Saturday 15 December 2018

People skate on the frozen canals in Amsterdam as it moves beneath their feet

Darin Graham

It was so cold in Amsterdam that some of the city's historic canals froze solid on Friday, allowing the people of the Dutch capital to take to the waterways.

The ice at Prinsengracht canal was so thick, some were able to go ice skating amid the city's famous streets and under its iconic stone bridges.

According to NBC broadcaster Katie Couric, the Dutch are really good at speed skating because it’s an “important mode” of getting around in Amsterdam. She was introducing the Dutch team at this year's Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony when she said:

As you all know, it has lots of canals that can freeze in the winters.

So, for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other, and also to have fun.

Although she was mocked for her extraordinary comments at the time, it appears Couric has the last laugh.

The canals only freeze time and time again. This is the first time in about six years that parts froze hard enough to support the weight of skaters, locals and sightseers, according to reports.

Some, however, weren’t so lucky. A pair fell through the ice on Thursday and had to be rescued by a passerby, according to local media.

As you can see in this video the ice is clearly moving as people skate over the frozen canal.

"We were scared a bit so we moved to a part were there weren't 'waves' like in the video. There were a lot of people still skating on it so there were no problems. You heard the crack often, which was scarier", Steven Schmitz told

The big chill came as much of Europe dealt with a cold front dubbed The Beast from the East, sending temperatures plummeting for most of the week.

Independent News Service

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