Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Elfstedentocht

The weather is amazing.
Temperatures are very low and there's ice on most of the part of the Elfstedentocht.

The Elfstedentocht is something typically Dutch.
During one day people iceskate past or through 11 cities in Friesland, the north of the country. They use the frozen canals, rivers and lakes.

Ofcourse a sportive event like this is not an annual happening.
But that contributes even more to the wishes that it might happen this year.

15 cm of ice is needed. Everywhere along the route.

That's almost impossible under normal circumstances.
So the Dutch have switched off all equipment that control the waterlevel in that part of the country. No more water is pumped in or out.
Ships are not allowed anymore in the area and all sorts of people help to get the snow off the ice, so nature can cool it down better.

They have even invented "icetransplantations."
Large or small pieces of ice are dropped in the water at places where the ice is far too thin or even absent. This makes the ice grow faster.

The elfstedentocht is a magical word at the moment.
People are speculating if the event will take place and when.
Hotels are already booked in advance for prizes which are 5 times as high as usual.

And the army has been called in to sweep the ice clean.

....Will it happen this year?
A question that bugs the mind of millions.
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