Avondvierdaagse. AKA: Let’s walk together 10 km per evening over the next 4 days. Just because.
Sometimes I don’t even believe this stuff.
I’m pretty sure if I didn’t live here, I wouldn’t believe it.
Let me give it to you straight: for four evenings this week, half of the population of my town will walk 10 kilometers through the woods (10 km per evening or 40 total) together, broken up by elementary schools.
OK, fine. I’ll look it up: Avondvierdaagse. Here’s a bit of the history:
In 1909, the term ‘vierdaagse’ was introduced for the first time in the Netherlands. The Dutch Association for Physical Education (NBLO) organised in those days walking marches. During the Second World War these ‘walking marches’ were prohibited by the occupation forces.
Since there was in the area ‘’t Gooi’ a large number of walkers who needed a walking event, the walks developed under the term wandelvierdaagse. These walks were first held in 1940 and this was soon followed in other places in the Netherlands. When the occupation forces found out about this new form of walking events, they were banned because they were seen as assembly against the occupiers. — Wikipedia
Today, it’s a colorful, friendly, chatty, busy, kids-running-around-everywhere 10 kilometer stroll through neighborhoods and woods, across train tracks, down jungle paths, and even through some sand dunes.
Chat with friends, make new ones, stop kids from picking all the flowers, and just be outside, breathe the air, and get to know your area.
That’s it. I swear. No catches, no tricks, no nada.
So weird. I know. I’ve been here two years now and I often still have to pinch myself that some of this stuff actually happens. It’s all just too fairytale for me.*
* OK, I admit it: I love it.