Most West European countries experienced cold wave with the beast from the East playing a central role last week. It brought snow, cold wave and ice skating fever in The Low Lands. Here is how it began. This picture was taken on the Rhine river bank at 5 February. I was there en route and saw the floodplains were fully filled with water caused by heavy rainfall in Switzerland and Germany. At that time the weathercast predicted that cold wave and snow storm were coming that weekend. It was going to freeze that ice skating loving Dutchies got excited, they went to the smith to sharpen their ice skating blades.
This pic was taken on Sunday, 7 February 2021. It had been snowing since the night before, resulting in the snow layer this thick in my frontyard. In the 25 years I have been living in The Netherlands I have never experienced heavy snowfall like this. Plus, the last time it froze was in 2010, I recall I did skate in the canal in my hood with my daughter. The snowstorm last week was baptized as Darcy and man, Darcy had no mercy. It blew severely from Saturday to Monday. Luckily as this was predicted before, I managed to get some groceries enough to eat untill Tuesday.
Tuesday morning walk in the hood. You see the ice on the canal start to thicken but nobody skated just yet. The ice skating fever broke the day after. Last week the temperature stayed under 0 degree Celsius.
Skating fever went on until Sunday. This short video was taken on the Rhine floodplains nearby my house. People were enjoying themselves on thick black ice skating, ice hockeying. Some fathers dragged their children on the slee behind them. It stayed sunny as well, what made it an ideal weather for fun on ice outdoor.
For a couple of days it seemed like there was no corona (don’t worry, as you can see, physical distancing is possible on nature ice rink). This moved me a lot. Even without pandemic, this nature phenomenon stays unique due to the mild winters the last decade. By reasons of global warming, (thick) snow and frozen water for skating are not self-evident anymore in The Netherlands. So imagine the excitement of some kids who experienced this ijspret (Dutch for snow/ice fun) for the very first time. To those of you from Nordic countries or North America, this might be a normal winter but for us here, it was a special one.
Now the temperatur is soaring. Snow is expected to melt. What we have here is the memory of an unforgettable week full of fun on ice or with the snow. Hopefully this might contribute to better mood for a while during this pandemic.