So Thatch How You Do It!

Back in 2017, when I was wandering around the North Sea and Baltic (and other places) studying the Hanseatic League, I lucked into getting to watch some gentlemen replacing a thatch roof. The place was a few kilometers north of Husum, near the North Sea, and a weather system had started moving in. The supervisor had just finished getting things underway, and didn’t mind my small group standing at the edge of the property and watching. The homeowner asked what we were doing, I explained, and all was well.

As I said, weather was coming in. This gives you a sense of what they were setting up, and how deep the roof is.

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“Bad” Places and Spa History in Germany and Austria

The question came up last week: How do towns get “Bad” in their names and what does it mean? And how recent is it? The answers required more than just a comments-comment, so here are the answers.

The super-condensed version: government interventions, place to bathe, and generally modern (post 1789.) Continue reading

Harz Mountain Stories

Two years ago, my summer wanderings took me to the Harz Mountains in eastern Germany. As is my habit, I found a couple books of regional folk-lore, and one very detailed sort of “Folk-Lore Road Guide to the Harz.” In German, and no, I’m not up to translating it, at least not at the moment. But once I found a detailed enough map, or could match the locations to where I was going that day, I found a wonderful treasure trove of stories, and patterns. The patterns . . . Very different from what I’d found in the mining areas of Austria. Continue reading