Amsterdam snow days

IMG_7334In Amsterdam, sunshine is a rarity (despite what photos or postcards may depict). But when the sun shines, the city is magical. Sunshine dances off the canal waters onto old brick buildings; locals and tourists cruise by in boats; families and pet-owners pile into Amsterdam’s parks and every (outdoor) chair at every café is packed – no matter the season. All Amsterdamers, it seems, subscribes to the same mantra: get outside when the sun is shining, because you never know how long it will last (especially in the winter months). Winters are cold – but not too cold – usually just above freezing; resulting in more rain than snow for the average winter cycle ride. However, when the snow comes, it paints this pretty city in a fairy-tale glow. On the rare occasion that fresh snowfall is followed by sun and clear blue skies (especially on a weekend) the whole city comes out to play. This past Sunday was one of those days. So like a good Amsterdamer, I grabbed my camera, hopped on my bicycle, and peddled my way through the city. After all, nothing is ever further than a bikeride away…

Vondelpark, Amsterdam
Vondelpark  is Amsterdam’s  most popular park for cyclists, runners, picnickers & treeclimers
Despite the lack of hills for sleeding, most Dutch families still own a sleed
@ Vondelpark: Despite the lack of hills for sledding, most Dutch families still own a sled, pulling their children with it
Dutch boys & snow balls: Part 2
Snowball fight, the Dutch way: Aiming for the passing bicycles & the canal boats full of tourists below
Dutch boys & snow balls: Part 3
Success!
Prinsengracht, Amsterdam
Prinsengracht, Amsterdam
Skating & sliding: Ice-skating behind the Rijksmuseum on the Museumplein
Skating & sliding: Ice-skating behind the Rijksmuseum on the Museumplein
From Amsterdam centre, to the Southern border where the Amsterdamse Bos lies; the Bos is a large forested park - 3x the size of Central Park, New York and visited by circa 3 million visitors per year
From Amsterdam centre, to the Southern border where the Amsterdamse Bos lies; the Bos is a large forested park – 3x the size of New York’s Central Park and visited by circa 3 million visitors per year
Quiet spots in the Amsterdam forest, a short bikeride from the city centre
Quiet spots in the Amsterdam forest, a short bikeride from the city centre
Ending up at my favourite location in the Bos: the organic/ biodynamic/free-range goat farm
Ending up at my favourite location in the Bos: the organic/ biodynamic/free-range goat farm
Mission complete: a lovely bikeride in the snowy sun in & around Amsterdam, with a short visit to 'friends'
Mission complete: a lovely bikeride in the snowy sun of Amsterdam & a short visit to the ‘kids’
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5 thoughts on “Amsterdam snow days

  1. Great pictures! Grey is the best way I can remember what winter in Amsterdam was like. I lived to the north in Leeuwarden. I have never biked and walked more in winter, and low and behold it was great… very cool blog by the way!

    1. Thanks for your comment. Leeuwarden: where you at WETSUS, or? I’ve passed through on my way to the islands, but would love to spend a bit more time in the overall region! 🙂 And yes, I love the cycling culture in the NL (rain or shine). I will certainly have to transplant to another cycle city if/ when I leave Amsterdam!

      1. NHL back in ’04. It will always be that special place for me.

        Harlingen is neat, Groningen is cool, and the small towns around it are picturesque. It’s a feeling of independence to be able to take the train almost anywhere and then be able to walk/ride from the station.

      2. I’m headed to Groningen this weekend to see a very good friend that lives there. It’s a great city & I love the Noorderzon festival too: jazz & bikes in old churches and barns… something special.
        Completely agree with the independence one experiences by public transport; while personal cars are often touted for the ‘independence’ they provide; I find much more independence from hoping on and off the train onto the bike or my own two feet. Someday I will miss that… But, happy that this is also my line of work. 🙂 I want to soak up all of these experiences and then (hopefully) apply them to the real world, post PhD. Meanwhile, having a great time, one cycle ride at a time!

      3. Good luck, I look forward to seeing more! And make sure to enjoy a stroopwafel for me… love those things.

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