On February 28  NANR members gathered in Gorky Park to acquaint Russians with the adventurous Tour of 11 Cities, a huge ice-skating event in the Netherlands.

Elfstedentocht, which is the Dutch name of the Tour, is held any year when the natural ice along the entire course is at least 15 cm thick, which is rare. The weather has been merciless to the Netherlands since 1997 when the last Elfstedentocht took place. It almost failed us again this time in Moscow with unexpected warm temperatures and the spring-like sun that came out the week before the event.

Yet, despite the cloudy weather and a brief shower in the early morning, 30 NANR members came to the park. After exchanging greetings, chatting with friends and taking a few warm-up laps around the rink, participants competed in contests such as a relay in orange glasses and wigs. Those outfits along with NANR scarves and orange flags displayed around the rink made one of the participants confess that she felt like she was at a King’s Day celebration. 

In the final competition the participants had to find pictures of the 11 Elfstedentocht cities and put them in the correct order. The pictures were hidden all over Gorky Park, but all of the teams successfully found them. The day wrapped up with lunch in a cozy café, along with aromatic mulled wine and creamy hot chocolate.

It was a wonderful first Elfstedentocht in Moscow and everyone enjoyed it. We hope to repeat it in 2016! In the meantime you are welcome to join us at other upcoming NANR events.

You can find more pictures of the event here.