Who’s afraid of Voracious Woolf?

Who’s afraid of Jóða Fenris ‘the offspring of Fenrir’? Afraid of hund hrynsævar hræva ‘the hound of the roaring sea corpses’? Who, today, is afraid of the wolf? The dark creature that has lived for so long in the shadowy forests of the east, is on the rise again in Europe. Almost two centuries haveContinue reading “Who’s afraid of Voracious Woolf?”

A Frisian lord who ruled in Brittany, until his wife cheated on him  

There where the English Channel and the Celtic Sea meet, is where the ships of the Frisian brothers Corsold and Coarchion roamed, raided and ruled in the early sixth century. For a while they even had their own kingdom. Breton legends tell that the village of Kersaout ‘Corseul’ was the residence of dux Corsold. Also,Continue reading “A Frisian lord who ruled in Brittany, until his wife cheated on him  “

Little prayers at the Lorelei rock

On the west bank of the mighty river Rhine, halfway between the cities Koblenz and Mainz, lies the town of Sankt Goar. Named after Saint Goar of Aquitaine who retreated here in the sixth century. Diagonally across the river stands the famous and mystical Lorelei rock. Steep, and over 130 meters high. A whisper rockContinue reading “Little prayers at the Lorelei rock”

Don’t believe everything they say about sweet Cunera

Imagine. One day your husband brings home a young and unmarried woman. A virgin even. He simply takes her into your house, openly shows affection for her, and who knows what else. That’s not all. He also gives the young maiden full access to your pantry and savings account, which she, for crying out loud,Continue reading “Don’t believe everything they say about sweet Cunera”

Walfrid, You’ll Never Walk Alone.

This post is not about Aindreas Ó Céirín (1840-1915), better known as Brother Walfrid from Ireland and who founded the Scottish football club Celtic. No, this post is about the original. The Frisian named Walfrid. Who was murdered by a bunch of roaming Vikings in the late tenth century. These atrocities took place at theContinue reading “Walfrid, You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Like Father, Unlike Son

The Battle of Tours in 732 was a turning point in the wars against the Umayyad Caliphate. The Caliphate was one of the biggest empires in history, but it lost this battle. At the confluence of the rivers Clain and Vienne, the Franks, led by statesman maior domo Charles Martel, only just managed to defeatContinue reading “Like Father, Unlike Son”

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 as well, is the Wadden Sea. For centuries it is from here where sea explorers, tax evaders, sturdy Arctic whalers, self-righteous women, pirates, privateers, and other vagabonds came from. An archipelago whichContinue 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 in 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. Even though nearly all the monasteries have been dismantled with the advent of Protestantism, toContinue reading “With a Noose through the Norsemen’s Door”

Frisia, a Viking Graveyard

When reading about the famous deeds of great Viking warriors, often not much attention is given to the moments of failure. Not much is written about where and when the glorious men, and women, died. As it turns out, the coast of Frisia is one big Viking graveyard. It is here, in the (still) smellyContinue reading “Frisia, a Viking Graveyard”

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”