Thursday, February 9, 2012

Whilst uptown in Amsterdam......

As I look at these photos seeing people wearing ice skates whilst skating on the Prinsengracht, people gliding across the ice, leaning into the bone-chilling wind and effortlessly propelling themselves across the frozen surface. I'm sitting in Jo'burg South Africa enjoying temperatures of 23/26C. So, it just seems crazy as today I was wearing a short sleeved shirt.

I'm a Londoner and I don't have skating or bikes hardwired into my DNA like most Dutch people (I didn't push a chair around a frozen lake as a child the way Dutch kids do to learn how to skate).

But despite all that, I like skating and the fact that I'm terrible at it doesn't matter.
I remember skating with my arms waving out to to get's been years since I've done a serious skating run and I'm dreaming of what it's like taking part in a real Elfstedentocht.

I'm not sure but I think the tour is 200 kilometers (125 miles long). It would take at least 12 hours if you were to survive. In fact the ice has been meticulously scraped clean by a small army of volunteers in an effort to make it strong enough to stage a race with 16,000 competitors (Ta Rarse!!). Imagine all on that Ice - It's got to be crazy.

Skaters ride an 11 Cities Tour itinerary as they pass through the villages in the northern Netherlands, across frozen waterways for the first time in 15 years.
And as usual, the Dutch have a mini-vocabulary dedicated to iceskating. A hole in the ice is called a "wak", there is a verb — "klunen" — for clambering along the river bank in your skates.

But the Dutch are not going to let a small detail like the Elfstedentocht not being staged spoil their fun. All of the photos below have a certain kind of picture-postcard prettiness.

Copyright Victor Lacken

                             Copyright Victor Lacken

                             The Winter Berry's

                             Copyright Victor Lacken

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
Just passing through and enjoying life. I use this blog to keep hold of my thoughts & opinions. In general anything that interest me.