Skating on a frozen canal near the windmills at Kinderdijk in the Netherlands
© Lourens Smak/Alam
'Winterpret' on ice
These skaters in the village of Kinderdijk are embracing 'winterpret’, a Dutch word that means 'winter joy' or 'winter fun’. Whenever temps drop low enough, many locals take to the ice and skate away on a complex network of canals. These waterways were built centuries ago - along with pumps, dykes, and the windmills pictured here - to protect the village of Kinderdijk by diverting water from the land. It's an important job, since Kinderdijk, like much of the Netherlands, lies below sea level and flooding is a major problem. Nowadays a modern water management system with multiple pumping stations does the work, and the windmills are left with a new job - to maintain an iconic Dutch scene. In 1997, the Kinderdijk windmills were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.