Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Greetings from Friesland

Waiting for a bus in quiet Friesland
I traveled north over the weekend to the province of Friesland (or Fryslan), the home of my Dutch (or I should say Frisian) ancestors. Friesland is largely agricultural, but the countryside is dotted with small medieval towns. The region also has its own Frisian language in addition to Dutch.

From Delft, a three hour train ride will get you to the Frisian capital of Leeuwarden. From there, the only way to reach most towns is by bus. Once out of Leeuwarden, all you see are sheep, cows, and small picturesque towns.

View from the bus - sheep
I stayed in Dokkum, one of the larger (but still quite small) towns. The main part of Dokkum lies on a raised island with the Ee River cutting through. In medieval times Dokkum had a city wall with fortifications around the six points of the island. Today the wall is gone. Two of the six points have working windmills, one houses a cemetary, and another is a playground.

Raised island and fortification point
Windmill in Dokkum
Towards the town center
Dokkum's reformed church
Markings for St. Boniface's route

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