Vinter Vonderland


We're into a second very snowy and cold winter (last year's was the worst since 1981). Why is this noteworthy? The Elfstedentocht. An 11-town, 200km skating odyssey held in Northern Holland, touring the province of Friesland.

This can only occur, however, when all the canals are frozen to a thickness of 15cm. The last Elfstedentochts ("eleven cities tour") occurred in 1997, 1986 and 1985. It's hugely popular in the Netherlands, with people and media speculating with each passing sub-zero day that it may happen - so much so that you get the sense that all 16 million people here are collectively cheering on the cold weather. This is clearly perverse.

More images and impressions from a wintry Amsterdam...

This somewhat obscene-looking fellow, peeking like a careless uncle in a bathrobe, is Dutch comfort food. It is one of a variety of "stamppots", essentially a vegetable and a meat mashed into potatoes.

Least comfortable bike seat ever.

Getting closer to freezing over! Yay! (No.)


melissa said...

"looking like a careless uncle in a bathrobe"

This reeks of therapy needs Jeff.

And the fact that it is then referred to as Dutch comfort food is revealing of the Dutch collective unconscious.

Jeff said...

It doesn't reek of therapy needs so much as it does bacon, kinda.