Monday February 6, 2012: The mishmash edition

It’s still freaking cold here in Holland. During the day -5 (23 degrees), at night around -15 (5 degrees) up to -20 (-4 degrees). And still no sign that it’s going to end soon. I have to say though that I’m getting used to the cold. My body is adjusting to the temperatures and it doesn’t feel that cold outside as it did the first days.
I didn’t run this weekend but I think I’m going to try to run outside this week again.

The people here in Holland are getting nervous. We all got the “Elfsteden” fever, as they call it here. Everybody waits till  the sentence “it giet oan” is said.
“It giet oan” is a dialect spoken in one of our “states” up north: Friesland and means “it is going to happen” (freely translated).
When the committee says “it giet oan” it means the “Elfstedentocht” is held. Last time that happened was back in 1997.

The “Elfstedentocht” (The Eleven Cities tour), at 200 km, is the world’s largest and longest speed skating competition and leisure skating tour. The tour is conducted on frozen canals, lakes and rivers between the 11 historic Frisian cities. The ice has to be 15 cm thick on the entire course.

This event is a big happening in Holland. Most people will be sitting in front of the tv or go to Friesland to see it live. And of course people will be skating it. You have to be a member and have to have a starting permit. Maybe if it will keep on freezing it may happen somewhere around this weekend.

There are so many people that are listed that want to skate this that they have made 2 lists. One year a list can skate, the next year the other list. Unfortunately one of my managers is on the list for next year and can’t skate it if it is held this year. He’s busy trying to find a starting permit for this year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for him.

To explain how rare and unique this is: the event was held for the first time in 1909 and has been held only 15 times since then. I’m 43 years old and I’ve seen only 3 “Elfstedentochten in my life (in 1985, 1986 and 1997).

I’ll let you know later this week if “it giet oan” or not.

Below some photo’s I took during our forest walk yesterday with Bella.

People skating

R. and Bella walking on ice


17 responses to “Monday February 6, 2012: The mishmash edition

  1. What an ineresting event! I suprised that the event still is planned with how few times it has happened. Maybe the anticipation is more of the fun. 🙂

  2. Wow, that is a lot of history behind the event! Hopefully your manager will get to skate, if the event goes on!

  3. Oh this post makes me miss Holland! And Fryslan – more to the point! How very exciting. I have to say – this is a boast only a Dutch person can fully appreciate – that my uncle has two elfstedenkruisjes (the tiny crosses you get as a medal for completing it). It’s amazing – maybe we can watch it outside of the Netherlands if it’s on? Would love it if it were the case.

  4. Beautiful photos!!
    That event sounds pretty cool. I think you guys have stolen our winter. It has been warm here for most of winter (40-60F). I am loving it! I hear it might get cold next week though.

  5. How fun – I hope it giet oan for sure – am I correct in understanding that they hold it so rarely because the ice doesn’t always freeze thick enough?

    • Shelley, that’s right about the thickness of the ice. It has to carry 20,000 people that day and it has to be thick enough.

  6. Roz@weightingfor50

    Wow….what lovely photos Fran. Looks amazing. OOOH…I hope the (I won’t even try to spell it) event happens, and hope your week ahead is a great one!!!

  7. That whole skating thing sounds fascinating. I hope your friend gets in.

    A lot of skating is going on here too because of the lack of snow. One of my students was going to a quite large pond after school today and was very excited.

    Love the pictures and I’ll take your snow.

  8. I heard about this skating thing on the radio this morning and thought of you! Are you going to go see it?

    • Lori I will but on the TV on my couch in my warm house 🙂 It’s probably difficult to get there by car or public transportation because there will be 20,000 people skating and lots and lots of spectators along the route.

  9. I’m loving all the snow photos!! I miss this snow this year. And I can’t believe how cold it is for you right now. It’s so weird to have a winter without having snow or it being cold. LOL.

  10. This is amazing! Am hoping it happens again this year.
    Lovely winter photos once again… have snow, we don’t 😉

  11. There has been a lot on our news about the Elfstedentocht too – there was also a big article in our newspaper explaining it, which was good because my sons were wondering what it was. Last time it took place I was pregnant with the middle one, so they certainly don’t remember it!
    Keeping my fingers crossed for your manager – that sure would suck if he didn’t get to go.

  12. You are definitely having the winter we aren’t! Hopefully it will It giet oan soon and the warmup can begin!

  13. Well I guess that is one reason to get excited about the cold weather sticking around. Sounds like a great experience. I hope your boss gets his starting ticket. It would be exciting to be a part of something like that for sure.

  14. FUN!!!!!!!!
    and yea
    I wanna come (back to the snow) and try cross country skiing.
    Ive never gone…

  15. What an interesting event. I would like to be there to watch all the people skating. Wintertime amazes me, I like the frozen landscapes, they look magic for me. I remember I spent Christmas time in Amsterdam few years ago and it was unforgettable: people skating in Damplatz, the ice, the lights, the channels….too beautiful!

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