Winter fun Dutch-style
December 16, 2011 6 Comments
When the temperature dips below freezing, the Dutch are in a celebratory mood. The atmosphere is festive. Many even take holidays from work. Two things are possible then:
- With snow, everyone with be out with their sleds or making snowmen. Because the country is flat, every little incline like a dike will be converted into an instant skiing or downhill sleighing course. This is the case in our area because ours is a dike house.
- With ice, that’s when the temperature remains sub-zero for so many days that the canals freeze, everyone will be out skating in the open. This was the case almost 3 years ago when we had sustained cold spell at the beginning of 2009. We drove to Kinderdijk which was about an hour’s drive from Amersfoort to introduce Francesca to her first sleighing adventure.
Skating is a Dutch tradition just like cycling and swimming. Children are introduced into these activities early on. No wonder that the Winter Olympics for instance, is dominated by Dutch athletes and the same goes for swimming in the Summer Olympics.
Sub-zero temperature is now eagerly awaited here. With the crisis besetting Europe these days, most people who normally go on winter holidays to ski resorts in the Alps or in Scandinavia will be foregoing that this year and will just settle for winter fun in their own backyard.
For info on Kinderdijk: http://www.kinderdijk.nl/