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The Netherlands takes to its skates

Friday 10 February 2012


The Dutch will take to their skates en masse this weekend as the big freeze enters its last days. Dozens of official routes have been opened up across the country's lakes and waterways.

The 200 km 11-city skating race around Friesland's may not be going ahead but hundreds of people on Friday followed the Elfstedentocht route unofficially.

However, the Friesland ice association warned that parts of the route are extremely dangerous because the ice is not thick enough in places.

Instead, there are some 30 other official routes in the northern province for skaters to follow, the association says. The province's water authorities have also agreed to keep pumps turned off for the duration of the weekend, to allow skaters to make the most of the ice, and good weather.

In Amsterdam, skaters have been able to take to the city's 17th century canals for the first time in 15 years. On Saturday, short track races will be held in the city centre.


Elsewhere, there are dozens of official ice trails set out for keen skaters to follow. For a full listing, see www.schaatsen.nl

The thaw is forecast to set in on Sunday.

Photos: Martijn Zwennes

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

a modern Breughel?

By joemnhttn | 10 February 2012 4:25 PM

WOW!! It's about time where as the ice is safe. Hurray.....all Holland Skates.

By DAN ZIKKING (NEW HAMPSHIRE, USA) | 10 February 2012 5:00 PM

I would have loved to be there and put the skates on...so beautiful!

By Annemieke Baars - Oude Bekke | 10 February 2012 9:34 PM

It is a well known secret that the Dutch are happy only six days a year: three days when it is hot and sunny and three days when they can skate. (And the last three days, they are happiest)

By Jan | 11 February 2012 8:27 PM

Am I mistaken, or is that a bloke taking a pee on the left hand side of the second photo?

By Andy | 13 February 2012 11:40 AM

We were lucky enough to be visiting Amsterdam when the canals froze over. Thousand of people came on to the ice and there was much happiness, including us!

By Casey | 13 February 2012 10:01 PM

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