10 words to travel 1,500 years and miles across the Frisian shores

Are these white letters on the wall encrypted gibberish to you? With learning a handful of keywords, you’ll have deciphered them in no time. Even better, tens of thousands of town names will hold no longer any secrets for you. Each placename will reveal its unique story to you. You will make a great impressionContinue reading “10 words to travel 1,500 years and miles across the Frisian shores”

Wa bin ik, wa bist do en wa bin wy?

“If you don’t care about your own history, you may as well leave the classroom.” Words from the geography teacher at high school Simon Vestdijk in the port town of Harlingen in 1988. We, the two Frisian bastards, were about sixteen years old and in the fifth grade of the VWO (i.e. pre-university education). TheContinue reading “Wa bin ik, wa bist do en wa bin wy?”

More Flying Dutchmen

On the first of February 2020, one of the Frisian bastards of the Frisia Coast Trail tramped the trail section from the town of Bad Nieuweschans to the village of Termunten. It is a hike of 30 kilometres along the southern shores of the Dollart Bay. The day before, in the evening, the bastard arrivedContinue reading “More Flying Dutchmen”

Presence of mind to ask the right question

‘The path will provide,’ is a familiar saying among hikers while on the trail. The flipside of this attitude is you might not have the keenness to recognize an exceptional opportunity. Your mind gets lazy. It is exactly what happened to one of the Frisian bastards during his solo-hike through the harsh mountains of Corsica.Continue reading “Presence of mind to ask the right question”

A Wadden Sea Guide and His Twelve Disciples

For those outdoor freaks who consider hiking the mud flats of the Wadden Sea, it is essential to know this is, in fact, not a worldly journey but a spiritual one. The whole Frisia Coast in a way is a spiritual belt. Protecting the southern coast of the North Sea against northern darkness, according toContinue reading “A Wadden Sea Guide and His Twelve Disciples”

Expelled from Regal Grounds

July 1987. The two Frisian bastards, both being sixteen years old at the time, went to the village of Wijnaldum, or Winaem in Mid-Frisian language. The reason for it was twofold. Firstly, the yearly street-kaatsen tournament was taking place. Secondly, one of their classmates Gerda lived closed to the village and this was a goodContinue reading “Expelled from Regal Grounds”

Out of averting the inevitable a community was born

March 25, 2020 today. The COVID-19 pandemic is climbing towards its second peak. Uncertainty of how destructive the pandemic is going to be in the long run. How many family members and loved ones will it take? A phenomenon of chaos and destruction that confronts us with the limitations of an engineered world. Some peopleContinue reading “Out of averting the inevitable a community was born”

Rats with wings or Masters of the Sky

Over the last years we have written about the tall and weird-looking people living in the twilight zone of sea and land: the coastal strip along the southern shores of the North Sea. Recently, repetitive long-calls made us aware we developed a blind spot. We forgot all about the animal that inhabits the same coastalContinue reading “Rats with wings or Masters of the Sky”

Attingahem Bridge

Brooklyn. Named after the village of Breukelen in the Netherlands. Its original Frisian name was Attingahem. With only a twist of history Brooklyn would have been named Attingahem today, and the Brooklyn Bridge therefore the Attingahem Bridge. The streets of Brooklyn, the set of movies like The Warriors (’79), The French Connection (’71), Once UponContinue reading “Attingahem Bridge”

Donkey King

Rex illiteratus est quasi asinus coronatus, ‘an illiterate king is like a crowned donkey’. Or, if you prefer the alternative translation, ‘is like a crowned arse’. These are almost thousand-year-old words of the bishop-philosopher-diplomat John of Salisbury, expressing the notion kings and other rulers in general should be educated in order to perform their task.Continue reading “Donkey King”