Friday, August 22, 2014

The Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen, NL

Put on your seatbelt because this one is quite the ride, which I want to keep together in one post.

This past Sunday Astrid and I drove 135km north to Enkhuizen to visit the Zuiderzee Museum on the shores of the IJsselmeer.  We had already visited the harbor briefly back in 2010, so I remembered it, but this time we were on a mission and we took Margreeth and Natascha with us.  Remember that they were the ones who encouraged us to buy the annual museum card, which we did.

So, here goes....

You enter the building, fetch your tickets, and grab the next boat to the open-air museum.

On that 15-minute boat ride, you pass the magnificent harbor of Enkhuizen, part of the museum fee.

And you end up at the chalk-factory chimneys, to start your open-air museum experience.

Before going off into the museum's town, we stopped at the bronze-age display near the chalk factory.

That's when I realized this museum was a lot about interactive play for kids of all ages.
That's the kind of museum I LOVE.

From the bronze-age site we walked along the shore to the museum's open-air village.
What you could see from the shore was its own special "museum."

But before we did anything else, we stopped at this darling café for koffie,
and to get our bearings (on a very off-n-on blustery, rainy day).

After koffie, first up was the fishing village.
(The Dutch use underground telephone lines today.)

The fun thing was to walk into the houses and see how they lived back then.

 And since it was the fishing village, we saw the fishing nets out everywhere.

Even real fish were being dried...which I wished I could have tried.

The windmill was nearby in the polder, where Astrid could demonstrate the drill for pumping out water.

As you'd guess, the animals were right at home, never guessing this was a museum.

 From the polder and fishing village we entered the Town Canal.
I just LOVE the little pedestrian bridges of the Netherlands, don't you?

I fell in love with all the boats everywhere within this open-air museum.
I love the Dutch harbors but canals are so cozy.

From that point we walked back-n-forth between the Town Canal and the Church Quarter.
After awhile my images started running together, but it doesn't matter.

We spent a lot of time in this man's sign/calligraphy shop.
It's a dying art and Astrid spent time talking to him intelligently about his profession.
She knows how hard it is because she once dabbled in it!

In fact, there were many professions/trades to see or watch in action.

I'm a sucker for tools of the trade, as you know by now.

 There even was a school where you could practice your penmanship skills.
See what I mean by interactive?!

Remember that this is an open-air museum.  It could be a real village!

 And just like everywhere, you had a chance to play.

The kids could even dress up from the dressing-up chest.
Doesn't this remind you of Humans of New York:  Microfashion!

 I don't think it gets better than this for an interactiuve museum.

Speaking of dressing up, there was even a room where you could find your shoe size
and try to walk around in wooden clogs.

You know the Dutch and their wooden shoes, of course.
They're everywhere, even if only for show.

 I told you this would be a ride!  There was something for everyone.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

As an aside, you may recall that we started our museum card in early May at another open-air museum, in Arnhem, NL:  the Openluchtmuseum.  I didn't think anything could get better than that.  But it did, with this Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen.  There are many similarities but also many differences.

Both museums have got to be right up at the top of the list of all open-air museums anywhere!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Vision and Verb: My Blurb Book

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, here it is.  The deed is done.  And I must say, after working with Shutterfly in the past, I'm a very happy camper.  Of course, it's mostly text (98 posts with an image for each)...which is the main difference.

Make sure you view it on Full screen to see it as intended.  I've also added it to my sidebar with my other two (Shutterfly) photo books.  [I do not intend for anyone to BUY this book...way too expensive!  But I'd love for you to be able to see it, if you wish.]

I also purchased the PDF version, in case you want to download it.

For those of you who have followed me during the last 4-1/2 years of my visions and verbs, THANK YOU.  It's been quite the journey!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The "Nooit Gedagt" Windmill in Woudrichem, NL

You may remember that we who live in Gorinchem, NL, have a sister city across the Mervede river from us.  You can actually see their windmill and church from our side of the river.

