September 29, 2017

No more broken leg flights from Tyrol

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 2:08 pm

This ski season marks the end of an era: Tyrol Air Ambulance, a major flight ambulance airline in Europe, is canning its special flights for Dutch holidaymakers who break a body part during their ski vacation. For the Dutch, the route took them from Tyrol, Austria to Rotterdam-The Hague Airport, aka ‘the plaster flight’ (in Dutch, ‘gipsvlucht’).

As of this season, when a Dutch resident breaks something, they’ll have to fly on a regular flight or take another mode of transport back home. It’s no longer profitable for Tyrol Air to operate these flights, as they had to leave with all the patients at the same time who weren’t all skiing in the same place. As well, once the patients arrived in the Netherlands, they had to be transported throughout the country, as they all don’t live in Rotterdam.

This special service has been around since the 1980s and has been less and less profitable over the past couple of years. Flights to France from Tyrol stopped a few ago, and according to the source of this article, it’s gone unnoticed.

For anyone who doesn’t understand that skiing is a sport and requires some physicality to do properly, do yourselves a big favour and learn to ski in one of the many indoor ski places in the Netherlands before going to some of the biggest mountains in the world. Do yourselves another big favour and don’t mix drinking and skiing – wait until you’re done for the day.


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January 26, 2016

Alternative Elfstedentocht streams live from Austria

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 1:46 pm

On 26 January as of 7:30 CET you can follow a whole bunch of Dutch and other skaters live with commentary, interviews and Dutch music (they’re live now) who have successfully cut work and shimmied down to Austria to skate the Alternative Elfstedentocht on the picturesque Weissensee in Austria.

The speed skating crown jewel tour Elfstedentocht is a brand that’s stronger than the Olympics Games in The Netherlands where speed skaters like Sven Kramer and Ireen Wüst are more popular than football players. Truth be told, the Dutch kick major ass at speed skating.

You don’t mess with the Elfstedentocht, even an alternative one, as skate fever knows no geographic boundaries: just move the show to the snow.

And if you’re not convinced or don’t quite get it, read the amazing story of Tinus Udding who kept a piece of his big toe he lost in 1963 while skating during a very harsh edition of the Elfstedentocht.

It giet oan. (Frisian for ‘it’s on’).

(Photo by Paul van Eijden, some rights reserved)

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February 22, 2009

Ball, bikes and bridges

Filed under: Architecture,Automobiles,Bicycles,Sports by Branko Collin @ 7:54 pm

No news this weekend about the record attempts of Edwin van der Sar, the Dutch keeper playing for Manchester United who hasn’t conceded a goal for more than 1,300 hours. There’s nothing to report, because Van der Sar was rested during yesterday’s league game. His replacement promptly let a ball past, so that if Van der Sar keeps his net clean for at least one more minute he no longer has to share his league record with the rest of his defense.

The Flyswatter bridge we wrote about has been getting quite some attention in the blogosphere. Popular Mechanics talked a bit longer with architect Van Driel than we did and discovered some more flyswatter bridges in the Netherlands and France. But why, when mentioning in passing Dutch bicycle paths, do they link to a website about biking in Copenhagen?

Speaking of bikes in the Netherlands: people from Amsterdam use their bicycles more often than their cars. reports:

Between 2005 and 2007, Amsterdam residents rode their bicycle 0.87 times a day on average, compared to 0.84 trips by car. It was the first time on record that average bike trips surpassed cars, the research group FietsBeraad reported last month.

The ‘box of pixels’ at the top of this posting is not the lazy work of a photoshopper, but an actual office building made in 2007 by Dutch-Austrian architects Splitterwerk, and forms the headquarters for a firm called Prisma Engineering in Graz, Austria. Link:

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