May 16, 2020

Latið meg ei á Frísaland fordervast! 'Do no let me perish in Friesland!' A cry out of a Faroese young woman when she was being kidnapped by Frisian pirates in the Middle Ages. The question of this blog post is not about how on earth it was possible that the people of t...

May 5, 2020

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 of Greek philosopher Plato. That was aroun...

April 26, 2020

The arrival of the Romans in northwest Europe at the beginning of the era, with the Rhine as frontier, was the starting signal for five centuries of widespread piracy. Piracy that not only affected the coasts of Britannia and Gaul. It stirred things up even as far as t...

April 13, 2020

“Is seaport the Maasvlakte the gateway of northwestern Europe? No? Is it Europoort then? No? Is it the Botlek area? Is it Vlaardingen? No? Surely it's the city of Rotterdam! Say what? Okay, final guess. Since you guys only can talk about Frisia, is it the town of Vrees...

March 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is climbing towards its peak. Uncertainty of how destructive the pandemic is going to be. 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. Som...

February 26, 2020

"The reason I am late for class? Well, there was a strange cat in our barn this morning, and I stepped in its poop. Therefore, I first had to clean my shoes before I could go to school. That’s the reason. Really!" A similar pretext was made in AD 1040 by a bunch of Fri...

February 23, 2020

Halfway the ninth century Vikings had established more-or-less permanent presence in Frisia in the former district called Nordendi or Norditi. By AD 884 the Frisians were fed up with it. The forged new swords, raised an army and drove the Norsemen out. For good. It too...

February 16, 2020

Brooklyn. Named after the village of Breukelen in the Netherlands. But its original Frisian name was Attingahem. With only a little twist of history Brooklyn would have been named Attingahem today and the Brooklyn Bridge, the Attingahem Bridge. The streets of Brooklyn,...

February 11, 2020

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-etc John of Salisbury, expressi...

December 1, 2019

Tidal marshlands and the Frisians are a dual entity. It's on these treeless salt marshes the Chauci and the Frisii (Frisians) dwelled when the Romans arrived around the year of Christ. People lived on terps (artificial settlement mounds) and would continue to do so til...

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Two Frisian bastards

Wut? Did you just call yourselves bastards? Yes, we did. And we don't mean the basters of Namibia. No it's bastards, because that is the best summary for this hike, the Frisia Coast Trail.

This hike covers the coast of four countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

This stretch of Europe always has been a rough and dangerous place to live. Land and sea have been rolling dices for ages... 

Lakes emerge, rivers change course, islands walk in the sea, dunes vanish to emerge somewhere else, villages wash away overnight like Atlantis, dykes break through.

Living at sea level isn't easy. Certainly not when sea levels have the tendency to drop and rise over time. The sea is such a diva.

This hike will bring over 2,500 years of coastal history in 1,000 miles. Trust us, not one century this landscape has stayed the same.

In that period many people settled in this rough coastal area. Others were just passing by, e.g. the Celts, the Romans, the Suevi, the Cannifates. the Bataves, the Marcii, the Angles, the Saxons, the Jutes, the Geats, the Danes, the Vikings, the Salian Franks, the French, the Spanish etc. And some setlled too, especially the Saxons and Angles.

Oh yes, and the Frisians. 

Many joined the Roman ranks to fight in Britannia and Tunisia. Later the Frisians settled with the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes in southern and eastern England and degraded the Britons. Centuries later they joined their cousin's war bands -the Vikings- and ransacked the coasts of Europe. And it cannot be denied, many Frisian fighters took the Cross and went berserk during the Crusades. More recently many moved to Texas, Canada and Australia looking for land without milk quota restrictions. Others, like the Mennonites, sought religious, not economic freedom.

Other Frisians stayed at this coastline and the river lands behind it and mingled with the ones passing by. The so-called 'stayers'.

Since the two of us are part of the 'stayers', we are 100% pure bastards, having drops of blood from all of the peoples named above.

As we cover 4 countries we decided to write the blogs in English. But feel free to give us feedback in Deutsch, English, Español, Nederlands, Oostfreesk, Vlaams, Westfries and all 3 versions of the Frisian language: Friisk, Satersk and Westerlauwersk Frysk.

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