“vacationed in Friesland two years ago, and damn – it’s bleak!”
No, not at all. It’s … pastoral.
Honestly, Friesland was a wonderful experience. Quiet, fields, cows, water, peace. If you like that sort of thing. Likely you have not made your way to Prince Edward Island in Canada, but it is a similar experience. In my best state of mind, I live in Friesland.