By Steve Dellar  |  03-03-2018   News
Photo credit: @Algemeen | Twitter

Last year around this time I was with the missus in Oslo, the capital of Norway. Out there freezing cold, wintry weather and frozen rivers are nothing new, but when it happens in Western Europe (Benelux, France, Germany, etc) as it did this week when the ‘Beast of the East’ visited us, the list of complaints about the weather becomes endless.

Except maybe for the Dutch, who expressed their joy at seeing the canals of Amsterdam freeze over. Because immediately people put on their skates and took their kids out into the city center so that they could, for once, go and skate onto the river again.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Amsterdam&#39;s so cold that canals are freezing over and people are breaking out the skates <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NowThis (@nowthisnews) <a href="">March 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The Dutch have a long history when it comes to skating, and because of this cultural heritage this nation of 10 million plus is very good at it (check the Winter Olympics medal board to see what I mean).

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It&#39;s so cold in Europe that people in Amsterdam are ice skating on the canals <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; TIME (@TIME) <a href="">March 2, 2018</a></blockquote>

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This is because for the Dutch there is no greater glory than to become the winner of the famous ‘Elfstedentocht’ or ‘the race between eleven towns’.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It is so cold in Amsterdam you can skate on the canals. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; USA TODAY (@USATODAY) <a href="">March 4, 2018</a></blockquote>

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If the weather permits it (and it hasn’t done so since 1997, 21 years ago), the Dutch organize a speed skating competition and a leisure tour between 11 places in the north of the country, and whenever frost and ice return to western Europe at the beginning of the year, the Dutch hope for more whilst the rest of us can’t wait for it to pass.

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Needless to say, the Dutch newspapers talked about only one thing this week. Sadly for them, the thaw has set and they’ll have to wait another year.


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