It so happens the windmill has now become our favorite windmill of them all, not only because of it's educational factor (we plan to take all our guests there from this day forward!) but because it has every flour we'd ever want for Astrid's bread-making machine, as well as corn meal for my baking needs.

Woudrichem is just adorable.  There's no other way to put it.
With 14+K people, it's just the "sight rize."
We parked near the St. Martinus Reformed Church, built in the 15th-16th centuries.

From where we parked, the church was straight ahead and the windmill was off in the field to our right.
This is the Nooit Gedagt (Never Thought Of) grain mill from 1995.
The original mill from 1662 was destroyed during WWII.
It's the only Dutch mill with all 8 sides completely covered in brick.

Here it is up-close and personal with its Victor van Marseille gable stone.

Now, come inside and enjoy!  
You could spend a long time in the ground-floor shop, checking everything out.
But go upstairs to the first floor....

...and that's where the guys package up and store their stock.
It's the biggest grain-mill operation I've yet seen to date here in the Netherlands.

Next floor up (3rd, if you're counting) is where you can walk out onto the platform.
(Room for more storage, too.)

From that level you can inspect the wheel that operates the sails,
and look out over the lovely town and harbor.  It really is adorable.
(And that duck's nest is from 1531 mm away, as an FYI.)

One more floor up, the top floor, is where the gears are being turned by the outside sails.
It's so fun to see a mill in operation, so I decided to record it for you:

If you view this on your browser, you'll get more info,
but the passing shadow you see is from the rotating sails outside.
Dutch mills are run by wind power, NOT by electricity.

And that was that!
We took special note of the bunker café below the windmill, which wasn't yet open that day.
We'll have to try it out the next time we go.

We bought the flours we wanted to buy and got a few extra goodies thrown in.
And you wonder why I love this country so much???

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

By the way, did you miss me last week?  HA!  Well, I've been making a Blurb book of my 98 Vision & Verb posts.  It's done except for final proofs and edits.  Once I hit the Publish button, I'll see if I can upload it to my sidebar, so you can see it there.  I'll pick up my copy in Atlanta during our October annual trip.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

LAREN, Netherlands, and the Singer Museum

This happens to be the third post of a one-day trip Astrid and I took back on May 31st to her old stomping grounds, 55 km away from where we live here in Gorinchem.  When I look back on it, I'm amazed by all that we saw that day!

First we went to Lage Vuursche, where Astrid's mom's summer cabin was, then to Hilversum, where Astrid was born and raised, and now to Laren, right next door.

Right next door means about 5 km or less.  Astrid has memories of walking or riding her bike 
with the family on Sundays from Hilversum to Laren because they didn't have a car.

It's the oldest town (c. 11K pop.) in 't Gooi region of North Holland and one of the most affluent.

In this statue you can see the old costumes of the region
(with Astrid standing in to show scale).

The Basilica of St. John is a major landmark of Laren, from 1924.
That seems almost brand-new, doesn't it!

There was a service in progress when we arrived that Saturday late afternoon... we didn't enter the nave but only looked from afar.
We still saw a lot.

Earlier we had eaten lunch at Café t'Bonte Paard (The Spotted Horse).

See how we love trying out new beers, especially abbey/trappist beers from 1062! 

  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Remember that we have our annual museum cards which we're trying to use!  So, in between the café lunch and the basilica, we visited the Singer Laren Museum (which also happens to be a concert hall).

Guess what!
"The museum is devoted to presenting and preserving the collection of the American artist
William Henry Singer (1868–1943) and his wife Anna."  

 While some sculptures and artifacts are present...''s mostly a museum of paintings.

Remember, it's a collection from an American artist and his wife.

How about a sampling?


How's that for eclectic!

Something for everyone, I think.

Add to all that the outside courtyard, full of more artifacts...

...saying good-bye to us as the late afternoon came to a close.

It had been a long day, from Lage Vuursche to Hilversum to Laren.  
We were short of eyes...and ready to go home to reflect on everything stored up inside us.