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! I thought I’d share some photos with you of a memorable week in a Dutch winter wonderland!
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!
It’s quite a different winter compared to 2012 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! There was even talk of an Elfstedentocht, the world’s longest speed-skating competition, with a course that winds 200km along frozen lakes, rivers and canals and past eleven historic Frisian towns. This time around, the canals remained relatively ice-free and there was lots of snow.
Walls of ice in Marken
One afternoon, my partner and I went for a drive to Marken, one of the historic towns 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!
It was an amazing winter, one I won’t easily forget!