This morning the post brought an unexpected surprise: Two certificates acknowledging Esther and myself as new Guinness World Record (GWR) holders. A little summer project – visiting the major touristic sites of Belgium and the Netherlands in a day has been awarded the World Record title.
It all started with a complaint (by me, no surprise!) on when I finally would see more of Holland, Esther’s home country. A sightseeing trip was the obvious solution. Given we are always short on time (again, no surprise) we decided to do it in a single day. On a sunny July summer day, the two of us set out to see as many World heritage sites as possible.
Setting up a GWR is hard work! The rulebook is very detailed and even being in violation of a tiny condition results in disqualification – we had to experience this before – so we came (almost) prepared.
While I was responsible for routing and collecting photo/video evidence, it was Esther’s task to recruit witnesses along the way and get them to sign statements (no easy feat to convince complete strangers to divulge their personal information).
The mission was made more complicated, as GWR states that only public transport could be used – challenge accepted. We started in Tournai, Belgium (amazing cathedral) and finished off north of Amsterdam, in the Middenbeemster (beautiful villages with tiny houses on reclaimed land). The journey was a real adventure – we got admitted inside palaces that are closed to the public, ended up in a gang fight, missed trains and saw places we probably wouldn’t have visited anytime soon.
For extra bonus points – I had to the entire journey on crutches due to my broken ankle! To say it was exhausting would miss the mark.
In 11 hours and 45 minute we visited 13 different UNESCO World heritage sites – that feat not only exceeded the record in the 12hour category (previous record 7), but also in the 24 hour one (previous one 12).
So that makes us, at least for the time being, a double World Record holder.
Here is a small video clip, outlining some of the best scenes….
Special thanks goes to Zaya and Oma Saar for logistical and emotional support!