A Dutch winter wonderland

It all started with a blizzard. High winds and snow that fell to the ground almost horizontally! Within a few hours, Amsterdam and almost the entire country was covered by a thick blanket of snow. Temperatures stayed below freezing for a week, ensuring the snow and ice stuck around for a while. It was cold but Amsterdam looked oh so pretty!

The cold front has since moved on (YAY!) but I thought I’d share some photos with you of a memorable week in a Dutch winter wonderland!

amsterdam-blizzard-photo

It all started with a blizzard!

I went for a walk in the snow every chance I could. After that blizzard, the weather cleared up dramatically and we were treated to bright blue skies and dollops of sunshine. The virgin white carpet of snow and the crunching sound it makes under my shoes, the blinding winter light and air so cold it stings – I began to remember why I love and loathe winters!

When the blizzard subsided, we were treated to gorgeous winter scenes like this snowy path along the Amstel River.

When the blizzard subsided, we were treated to gorgeous winter scenes like this snowy path along the Amstel River.

It’s quite a different winter compared to last year when it froze for a prolonged period of time and there was little snow. For several days, the canals of Amsterdam were one big ice-skating rink! This time around, the canals remained relatively ice-free and there was lots of snow.

snow-in-amsterdam-photo

A snowy Amsterdam

Walls of ice in Marken

One afternoon, my partner and I went for a drive to Marken, a historic town north of Amsterdam. Marken is situated on a small island in the Markermeer (a huge lake in the centre of the country). We’d read in the news that the lake was frozen and that the wind was pushing the sheets of ice onto the dikes, creating walls of ice several meters high. We knew we had to see this! When we arrived on the island, we headed straight for the dikes that circle the island. The frozen scenery that greeted us from atop the dike was simply mind-blowing!

frozen-markermeer-photo

The frozen Markermeer

ice-marken-lighthouse-photo

The lakeshore was covered with all sorts of ice formations.

marken-lighthouse-ice-photo

We walked along the dike to the lighthouse to see the huge mounds of ice.

ice-wall-marken-photo

A close-up look at the mounds of ice at the Marken lighthouse.

ducks-chair-markermeer-photo

I spotted these two ducks and a chair along the icy shore. Too cute! :-)

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And a few geese! ;-)

markermeer-sky-frozen-photo

As we made our way back, the sky and the frozen lake looked simply spectacular!

I captured this shot of people strolling along the dike against the background of a setting sun.

I captured this shot of people strolling along the dike against the background of the setting sun.

It was an amazing winter – it’s not over yet I know but I’m glad we’re out of the deep freeze, at least for now. :-)

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9 Responses to “A Dutch winter wonderland”

  1. Anne Smithen 28/02/2013 10:48 pm
    #

    Amazing winter photos of Amsterdam! I love taking pics of the winter nature and travelling around and as I see you are also a fan of both. As you said, the winter is definitely not over, if you feel like enjoying some more, feel free to visit Canada where you can enjoy amazing winter scenery. Moreover, you have some more time to also enjoy some fun skiing or snowshoeing! :)

  2. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures 01/02/2013 5:18 am
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    Oh it looks so cold, but so magical!!!!!!

  3. Keith Jenkins 30/01/2013 11:13 am
    #

    Thanks Jeff and Sebastian! :-)

  4. Sebastian @ Off-The-Path.com 30/01/2013 8:41 am
    #

    I’ve been to NL last week and boy was it cold there…. I’m heading back on Friday just for the day. I hope it isn’t that cold anymore. It was killing me. Nice pictures Keith!

  5. Jeff Titelius 30/01/2013 2:00 am
    #

    Oh how much I miss the Netherlands and to see Amsterdam and Marken in the winter is simply sublime!!! gorgeous photos my friend!!

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