The United Frisian Emirates and Black Peat

In this post we will explain that the United Arab Emirates might as well be named the United Frisian Emirates. Of course, there are some differences. The Emirate Arabs have camels and goats. The Frisians have cows and sheep. It is hot and dry, instead of wet and cold. And the sea they live atContinue reading “The United Frisian Emirates and Black Peat”

Have a Frisians Cocktail

With the coming seasonal festivities at the end of the year, it is appropriate to serve you a flavorful cocktail. It is a cocktail from the list ‘Myths of Nations’, namely the ‘Frisians Cocktail’. Its recipe is not as old as some people thought it was, or would like it to be, but it isContinue reading “Have a Frisians Cocktail”

Hero of Haarlem: a dragon in disguise?

It was a Yankee by the name Mary Mapes Dodge who wrote ‘Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates. A story of life in Holland’. The book was published in New York in 1865. It is about poor, 15-year-old Hans and his sister Gretel. Gretel wins the Silver Skates. The price for winning an ice skatingContinue reading “Hero of Haarlem: a dragon in disguise?”

Take a virtual hike through Zuid-Holland and Utrecht

This blog is a virtual hike. Grab a coffee and go 200 kilometers per hour. When ploughing through piles of research on where the Frisians roamed, we stumbled upon interesting Frisian place names. A few weeks ago we, the two Frisian bastards, took another hike. We walked a track of 31 km along the riverContinue reading “Take a virtual hike through Zuid-Holland and Utrecht”

Grassland conversations

Being at the grasslands might lead to encounters with farmers or other wanderers and, of course, with ‘birdwatchers’ (see also the note at the end of this post). These encounters go in slow motion, and in clearly defined phases. These phases should be observed strictly if you have any ambition to mingle with locals, orContinue reading “Grassland conversations”

One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef

This post is not about the Westfrisian writer Hendrik Jan Marsman (1937-2012), whose pen-name was Bernlef. Nor is this post about the student corporation Bernlef in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. This is all about the original. Bard and harp player Bernlef, who lived in Frisia somewhere between 760 and 840. And ifContinue reading “One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef”

Beacons of Nordfriesland

Nordfriesland, or North Frisia. The western coast and islands of the region Schleswig. Stretching from the Danish town Tønder in the north to the River Eider in the south. A broad strip of land by the sea with all islands in between. It is here where a specific celebration of bonfires takes place on 21Continue reading “Beacons of Nordfriesland”

Support for the Corsican Cause in jeopardy

September 2018, one of the bastards hiked the Grande Randonnée 20 in Corsica. Or, as the French say, la GR-vingt. The GR20 is considered Europe’s toughest long-distance trail. And one of the most dangerous, as it turned out. The bastard wanted to experience the similarities of hiking trails that cover territories of Europe’s autochthonous minorities.Continue reading “Support for the Corsican Cause in jeopardy”

Bil. A wasteland of non-integrated migrants?

This is the story of the reclamation of the former Middelzee in the Netherlands. The Middle Sea was a shallow inland sea that used to cut present-day province Friesland into two. Separating from each other the ancient pagi ‘districts’ Westrachia, present-day Westergo, and Austrachia, present-day Oostergo. Hence its name Middelzee ‘middle-sea’. It was a processContinue reading “Bil. A wasteland of non-integrated migrants?”

Know where to find your sweet potato

We retrace our steps back to the sixteenth century. A time the potato was exotic. Nowadays children eat pastas, pizzas, burgers, shawarma, sushi, noodles, fried rice, et cetera. That is why they find it a treat when you serve them boiled potatoes for supper once in a while. With a bit of salt and lotsContinue reading “Know where to find your sweet potato”