Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The beautiful stillness of the Dutch winter

 (si prefieres leer este post en español, por favor sigue este enlace)

Once again I spent the Christmas holiday in the Netherlands, far from Argentina, summer heatwaves, and (sadly) from my family. But it was not as bad as it probably sounds - spending Christmas in the Netherlands always gives me the chance to pay more attention to the surroundings and to enjoy the beautiful winter landscapes in and around Zwolle.

In the winter the stillness in the air is overwhelming - even the birds are silenced, except for the geese when they fly off at sunset. The crisp cold air makes your cheeks glow and the bones of your face hurt until your eyes well up with tears. Still, once you manage to open your eyes wide enough, winter in the Netherlands rewards you with fairytale pictures like these I captured on the Zalkerdijk on Christmas Day and in the Milligerplas in Zwolle on Sunday.

A view of the Elektrakabel and ABN-AMRO buildings on the right from the Zalkerdijk and across the frozen waters of the river IJssel.


A solitary sheep grazing in the frozen pastures of a farm, near Zalk, outside Zwolle.



The sun is almost ready to set on Christmas Day.

Geese flying over the Milligerplas in Zwolle.

Feathery reeds waving in the icy cold breeze over the Milligerplas.

The sun gives a timid silvery light to the water and the snow in the Milligerplas.

The stillness is broken, though, when you get close to one of the many frozen canals in the neighbourhood and find children having lots of fun skating or sledding on the ice.

video

28 comments:

Alison said...

Beautiful photos, as always. I love the setting sun shots; part of that mystical Dutch light!

Aledys Ver said...

Yes, the famous Dutch light - beautiful!
Thanks, Alison!

Aby_since82 said...

Posso dirti solo una cosa... S.P.E.T.T.A.C.O.L.O.!!!

Aledys Ver said...

Grazie, Javi!!

Presepio No Canal said...

Beautiful pics, Aledys! Bravo!

Aledys Ver said...

Thanks, Sandrinha!

lisleman said...

yes if you can withstand the cold being out in this weather is very different. I think the sky is clearer and of course the sunshine on snow is brilliant.
stay warm

Aledys Ver said...

That I can, lileman, I love being out in the cold! I'm quite enjoying my walks in the evening now in the winter, actually!
Thanks for stopping by!

BLOGitse said...

Beautiful pics!
Sledding is very good exercise. After a couple of hours kids (and parents) are ready for hot drink and they all sleep well! :)
You have less snow than I had in Helsinki! :)

Aledys Ver said...

Yes, indeed, it is good exercise!
I guess we had less snow that you guys up there in the north - yet, much of what we had, had already melted a bit, especially from trees and bushes, etc. Everything started thawing yesterday, it's very dangerous now, everything is very slippery!

Ana O'Reilly said...

Fantastic shots :)

Aledys Ver said...

Thanks!

GlocalGirl said...

This was my first Christmas away from my family, but you are right -- Holland is beautiful during the winter! You described it beautifully. Hope you had a very happy holiday.

Cheers from Amsterdam,
www.glocalgirl.com

Aledys Ver said...

One has to compensate in some way... Thanks for your comment, GlocalGirl!!! Cheers!

Katie said...

Your photos and description of winter there in Holland are enchanting! I used to love sledding when I was a little girl. No snow here, though, in Necochea - even in the dead of winter!

buday said...

Talk about silence. Your pictures (especially of the sheep and geese) and writing seem to capture it perfectly.

Aledys Ver said...

Well, you can sled down the dunes, can't you? :D I know, it's not the same!!
Thanks you for stopping by!

Aledys Ver said...

Thanks, dear buday! ;)

Japra said...

What beautiful wintry scenes, Aledys! It does sound like there was a lot of snow this year. Hope you're staying warm :-)

Aledys Ver said...

I am, JaPRA!! Stay warm you, too!! And Happy New Year!

Katie said...

Actually, there is a sport called sandboarding (like snowboarding but on sand), but as you pointed out, it's not quite the same. ;)

Aledys Ver said...

Indeed there is! And you are right - I'd rather ski in the snow too! :D

Melissa said...

Hi..I just see my comment didn't show up for some reason! Anyway...lovely photos and what a great way to start the new year!

Aledys Ver said...

How strange, indeed! Thanks, Melissa!

Aledys Ver said...

All the snow is gone now - will it be back? mmm.... A couple of sunny days won't do us any harm, I suppose!
Thanks, JaPRA!

Rick Malkov said...

I really hate winter!
I prefer to play some polo in Buenos Aires with the lovely weather the country has.

Agnes Lapin said...

Such a beautiful series of winter photos!! I really like them.

Aledys Ver said...

Thanks, Agnes!!