Every winter, locals anticipate this spectacle and this year it finally happened... Amsterdam's canals FROZE! For those of you who may have missed it, the city turned into a real-life snow globe for the first time since 2012. What a majestic sight!
Despite feeling under the weather, I bundled up and ventured out to the Prinsengracht on Friday afternoon. To my delight, the canal was indeed frozen and full of brave explorers. At first, my intention was only to observe and snap photos, I hadn't planned to actually hop down onto the ice (natural ice is, no, was a huge fear of mine!) but this year I'm all about taking risks and trying new things so...
Reluctant at first, I watched and waited to find a good point of entry where I, slowly and steadily, got down onto the ice. Nervous at first, it took a moment to get my bearings but once one the ice, it was magical! I'd suddenly stepped into another world where walking on water was a reality!
A friendly stranger snapped my photo and I was so immersed in the moment that I did a gleeful, little hop in the air. Looking at these now, I still can't believe that I stood in the middle of a frozen canal! So, there you have it. Eight years and endless memories along with the Prinsengracht—from the countless boat ride to canal side picnics and our annual Gay Pride parade—but this was definitely one of the most remarkable moments in my Amsterdam history. This weekend, I feel even more in love with my adopted city.
I was in the action for about half an hour before my fingers went numb and I headed off to my last meeting of the day... only to return again later in the evening. By then, the frozen Prinsengracht had turned into a wild scene, complete with (frozen) boat parties, gluhwein and plenty of ice skaters. You're probably curious if people fell in, of course, they did. But that didn't dissuade the Dutch are huge skating prowess, this was their moment to shine!
I love living in a city where it's socially acceptable to take a spin on the frozen canals, or set up your own gluhwein stand (complete with an electrical cord stretched over ice, haha geeez only in Amsterdam!)
Ready for more? I sure was! The following day, I headed back to the canals with my photo-buddy Bert to catch the action. I'm glad we did because the ice began to melt later in the afternoon and by Sunday, our ice walking fantasy had melted into history.
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