In December 1961 de Jaap Eden IJsbaan (skating rink) opened its doors to the public. It was the third 400 metre rink in the world. It used an innovative ‘direct’ freezing system which means that ammonia evaporates from underground pipes and freezes the water.The rink was opened by the ten-year-old grandson of the legendary Dutch skater, Jaap Eden. In the first years after it was opened the rink was hugely popular and people came from all over to skate in Amsterdam. In those days mounted policemen had to guard the entrance to keep the crowds under control!
Now it’s a bit more sedate and if you go in the afternoon you avoid most of the school kids. The rink is located in the Watergrafsmeer area of Amsterdam and is open in the winter months. For information about opening times and entrance fees click here. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own skates, you can hire them at the rink. If you decide to try out your luck on the ice don’t forget to have the traditional ‘koek en zopie’ at the wonderfully atmospheric restaurant, de Scheve Skaes! (The wonky skate…) Here’s the recipe for zopie if you want to try making it yourself:
Ingredients for ‘Zopie’
- 1 litre of beer
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 2 slices of lemon
- 125 grams of brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 decilitre rum
Put the beer with the cinnamon, cloves and lemon on the stove and let it boil. Let it simmer for 20 minutes. Stir the sugar with the eggs and bind the beer mix with it. Add the rum at the last moment and serve when it’s still hot! The koek part of the recipe is basically just a biscuit.
Do you want to stay sober on the ice? Some hot chocolate will of course also do, or a nice cup of Dutch pea soup (‘erwtensoep’ or ‘snert’). Enjoy!