Cold Canal Capers

The ice is still holding on the canal outside, so the Dutch are still choosing to skate instead of walk. I wasn’t going to post anything further until we returned from Rome but last night two scientists with minor alcohol dependencies* contacted me to say that they were recklessly going to risk life and limb for 10 minutes of hypothermia-inducing “fun” on the frozen canals.

(Okay, so what they actually said was that they were going to play on the canals but I think my version sounds more interesting – and accurate.)

I had to use the night setting so everyone looks like a ghost

Alex tried to persuade me to stand on the ice; his best lines included: “Look, it’s safe!…. *jump jump jump*…. oh yeah it is beginning to give way over here” and “It’s safe in the middle, you just have to get across the thinner ice to get to the thicker ice”.

Trust me Laura, I've had several beers and my judgement is impaired!

Despite such well-rounded and convincing arguments, my feet stayed firmly on solid ground and I managed to take a couple of good pictures. It was quite difficult to make sure the camera didn’t move given that my hands were shaking so some of them may be slightly blurry…

Closest I've stood next to a canal in a long while

I took this picture just in case they were about to plunge through the ice

And after all that excitement, it was definitely necessary to warm up with a nice, erm, cold beer.

There were several other people outside enjoying the canals, which was nothing compared to the level of activity a couple of nights ago…

Party on a canal anyone?

As you can see, there were quite a few people outside, there were a couple of guys with speakers and a sound system strapped to their backs. It would’ve been much cooler if they weren’t playing some awful dance-techno music and someone wasn’t saying “Make some noise!” over a megaphone. But you can’t have everything.

Not the kind of traffic the canal usually sees

Even though it’s still cold outside, the BBC has today’s maximum temperature as -2, the ice is beginning to melt.

10th February 2012. Hehe, I managed to get someone falling over

In a coffeeshop (the coffee kind, not the weed kind) this morning I overheard a little story which justifies my paranoia about walking on the ice: two people were going underneath a bridge where the ice is starting to melt and they fell through into the freezing water below. I think I may have said this before, but it’s worth repeating: Dutch people are crazy.

Not everyone's willing to skate under the bridges anymore

Canal Slush Puppie. A unique, Dutch flavour.

*This is of course, a joke. Maybe.

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