winter... finally

Netherlands Travel Blog

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photo from 2 years ago, new pics will follow in the weekend!

Since a little more than a week now, temperatures have been dropping. After a few months that only were supposed to be winter by the calendar, but where snow and frost seemed far away, it now looks like we can brace up for a prolongued period of quite cold weather. There is hardly any snow, but a lot of people are only too glad, because this means that the ice on the canals, lakes and ponds will get thicker soon.

And as soon as the temperature outside drops below freezing point for a few days, another temperature start to rise. It is called Elfstedenkoorts: Eleven City fever. Everybody starts looking out for the chance that this will be one of these very exceptional winters, that the Eleven City Race can be held.

The Eleven City Race (and Eleven City Tour for most), is a 200 kilometers long speed skating race/tour over the lakes and canals connecting 11 cities and towns in the northern province of Friesland.

photo from 2 years ago, new pictures to follow in the weekend!
A tradition since the early 20th century that can take place only rarely, only in exceptionally cold periods in winter.

Since 1909 it only has taken place 15 times, the last time being 15 years ago, in 1997.

For the event, which is held under strict management and supervision of the Association of the Frisian Eleven Cities, a maximum number of about 16,000 people will be allowed to participate, who must be members of the Association. There is a stop to new membership, with waiting lists. Apart from those, there is a racing category of the so-called marathon skaters (usually a few hundreds of them).

All participants who manage to do the whole distance within the prescribed time will be awarded a decoration: the Eleven Cities Cross.

While in the whole of the Netherlands (and countries around such as Belgium and Germany) the fever rises, the Frisians themselves are very down-to-earth people and they have a wait and see attitude. With so many people on the ice, you need a really good solid ice deck; and with getting the logistics in order to receive millions of spectators (literally!) you need at least some lead time to organize the event. The deep frost so far, and the weather forecast at this moment, do look somewhat promising though. More so than in the past few years. As long as there will not be much snow, and as long as we will have another week and a half or so, of deep frost. And if that is the case, the fever will continue to rise...


westwind57 says:
Ils, dank je wel voor al je comments en smiles!!! Ik wens je een fantastisch weekend! :)
Posted on: Feb 03, 2012
Ils1976 says:
Bring it on ... I am really curious! :)
Posted on: Feb 03, 2012
msarkar2810 says:
What a beautiful place!
Posted on: Feb 03, 2012
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