Winter fun “Dutch Style”!

If you were to ask me: “What do the Dutch like to do in wintertime?”, I would immediately answer: Ice Skating. As soon as winter sets in, and temperatures drop, “ice fever” takes a hold of the Dutch. “What will the weather be like in the next two weeks?” “Will the temperature stay below zero long enough?” “Should I get my skates out of the garage already?” The Dutch are ice skating freaks, heart and soul. They have been competing on the highest levels of professional speed skating for many years now, and usually, the Dutch and the Norwegians are the two top-ranking countries, competing each other in this branch of sport. Also,  artistic ice skating as we know it today, has its roots in old fashioned, traditional ice skating 

The love for this sport starts from childhood, when mum and dad take their children to the nearest frozen river, channel or lake. And yes, falling down onto the hard ice is part of the game and not so pleasant, but in spite of the cold and of falling down, skating becomes pure pleasure pretty quickly. The love of ice skating is instilled from a very young age and is a highly valued part of the Dutch wintry leisure culture

Really, what could be more enjoyable than skating outside on the channel, the river and the lakes? Indoor skating is…nice, but it’s not the real thing, is it? There is nothing like skating outside on natural ice, enjoying the the beauty of a winter landscape

Unfortunately, apparently under the influence of global heating, winter has become warmer in Holland too. Extended freezing periods that used to occur in Holland, haven’t been happening so much anymore for quite a number of years now. As a result, natural ice usually doesn’t get thick enough for ice skating anymore. The thickness of the ice needs to be at least 7cm. to hold a group of people safely. You may be able to imagine, how much the Dutch are yearning for outdoor ice skating
In the town of Biddinghuizen which is situated in the county of Flevopolder, a solution to the Dutch national yearning for their beloved outdoor sport, was set up: a 3-kilometre-long, curvy, artificial river, frozen, even when temperatures are well above the freezing point…I introduce to you: The Sports & Fun Park Flevonice

Speaking of Flevopolder; this vast piece of land was drained from seawater, an outstanding example of Dutch engineering and of Dutch victory over the sea. This county came into being in the 60’s and 70’s, and has over 400.000 citizens today. It’s capital is Lelystad, named after Cornelis Lely (yes like the flower, lily). Lely was the man with the vision, he was the creative force behind the biggest waterworks in Holland today. Flevoland is connected to the rest of Holland by means of eight bridges, and when you visit there, you will see numerous wind turbines placed on and off shore. After all, Holland is low and flat, but Flevopolder, is, believe it or not, even flatter and lower than other areas, and lies next to an interior sea which is connected to the exterior North Sea, hence, a lot of wind for green energy

Flevonice is open every day between the first of December and the 3rd of March. What does the park offer
a beautiful, artificial frozen over river for ice skating, even when it’s 10 degrees above Celsius
skating lessons, workshops and courses
skating competitions -for experienced skaters only
rental equipment
Ice Fun – an ice skating rink for children with cool aid instruments for an optimum -feeling of security while learning to skate
a playground including trampolines
Carting on a brush track – giving you a feeling of “sliding” through the curves the minimum length for carting is 1.40 m
a 3,6,or 9 kilometre long running track with 50 excellent obstacles – you can join the marines afterwards
a beautifully designed restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere, lots of sitting areas and terraces

 The distance from Amsterdam to Flevonice is 70 km., so you can easily make a day trip out of it. You’re not hiring a car? No problem, you can get there by train in less than 2 hours. If you feel like having a look around in Flevopolder, explore and enjoy this special and beautiful Dutch countryside,  there

are hotels in the area of the park

Wishing you a  lot of ice cold fun on your holiday in our little country in the winter

Petra and Jennifer 😉

טופולוגיה הולנדית בשנייה

הולנד…מדינה כה קטנה. היא דומה בגודלה לישראל אבל יש במדינה זו פי 2-וחצי תושבים. הולנד  מחולקת ל-12 מחוזות. לכל אחד מהמחוזות יש עיר בירה. על המפות בהמשך כתובים שמותיהם של המחוזות וליד כל כוכב כתוב שם עיר הבירה של אותו מחוז. לדוגמה: אמסטרדם, עיר הבירה של הולנד כולה, נמצאת במחוז “צפון-הולנד”, כאשר העיר הרלם היא עיר הבירה של המחוז! ואם   נשמע לך מוכר השם להמשיך לקרוא טופולוגיה הולנדית בשנייה