A Beginners Guide to the Dutch and their Winters
It's winter AND THERE IS SNOW. Our hearts are racing. Will we ever have this weather again, no one knows. And so we go full force. Sledding, skating, stewing. We’ve listed four beginner's tips to get you through the Dutch winter.
Can you ride a bike in the snow? Yes, you can. It takes a bit of pedaling with squeezed buttocks until you reach a main road, but then you'll see: most bike paths are reasonably passable. Cycling on ice is not wise. Want to go further away and don't have a car? That's bad luck. It’s a Dutch tradition that railroad switches freeze upon the first flocks of snow and the trains stop running.
But why even bother going anywhere? Go sledding and skating in the neighborhood. Good sledding hills can be found for example at the Genneper Parks and the Henri Dunant Park. Ice skating requires a bit of patience, the ice needs to be thick enough. Near Eindhoven you have many beautiful ponds that quickly freeze over. Check Ekkel to see where it’s already safe to skate.
It is Winter and there is snow!
Food and drink
Before food trucks made their appearance, we already had koek-en-zopietentjes. In the 17th century the first zopie appeared, a special mixture of bock beer, rum, eggs, cinnamon and cloves. Nowadays, koek-en-zopietentjes mainly sell hot chocolate, filled cakes, pea soup and mulled wine. You can find the tents at almost every ice rink. More tips? For delicious soups and stews go to Soeppa and Coffeelab. And did you already see our list for hot chocolate takeaway?
When it freezes, we Dutch defrost. The annual peak of this madness is around Carnival. That's when the crazy outfits come out of the closet and all our worries disappear, just for a moment, like snow in the sun....