’ll have one more day of ice, after that it will start thawing and all this will be over again. It’s been beautiful while it lasted.

24 thoughts on “Frozen canals

    1. There are a lot of canals, rivers, lakes, ponds here in The Netherlands, so once it freezes, everyone goes out on the ice. I love seeing that. 🙂
      I tried skating a few times but never got any good at it / too scared to fall. I do wish I was braver, because once you get the hang of it, it looks like an awesome thing to be able to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My brother took the twins skating about 5 years ago indoor rink and asked me to come along. One twin and I stuck together by the railing as I was terrified of falling so was she. I do admire figure skaters and even when we lived in Germany we never went ice skating. Now roller skating is another story 🤗😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Servetus

    I wouldn’t skate right now if I were you either. I hope it’s calming down.

    We used to skate every winter when I was young — the field across the road had a low point that would fill with water in the late fall and then eventually freeze. What was nice about it was that if the ice broke under us, it wasn’t very deep or very wet. I even had my own skates, although my mom bought them at a rummage sale. But I’m fairly sure the last time I went skating was in Germany in 1997, the year of the last Elfstedentocht. It was so cold!

    The sturgeon fishermen here are happy — the sturgeon spearing season opens today — and they rely on very thick ice as they fish in shanties. It’s been around zero or below zero for about two weeks now here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The winner of the last Elfstedentocht in 1997, Henk Angenent, is skating his own personal Elfstedentocht today, as we speak, even though the ice is starting to thaw. He’s had to skip some of the route and hopes to be in before the the 9pm Covid curfew (in Dutch:

      Here kids grow up skating as well but as I didn’t grow up here in The Netherlands, it never became something I learned at a young age. I now wish I had, I’d be less scared of falling.Mr Esther did learn as a young kid and he says it always amazes him that he can still do it. Kinda like riding a bike, once you learned you’ll always be able to more or less do it.

      I’ve never seen sturgeon spearing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Servetus

        Angenent: Neat! I hope he makes it.

        I can imagine skating is not big in Israel. However, ice skating is a really popular thing for Hasidim to do during Chanukkah for some reason (often on indoor rinks). The shul I went to in Tampa always had a skating party for the holiday, but I did not skate. My experience in 1997 was that I still knew how to do it but that my body’s center of gravity had totally changed after puberty (in short, I didn’t know how to balance my chest any more).

        Spearing: I think i blogged about it a while back. It’s like watching tv with the tv turned off in my opinion. It doesn’t even have the charm of normal fishing (enjoying the landscape) because you have to have the shanty over you in order to see down into the dark water and cast the spear. Some people would say it’s essentially an excuse to sit out on the ice all morning and drink and talk. You can only fish from 7 to 1, and any fish you get that day have to be registered by 2. Then you can go into a bar and drink some more.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks beautiful. I skated recreationally as a kid, and then when my younger son was taking skating lessons, I took some myself. I even managed to do some twirls! But the kids were all passing their levels much faster than I was. I was too afraid to fall!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, exactly! Although in the West part of the country where I live, we don’t have the outdoor rinks, as they would just melt! Remember the 2010 Winter Olympics here where Vancouver had hardly any snow? Embarrassing. Today we have snow, though! Several inches.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Servetus

          Maybe you can just save it up for the next Olympics, whenever that will be.

          Seriously, though, I never know when I see you are under snow if I should be happy for you or not.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m never sure if I’m happy about it either! As a kid I loved it, of course, and it was fun when the kids were small. In Ontario, I lived about an hour north of the city and so was very used to driving in it. Here, though, we only have a few snowfalls a year, so you get out of practice, This year, I decided not to get snow tires for the new car I got in August, mainly to save a bit of money. It means, though, that when it snows I can’t drive, especially because I live at an elevation and going up and down can be treacherous.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Skating is in the Canadian DNA as much as it is in the Dutch DNA. 🙂 Where Canada focuses on ice hockey and ice dancing, here all the focus is on speed skating and ice marathons. Alas, I didn’t grow up here, so never learned from a young age like most Dutch kids do. How cool that you become good enough to even do twirls!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I am getting homesick for the canals in Northern Germany… I loved skating. (Haven’t done it for years, though. The last time I skated was on an artificial surface. I actually slipped and landed smack bang on my chest. Ouch!) Such a great video of Miss Esther… Hope your vertigo goes away, soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Winter to spring – The Book of Esther

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