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?”

Grassland Conversation

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 Conversation”

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 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 fifteen islands and Halligs in between. It is here where a specific celebration of bonfires takes place onContinue reading “Beacons of Nordfriesland”

Haute couture from the salt marshes

It was not the city of Parisius. Nor that of Lundenwic. Believe or not, the early-medieval center for expensive cloth and chique clothing in the northwest of Europe was the Wadden-Sea coast. Here the highly sought-after pallia Fresonica ‘Frisian cloth’ was fabricated and distributed over the wider world. It possessed a quality good enough forContinue reading “Haute couture from the salt marshes”

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?”

Half a million deaths. A forgotten North Sea disaster…

Did you know that between 328,770 and 502,190 people lost their lives around the North Sea? On the flip side: millions of possible casualties have been prevented succesfully. For now at least… Half a million casualties is a lot. How could we forget about such a huge number? Did nobody notice? Did nobody mention? ItContinue reading “Half a million deaths. A forgotten North Sea disaster…”

Tolkien pleaded in favor of king Finn

Between 450-455 at the southern coast of the North Sea, a betrayal took place that has not been forgotten ever since. And it never will. It is the bloody battle at the citadel of king Finn. Or Fin Folcwalding Fresna cynne as he was named in the Anglo-Saxon poem Widsith. A poem dating from theContinue reading “Tolkien pleaded in favor of king Finn”

Walking the Sea

Mud flats are treacherous. Yes, the Wadden Sea stretching along the coasts of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands is UNESCO protected. We support that. But, when hiking the Frisia Coast Trail and you go walkabout on its flats at low tide, do so with the utmost care because UNESCO does not give you protection. “ItContinue reading “Walking the Sea”