When the temperature stays below 0 for some days in a row the excitement and sense of expectation is almost tangible all over the country.
Everyone is wondering if the ice will be hard enough to be able to held the Elfstedentoch (the Race of the Eleven Cities) but unfortunately, it the last several years it hasn't been cold enough for enough days and the enthusiasts have been waiting since 1997.
Last year it seemed for a moment that the ice would hold: instead the weather improved and it became warmer, therefore too dangerous.
However, there are still plenty of other skating opportunities especially in the Northern part of the country.
Yesterday the first natural ice marathon of the season has been held near Groningen but more are scheduled for today and the coming days.
Even if you are not able to skate yourself, the landscape, the skaters and the thrill of walking on ice, are all ingredients for a very memorable day out!