E is for…

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch!

E is for Elfstedentocht.


The Elfstedentocht is a ice skating race that takes place in Friesland, the northern most region in the Netherlands. The Elfstedentocht is a race that goes through the 11 cities of Fiesland, which are connected by water.

The race starts and finishes in Leeuwarden, the capitol of Friesland.

The race first officially started in 1909, but it is recorded that people have been tying this race between the cities since 1749. The first record of this race was found in a verse:

The boy was long feared,

For the boss, that as a bird through the air

Could fly over the ice.

It’s Pier which ellef Cities

Friesland, one day, drove around.

– Van Boelens

Even though it has been happening since 1909, there have only been 15 official races because they can only race when it’s cold enough for all the water to freeze between the cities. The last race was in 1997 and it took the winner only 6 hours and 49 minutes to skate the 200 km of ice.

They don’t know when the next race will be, but every year the people of Friesland get excited when the water begins to freeze.



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