Yet another wayward archipelago

Peoples of islands and archipelagos do not let others dictate how to live their life. One of those archipelagos that meets these criteria is the Wadden Sea. For centuries it is from here where sea explorers, tax evaders, sturdy whalers, self-righteous women, pirates, privateers, and other vagabonds came from. An archipelago which the Sea BeggarsContinue reading “Yet another wayward archipelago”

With a Noose through the Norsemen’s Door

Although the conversion was a slow and cumbersome process, and only succeeded in-depth over the course of the tenth century, Frisia subsequently turned into the richest ecclesiastical area of Europe. Nowhere else were that many monasteries and churches packed together. Although nearly all the monasteries have been dismantled with the arrival of Protestantism, till thisContinue reading “With a Noose through the Norsemen’s Door”

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 the northern darkness. AlreadyContinue 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”

The Killing Fields, of the Celts

About 2,000 years ago a tragedy unfolded. A sixteen-years-old girl, who suffered during her young life from scoliosis, was killed. Her red hair was shaved off on one side, she was stabbed at the base of her neck on at the right shoulder and strangled with a woolen rope. The rope was still around herContinue reading “The Killing Fields, of the Celts”

Rowing souls of the dead to Britain: the ferryman of Solleveld

In 2004, a unique discovery was made at the early-medieval grave field of Solleveld, just south of the city of The Hague: a boat grave. Exactly two hundred kilometers, perfectly east, across the North Sea, of the legendary boat burial of Sutton Hoo. With this one-of-a-kind found, the Netherlands joined the ranks of ship-burial-countries. AContinue reading “Rowing souls of the dead to Britain: the ferryman of Solleveld”

Out of averting the inevitable a community was born

March 25, 2020. 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 people exclaimContinue reading “Out of averting the inevitable a community was born”

A Theelacht. What a great idea!

Halfway the ninth century, Vikings had established more or less permanent presence in Frisia in the former district called Nordendi or Norditi. By 884 the Frisians were fed up with it. The forged new swords, raised an army and drove the Norsemen out. For good. It took exactly 10,377 lives on the side of theContinue reading “A Theelacht. What a great idea!”

Atlantis found! Wait, there is another one, or 7, wait 12 in total… No, 19!

Atlantis found! Wait, there is another one, or 7, wait 12 in total… No, 19! Frisia could easily claim the title: land of Atlantis. 19 inhabited islands and 244 villages drowned along the old Frisian coast trail in the past 1,500 years. We bet there are more out there… Atlantis emerged in the writings ofContinue reading “Atlantis found! Wait, there is another one, or 7, wait 12 in total… No, 19!”

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”