Schiermonnikoog, one of the Wadden Islands in Friesland, originally named after Cistercian monks in grey robes who lived there centuries ago, will be home to monks once again after some 400 years.
With a population of about 830 people, Schiermonnikoog (‘Grey Monk Island’), will get a small Cistercian monastery for seven brothers who plan to leave their abbey in Diepenveen near Deventer, Overijssel and ‘retreat in simplicity’ on the island. Their current abbey in Deventer can house 100 monks, and they feel staying there doesn’t make much sense any more. Four of the seven brothers are already on Schiermonnikoog, while three of them are in Belgium waiting to join the rest.
(Links: www.nu.nl, www.frieschdagblad.nl, Photo of Coat of arms of Schiermonnikoog by Arch, some rights reserved)
Tags: Friesland, monks, Schiermonnikoog, Wadden Islands
The producers of the above video write:
Flotsam & Jetsam is a documentary based around the beachcombers of Texel, one of the largest Frisian islands north of Holland.
Due to Texel’s geographical position, tidal system and strong winds, an estimated two tons of Flotsam & Jetsam washes up on its beach each day.
The film follows the lives of the beachcombers (or Jutters as they are known), exploring their relationships and history as extraordinary people in extraordinary situations.
Beachcombers are people who ‘harvest’ flotsam and jetsam from beaches. I am not quite sure what the legal status is. Wikipedia claims beach combing is illegal in the Netherlands, but the only law text I could find (Book 8 of the Burgerlijk Wetboek, articles 550 and onward) seems to suggest that beach combing is a form of marine salvage, meaning that the owner of the goods can come and collect them up to two years after they were found, but must pay a decent wage in return.
The documentary is only 13 minutes long, and well worth your time.
‘Jutter’ Jan Uitgeest (73): “There are only eight of us left. Beachcombing is getting less popular because there aren’t that many finds any more. We are dependent on storms. Last year Terschelling had a large find of wood, and a container filled with snacks. On Ameland and Schiermonnikoog they found a container with mountain bike wheels and a couple of thousand coats, so that now the inhabitants of Schiermonnikoog are walking around in coats with nice fur collars.”
Link: Trendbeheer. Video: Vimeo / Flotsam and Jetsam.
Tags: Ameland, beach combers, beach combing, beaches, documentaries, North Sea, Schiermonnikoog, Terschelling, Texel, Wadden Islands
Legend has it that when God created the Groninger, the Groninger said: “Get off my land.” And as if to prove a point, Groningers (and Frisians) still walk across dozens of miles of sea each day, as New York Times reporter David Corn attests:
After about an hour, Mr. Kraster comes to a stop. He says he has some good news and some bad news. For the next stretch, the ground will be less muddy — but the water will be higher. He points in the direction we’ll be heading. I still see nothing but sky and water before us. He could be leading us anywhere — including into deep water. He takes a step, and the water is close to his waist. The rest of us realize we are standing on a ridge and about to take a plunge.
The activity described here is mudflat hiking, wadlopen in Dutch, and is possible because of the unique properties of the Wadden Sea. At high tide the area is a sea, at low tide it is land—partly—and you can cross from the mainland to the Wadden Islands over some of the muddy watersheds. This is exactly what 30,000 people in the Netherlands do each year. Mudflat walking is also possible across the Wadden Sea portions of Germany and Denmark.
(Photo by nl.wikipedia user Marieke78, some rights reserved.
Tags: Friesland, Groningen, hiking, mud, sea, Wadden Islands, Wadden Sea