Amsterdam's canals become all-natural ice-skating venues

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In winter, Amsterdammers watch the falling thermometer readings with the same focus as people in Aspen and Chamonix. When the temperature drops low enough for long enough, the lakes and the canals in Amsterdam become sparkling highways for the skaters. Little kiosks are set up on the ice to dispense heart-warming liqueurs. I really love this part of our culture. Almost everyone, young or old, likes to skate and is smiling and friendly. The last days the cold was enough for the canals to freeze over a rare occasion. Amsterdammers sharpen their blades and hit the ice. On the 5th of February 2012, the first people started skating on the canals of Amsterdam. A lovely view of people skating on the Keizersgracht canal. Who knows times of Hendrick Avercamp are coming back this year. Avercamp was the first Dutch artist to specialize in paintings of winter landscapes featuring people enjoying the ice. Some 400 years on, our image of life in the harsh winters of the Golden Age is still dominated by Avercamp’s ice scenes with their splendid narrative details of couples skating, children pelting each other with snowballs and unwary individuals falling through the ice.

Photo of the first Dutch ice-skaters on the Keizersgracht canal in Amsterdam. As temperatures plunge across Europe, many are cursing the cold. But not in the Netherlands. There, many are hoping for further frigid conditions. This weekend we could ice skate even on some canals of Amsterdam. This week temperature will remain below zero and we could skate on even more canals in Amsterdam.

Eindelijk weer een weekend waarin Jordanezen de ijzers konden onderbinden. Nog geen ideale condities want door de sneeuwval van afgelopen week is het ijs niet overal even goed, maar geen wakken. Op de Keizersgracht is het ijs net dik genoeg,er kan best aardig geschaatst worden. De grachten eindelijk bevroren en de adem komt in kleine grijze pufjes uit mijn mond. Handen op de rug. Rustig ademen. Ik geniet van het geluid van de ijzers over het ijs, sneeuw en een prachtige gezicht op de Amsterdamse grachtenpanden. Het is zo koud geweest dat we zelfs onder de bruggen door konden schaatsen. Wie even wegdenkt kan zich vandaag in Hendrick Avercamps wereld wanen. Als eerste Amsterdamse kunstenaar uit de 17de eeuw specialiseerde hij zich in het schilderen van winterlandschappen met ijspret. Ons beeld van het leven in de strenge winters in de Gouden Eeuw wordt na 400 jaar nog altijd bepaald door Avercamps ijsgezichten met prachtige verhalende details van schaatsende paartjes, kinderen die elkaar bekogelen met sneeuwballen of een man die door het ijs zakt.

giorgosgrigoriadis16, Stevе, and 377 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. D o m i n i q u e K. 26 months ago | reply

    Het is zooo leuk om naar jouw ' Amsterdam in de wintersneeuw' foto's te kijken Ben,
    Het is gewoon echt genieten!

  2. Dont´comment the same photo 26 months ago | reply

    This Wonderful and Divine image
    Deserve Another FAVTOPMASTERS Award !!!



    I saw this in FAVTOPMASTERS 200+

    Please Remember post 1, Fav and Award 2

  3. bjarne.stokke 26 months ago | reply

    This Wonderful and Divine image
    Deserve Another FAVTOPMASTERS Award !!!



    I saw this in FAVTOPMASTERS 200+

    Please Remember post 1, Fav and Award 2

  4. reintjedevos 26 months ago | reply

    Heel mooi totaalplaatje... lucht maakt het af!
    --
    Seen in the group"*Nederland op z'n mooist" ( ?² )

  5. 5348 Franco 26 months ago | reply

    This Wonderful and Divine image
    Deserve Another FAVTOPMASTERS Award !!!



    I saw this in FAVTOPMASTERS 200+

    Please Remember post 1, Fav and Award 2

  6. Keith Gooderham 26 months ago | reply

    Great composition and the figures make the shot.

  7. Lopamudra! 26 months ago | reply

    Amazing scene...awesome shot with so perfect colours and natural moods of people !!
    Wonderful sharing, Ben !

  8. luzzzelmann 26 months ago | reply

    a great shot Ben !

  9. olheiny 26 months ago | reply

    amazing winter shot !

  10. Frizztext 26 months ago | reply

    beste Ben,
    I've featured your great work again in my daily blog at
    flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/old-dutch-painter...
    I hope that will support your work!
    groetjes van fritstekst!

  11. ΞSSΞ®®Ξ 25 months ago | reply

    Awarded !! this is Sublime
    I saw this in FavTop50+ and I faved it !!!


    I saw this in the FavTop50+ Award

    Please Remember post 1, Fav and Award 2

  12. simona.2011 (slow mode...) 25 months ago | reply

    wonderful composition and atmosphere

    Wonderful work !

    pearls1aquot; width=
    Seen in Vermeer Pearls
    This excellent image deserves a Vermeer Pearls Award

    when you have enough awards add your photo to the 3-4 awards thread
    or take part in our front page contest when you got 5 + awards

  13. whitephotographer 25 months ago | reply

    very nice!!! hopefully you can take another picture like this next year!

    ps: love the color in the air

  14. Kris Kros 25 months ago | reply

    Best of the best.

  15. Zilch^^ 24 months ago | reply

    unbelievable this looks like Norman Rockwell scene

  16. ginomarino00 23 months ago | reply

    b>Awarded !! this is Sublime
    I saw this in FavTop50+ and I faved it !!!



    I saw this in the FavTop50+ Award

    Please Remember post 1, Fav and Award 2

  17. tomgroves 18 months ago | reply

    this picture is brilliant, went there in the summer and i just cant imagine it looking like this

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