As some of you know, I live in Fryslân. This is one of the most northerly provinces in the Netherlands.
Fryslân has 11 cities and many, many more villages.
All cities are linked through canals and waterways and you can get from one town to another quite quickly on skates.
Ever since the 1700s people have been doing a skating tour through all 11 cities (200 km). In 1909 the first organised tour was held. After that race an association was established.
Ever since then, when there’s enough ice (20 cm over the whole length of the track) the race and tour have been held for members of the Vereniging De Friese Elfsteden (Association of the Eleven Frisian Cities).
Since then there have been 15 races.
Last year at the last possible moment the race did not happen. The whole province was ready, the whole country was ready. But the ice wasn’t. So they didn’t think it was safe to go ahead with the race.
But last week it starting freezing again. And while the water was fairly warm, and the ice didn’t form as quickly as we all would have liked, weathermen and women say the frost is most likely going to stay and the chances of the Elfstedentocht happening have not been so good since 1997, when the last race was organized.
I know the weather is unpredictable and I know it s still a long way away. But the excitement within me is growing. And I can’t help but think back to 1997, when we had a wonderful time.
So I got my skates from the attic and brought them to a shop to get them sharpened, Not that I’m planning on doing a 200 km skating tour, but I’d like to do a portion of it again. like last year.
This is a video of the town where I lived back in 1997. I hope you enjoy it.
More on last years skating can be found here.