Wow, did we have a nice September this year, with lots of sunny and warm days. We like! On one of those days, we decided to explore Frisian town Dokkum, only a 45 minutes drive from Groningen. It’s not really that far in kilometers, but no highway so it takes some time getting there. Of course we didn’t check ahead for festivities taking place. So what a pleasant surprise to find out in Dokkum they were celebrating the Admiraliteitsdagen that weekend. Busy, but also lots of fun things to see and do. There was a market in the center of Dokkum, music and performances in other parts of the town and festivities on the water. And of course lots of people enjoying the beautiful weather sitting on the terraces.
Before we forget: driving to Dokkum is really nice: passing quaint villages, lots of water with small family boats. Really, it’s a nice drive.
We arrived in Dokkum around 12.00 pm. Having no idea where to park, because all the streets into the center were blocked for the festivities. Eventually we discovered a (free) parking garage near Jumbo supermarket. From there it’s only a 2 minute walk into the heart of the town, where we started our walk through Dokkum.
Dokkum surprised us with a few stores we really liked. For example CouCou, which sells gift items and interior design by Hay among other brands. Next to CouCou, there’s ZusenZusenZo which sells second hand and handmade items from locals. You can rent a table and sell your things. On the other side of the road/bridge/square (what is it?) we had a look at Mister Pickles. This store sells lots of tea cups and tea (we loved it!) but also tipical Frisan products like woolen sweaters and liquor. De Houttwist is also a store we can recommend. Everything made from wood in a hip and modern way. And last but not least: 1622. It’s a lifestyle store with great interior products and clothes and they sell some sustainable items like bags and shoes from Toms.
We also visited the mill: loved the beautiful wooden ceiling covered in spiderwebs. We enjoyed coffee and Dutch mini pancakes on a terrace at De Koffiebranderij. The mini pancakes tasted great and were freshly baked, yummy! But, unfortunately the owner reacted quite nasty when we asked if we could have plantbased milk for our coffee. We had a similar experience in Sneek too, when we asked the owner of a candy store for options suitable for vegans/ vegetarians. The man at De Koffiebranderij said “In Frisia they don’t do that kind of nonsense”. Uuuh, well ok, sorry for asking… What’s up with that? Is it Frisian stiffness or does it come with age or…? Please don’t judge other peoples lifestyle and food choices.
After exploring the center we drove to the chapel (1934) of Bonifatius. Bonifatius is a person Dokkum is well known for. This British missionairy and church reformer was killed in the 8th century nearby Dokkum. He tried to turn the Frisian people into Christians. He baptized quite a few, but was attacked by a group of armed Frisian people who killed Bonifatius and his helpers in a fight. The chapel resembles a Roman amphitheatre and it’s absolutely stunning. The park with the 14 stations of the cross is nice to wander around in as well.
CouCou., Oranjewal 2
ZusenZusenZo, Koornmarkt 1
Mister Pickles, Koornmarkt 2
De Houttwist,Waagstraat 14a
1622 Lifestyle, De Zijl 1