A deep winter freeze gripping the Netherlands is reawakening the nationwide obsession with skating on frozen canals.
The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute prolonged a warning for snowdrifts and slippery situations to giant components of the nation after greater than 30 centimetres (12 inches) fell in 24 hours in some areas.
The practice service remained patchy, whereas buses and trams continued to have difficulties in lots of Dutch cities and cities.
With subzero temperatures forecast to final greater than per week, ice fever has swept the nation, providing a welcome respite from grim coronavirus information whereas additionally making a problem for authorities attempting to uphold bodily distancing guidelines.
Folks across the nation have been rummaging by way of attics and dusting off long-unused skates, whereas companies that sharpen skate blades reported increase occasions.
Ice skating is a nationwide wintertime ardour within the Netherlands, with the nation’s spandex-clad elite athletes dominating Winter Olympic speed-skating races in recent times. Amateurs of all ages eagerly await the Arctic situations that enable them to take to the nation’s huge community of canals and waterways.
Within the capital Amsterdam, the place it was briefly chilly sufficient to skate three years in the past, metropolis officers closed the canals to boat site visitors to permit the ice to type.
The Netherlands, with its lengthy custom of ice skating, is dwelling to the century-old “Elfstedentoch”, a 200-kilometre (124-mile) race on pure ice by way of 11 cities and cities. It was final held in 1997.
Icy temperatures are anticipated to final by way of the weekend and probably longer.