The Elfstedentocht is an 11 city ice staking race. The length is about 200 kilometers (120 miles) and is held in the north of the Netherlands in the Friesland province. It can most accurately be described as “the event that stops the Netherlands”. Or it would be, if the weather would cooperate. As you might expect, the race can only be held if the ice is thick enough along the entire course. The last time that happened was 1997. There was a glimmer of hope in 2012, but it didn’t work out. This event averages about 2 million spectators.
About a month ago Marco and I looked at each other and thought of the worst possibility ever: that the weather would finally cooperate and there would be an Elfstedentocht… and the coronavirus.
Well, the organization responsible for the event saw the chaos that was about to come and reported that no matter what, there would be no Elfstedentocht. As dutchnews.nl reports: Elfstedentocht cancelled because of…coronavirus, oh, and the weather. (Since the prospectives of ice don’t look good anyway.)
And here is a fun one:
The city carillonneur played “Paint it Black” from The Rolling Stones on the church bells in Groningen (also in the north of the Netherlands). This is something he does often, but because Mick Jagger saw the video and placed it on his Instagram with 2 million followers, the video quickly went viral. You can read more in Dutch over at nos.nl: Groningse stadsbeiaardier klinkt wereldwijd met Paint it black van The Rolling Stones.