Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dust your Skates off

The ponds have frozen over and Holland is practising for the elfstedentocht (the worlds longest speed skating competition on our Friesland canals).  The Dutch are super excited about this race.  The last time the whole 200 km's of canal froze over and was in good enough condition for an elfstedentocht was in 1997 and before that was 1980.  The temperatures have been well under the freezing point at nights and just under or around freezing during the day making the thoughts of an elfstedentocht promising. If it stays like this with little snow then we may have one in another week or so - I will post if we do have one. If this does happen, you can be sure that stores will close their doors and children may even be sent home from school just to watch the race on television. 

Kids and families will usually find anywhere they can skate in the winter, from safely frozen over canals and ponds to flooded over frozen farm fields.  Children will be put on the ice as soon as they can walk but for me that is no different from growing up in Canada.  I believe I was about 3 years old when I started ice skating lessons. 

My youngest daughter at just 3 years old getting her first lesson at skating with papa. 


Breigh (Canadutch) said...

I am hellbent on getting some good photos of the skating this year. I really wanted to go to Kinderdijk to try to get some photos if people were out but with the roads and me coming down with a cold I decided against it.

I won't be skating myself though, I fall enough as it is :P

Brent said...

Looks like a lot of fun. How'd the little one do?

Candee said...

The little one did great but truth be told this was last years picture. We took her out a lot last year but after a half hour she started complaining of being cold (she is so tiny I don't blame her one bit).
I wanted to go yesterday but a storm blew in and there went that idea. Hopefully the cold will stick around long enough to at least get one more chance at skating this year.

Sonya said...

I'm so amazed how young they get kids on the bikes and ice skates here. I told my husband every dutch child is born with a set of ice skates, bikes, and an agenda book..LOL I have seen some seriously teenie weenie kids on bikes's not a bad thing by any means but I never knew you could get them onto bikes at such an early age.

Candee said...

It's true! My first daughter was 3 yrs old and on a bike with out training wheels! My youngest is a tiny girl and you can blame me for being a wee bit over protective but she just was not ready for it last summer. She's now 4 yrs old and talking more about riding a bike now that she see's her school friends riding their bikes to school.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to get out on the ice, this year or last. But the dog had a great time skating on the frozen canals last year. We weren't sure what he'd think of it, never having seen frozen water before, but he LOVED every second of it!