Hide and Sneek

14 Jul

Hello from Sneek, Nederland!

My family and I are on a European holiday. We’ve left our pets, house, and garden in good hands and taken just a little bit of work with us.

This past weekend was spent at the once-every-5-years (is there a word for that?) Fritzen family reunion (so amazing to see how people have changed — or not! — over the past 5 years!) and then this morning we started on a whirlwind tour that will take us through Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, and Switzerland.

We made it into Bremen very late in the morning and decided to check out the city for a short while. We found the town centre, parked, and just managed to arrive at the “Glockenspiel House” at noon. There is a carillon at the top of the building that plays a concert hourly. The girls found it enchanting.

After lunch, we walked around the old city, through some impossibly narrow streets and charming shops, and the girls delighted in spotting the Bremen Town Musicians in all the windows and street displays. (Of course, we told them the story of the Bremen Town Musicians as we neared the city.)

On our way again, the girls got to hear about the boy who saved Holland with his finger in the dyke. we made it to our intended destination of Sneek, Netherlands at around suppertime. It felt very strange not being able to read the signs. Sneek is a charming city (currently holding a sand sculpture contest!) and we hope to rent a boat tomorrow and do half a day of sailing before driving off again.

(Tomorrow we are heading for Belgium and, sadly, I don’t think I have any Belgian stories…)

 

3 Responses to “Hide and Sneek”

  1. nita July 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    What a marvelous family holiday!

  2. Monika Broeckx July 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    I don’t know where in Belgium you will go to, but Pascal’s family all live in the Antwerp area (Flemish). Here’s a rather dark story about Antwerp (Wikipedia…):

    Origin of the name[edit]
    According to folklore, notably celebrated by a statue in front of the town hall, the city got its name from a legend involving a mythical giant called Antigoon who lived near the Scheldt river. He exacted a toll from those crossing the river, and for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river. Eventually, the giant was slain by a young hero named Brabo, who cut off the giant’s own hand and flung it into the river. Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen, akin to Old English hand and wearpan (to throw), which has evolved to today’s warp.[5]

    In favour of this folk etymology is the fact that hand-cutting was indeed practised in Europe; the right hand of a man who died without issue was cut off and sent to the feudal lord as proof of main-morte. However, John Lothrop Motley argues that Antwerp’s name derives from an ‘t werf (on the wharf).[6] Aan ‘t werp (at the warp) is also possible. This “warp” (thrown ground) is a man-made hill, just high enough to remain dry at high tide, whereupon a farm would be built. Another word for werp is pol (hence polders).

    The prevalent theory is that the name originated in the Gallo-Roman period and comes from the Latin antverpia. Antverpia would come from Ante (before) Verpia (deposition, sedimentation), indicating land that forms by deposition in the inside curve of a river (which is in fact the same origin as Germanic waerpen). Note that the river Scheldt, before a transition period between 600 to 750, followed a different track. This must have coincided roughly with the current ringway south of the city, situating the city within a former curve of the river.[7]

    Enjoy your trip, I envy you!!!
    Monika

    • fawnfritzen374499907 July 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

      Ha! Thank you for this story, Monika!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

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