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That was the theme of my Saturday. It’s been extraordinarily cold in Amsterdam the past few weeks, and as a result, everything is frozen. The canals, parts of the river, my fingers and toes. Up until this week, the cold has just been annoying but once I saw the frozen canals and people skating my view changed and I immediately wanted to join them.

Before skating, a friend and I took the tram to Blijburg on Saturday morning for some fresh air and brunch. We’d heard from a Dutch person that it was a newer area with a beach. Always up for an adventure, we decided to check it out. Well, Blijburg isn’t much in the winter, but seeing the IJmeer completely frozen was quite a sight. Having never lived anywhere where anything froze like this before I was giddy to be walking on the frozen shore. After walking as far out as we were comfortable and back again, we stopped for brunch then headed back to Amsterdam.

The afternoon was to be spent skating, but renting skates in Amsterdam turned out to be more difficult than anticipated. Rather than letting that ruin our plans, we decided to walk along the canals instead. This turned out to be even better as we could easily dodge the less confident skaters and jump up to street level whenever it suited. It also allowed me time to take pictures and absorb all around me. Just like summer transforms the city to a place where everyone heads to the parks, a cold winter turns Amsterdam into a skating city. It was such a great thing to get to experience and (partially) participate in. Apparently this was the first time in 15 years it’s been cold enough for this to happen. Just like the weekend in Edinburgh, my Saturday felt like another “once in my lifetime” kind of days. As settled into things as I feel here, these moments shake me out of it and open my eyes to the life I have the opportunity to live.

Here are some photos from both of Saturday’s adventures. Enjoy!

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