They’re tall, with legs of steel thanks to all the biking, and they live in picturesque towns with canals that freeze in the winter. It all logically leads to this, right?
Forgive my blunt over-fascination by this quirk. Years of Floridian weather have left me in awe over many Dutch things, including their serious ice skating obsession.
What is it?
Newton’s third law of motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction — that’s what ice skating is for the Dutch, a natural reaction. As soon as the canals and lakes freeze, they react.
Seasonal skating rinks? The Dutch are the first ones there to prep for the year and sharpen their blades. Come January or February, they’re already daydreaming in wonder if it’s going to be cold enough for an Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour).
Why do they do it?
Also, they’re master balancers with years of training on bicycles and an odd trust in ice. It’s not unheard of to even find buggies or prams on the frozen canals — which can push some internationals to a nervous breakdown.
Why is it quirky?
The fact that they have an ice skating tour as a potential placeholder on their winter calendars should give you an idea of why this is delightfully quirky.
Should you join in?
Absolutely, but safely. ⚠️ Don’t be the first one jumping towards a frozen canal as soon as the temperature drops.
If you’re a beginner, opt for safe ice skating locations or wait until the ice is solid and safe enough to hold people’s weight. The Dutch are experts, so perhaps it’s best to let them venture out onto the ice first.
What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below! 👇
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2021, and was fully updated in December 2022 for your reading pleasure.