Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Windmills, green houses and clogs made of foam

On a rare day when the sunshine filtered through the trees, we visited the Open Air Museum (Openluchsmuseum) in Arnhem.

Gathered into the museum from around the country were cottages, farm houses, city homes, windmills, trams and a collection of other buildings. The brochure warned us to reserve at least three hours to make the whole tour.

What made the Museum such a treat was that many of the buildings were still "occupied".

The first home we entered was a combination of the stables and living quarter - just a small space at the end of the barn. Tending a boiling cauldron over a fire was the lady of the house. She was preparing a stew which we could sample.

Next door, a gentleman was making old fashioned waffle cookies with an iron over his kitchen fire. The kitchen table was set for tea and the catch of the day (rabbits) was hanging in the corner.

Outside we could hear a consistent click, click, BAM! click, click, BAM! A mill was turning the hefty wooden mechanism that pounded grapeseeds to produce a steady trickle of oil.

Naturally there were windmills - a whole collection of them. Each showing was the power of the wind could do. One windmill functioned as a sawmill trimming planks of wood down to size. Another had been used to pump water with a huge screw pump.

A collection of green houses from the Zaan area were filled with upper middle class decor, a candy shop and a bakery.

It was such fun and gave all of your senses a way to imagine the past!

On the way out, Peanut's dad picked up a size 12 pair of the classically styled Dutch clogs in bright yellow. They are actually a pair of slippers :-)

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