News of: Thursday, February 02 2012,
Starting today, boat traffic in a number of canals in the centre of Amsterdam has been blocked.
This way, Amsterdam wants to enable the formation of a solid and smooth ice layer on the canals, so people can skate on the canals.
It has been freezing in Holland for a few days now, and it continues to freeze for the next days to come.
Traditionally, this type of weather leads to 'ice skating fever' in the Netherlands.
Ice skating is one of the most typically (but not exclusively) Dutch sports. Because of the many waterways in the entire country, ice skating is possible everywhere if the frost persists.
The biggest ice skating event that might take place is the 'Eleven Cities Tour' (Elfstedentocht) in the province of Friesland, in the North of the country. This is the world's largest and longest speed skating competition (200 kilometer), on natural ice. If it takes place, about 15,000 participants take part.
To accommodate the Elfstedentocht, water boards in Friesland have already closed down locks, to enable the formation of smooth ice.
The last time ice skating on the canals in Amsterdam was possible, was in 1997.
Painting by Avercamp with ice skating scene