Monday, January 13, 2014

Homecountry nostalgia: Elfstedentocht

With some pillows and a boppy it's totally possible to nurse a baby and type on your computer at the same time. However, sometimes being trapped under a nursing and/or sleeping baby is a perfect excuse to watch some tv. Just now I watched this highly recommendable (but not subtitled) homecountry show about the Elfstedentocht in 1997. It nearly made me cry from all the nostalgic feelings. Since 98% of my readers are not from my homecountry, I should probably explain.

The "Elfstedentocht" (eleven cities tour) is an ice-skating event that last happened in 1997. To me that sounds like yesterday, but in reality that's 17 years ago (crap, that makes me feel kinda old). This event is a 200 km (120 mile) skating tour on natural ice in one of the northern provinces in the homecountry. A province so far away that people even speak their own language. Every year the main question during the winter is whether this epic tour is going to take place or not. Only 16.000 people can skate during this event and the other 16 million inhabitants of the homecountry travel to said province to party and encourage the skaters. But with global warming and such, the last time the ice was thick enough to hold this many people was in 1997. So we nostalgically look back and wonder when the next time will be. In the meantime, there are a bunch of "alternative Elfstedentochten" where people skate 120 miles on ice somewhere else in the world and there's a host of other Elfstedentochten, where people use rowing boats, bicycles, motor cycles and what not to complete the same route. Yours truly cycled the tour once and rowed it twice (but with rowing it's a relay race, I should add).

The entire internet could not provide me with a clip with English subtitles but here's the 1997 finish. Also, this was the winter fashion in 1997. Also quite interesting.

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