January 13, 2019

In the series Myths of Nations we disclose to you this time that the Frisians actually didn't come from India, as the old legends tell us. And what’s proven yet again in this blog post, we should listen more often to Led Zeppelin. In particular to their Immigrant Song....

December 24, 2018

With all the seasonal festivities this month it's appropriate to serve you a flavorful cocktail. It's 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's s...

November 11, 2018

How to settle the scores in medieval Frisia when you killed someone: the function of a weregeld.

October 14, 2018

North Frisia or Nordfriesland. 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’s here where a specific celebrati...

October 12, 2018

Last month one the Frisian bastards of the Frisia Coast Trail -and author of this blog post- hiked the Grande Randonnée 20 in Corsica. Or GR-vingt, as the French say. The GR20 is Europe’s toughest long-distance hiking trail, and one of the most deadliest...as it turned...

July 1, 2018

No, this blog post isn't about the Westfrisian writer Hendrik Jan Marsman (1937-2012, the Netherlands) whose pen-name was Bernlef. Nor is this blog post about the student corporation Bernlef in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. This is all about the original: t...

June 24, 2018

So many supranational organizations, whether governmental or juridical, are struggling with their legitimacy and survival it’s almost becoming tedious. Take for example the European Union with a humiliating Brexit and their seemingly, or actual, endless debates on urge...

June 20, 2018

pic by Jørn Løvland 

From 2012 around 5,000 foreign fighters from European countries went to the Levant to fight. An estimated fifteen percent has died in battle. Others are still in the Middle East, imprisoned or perhaps on the move to centers of conflict elsewhere in...

June 1, 2018

It was not the city Parisius 'Paris' and it was not Lundenwic 'London' either. Believe or not, the early-medieval center for expensive cloth and chic clothing in northwest Europe was the Wadden-Sea coasts of northern Germany and of the Netherlands. Here the highly soug...

May 23, 2018

The mudflats of the Wadden Sea are endless. But what to do with it? How do you give meaning to mud? Yes, one cubic-meter mudflat contains millions of diatoms, thousands of small crabs, mussels, snails and worms. For birds it's like ordering à la carte frutti di mare. B...

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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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