Thursday, May 1, 2014

Farms, Floods, Fun

And then there were Farms

Small farms, big farms. Real old farms and newer farms. Far away farms and local farms. All brought together at the Openluchtmuseum (Open Air Museum) near Arnhem, the Netherlands, less than an hour away from where Wilmar and Rebecca live. The sun was peaking through the clouds and all was well. I will let the pictures tell most of the story.
Yes, we had sunshine and a light breeze, making it an ideal adventure into rural Holland. It was a time capsule of all the things that made up the life and times of farmers and craftsmen from about 1600 to 1950.
The roofs were mostly thatch - not just a thin layer but 10 or more inches thick.
We were also to learn just how well they kept the rain out, but that comes later in the day.

This is where the wheelwright lived and made all the wheels for the village.

No shortage of windmills in Holland.
This particular one crushed rape seeds to extract the oil.
And it is still working today.

Farmers had pretty small homes.  They may look big, but all of them were divided
into two halves, the people half and the animal half, only it was more
like 70% of the space for animals and 30% for people.

I would love to have a home like this!
Just as long as I didn't have to work as hard as the farmers did.
Lois and Sanne-Joy both got to experience what is was like to be a little girl two hundred years ago - they had to work! Lois selected stones and prepared them for laying on the floor of their little farm. Sanne-Joy had to repair the fence so the cow didn't wander off.

And the children also needed to watch after the sheep and tend the chickens and so much more!

Getting across the canals to play with friends was also an adventure.

Blanka was quite content to sit and let us go in the boat.

To get to the village you had to cross the draw bridge.
Lunch time brought us to this bench with our newly adopted home in the background.
If you are wondering about all these pictures, I just take them, Blanka is the boss and tells me what she would like. Oh, take this picture, now this one, don't forget to get a picture of ….
In this case it was the tiniest little buttercup she could find just to see me kneel down and do her bidding. It took awhile before we figured out how to use the macro function, actually, Wilmar figured it out for me.

Another request from Blanka. 
These two linden trees are holding hands. I think it reminded her of us holding hands!

Way back when, they built things to last. Notice I put them on the bridge and I stayed on the ground.
And then the heavens opened up!

Shortly after this picture was taken it started to rain and we took shelter in the cheese factory. It rained and rained and hailed and rained some more. After an hour, we decided we had to make a run for the tram that would take us back to the entrance (about a mile away). All the paths were little rivers and needless to say we got quite water logged. In route to the tram we took shelter in an old barn. It was warm and quite in spite of the rain and hail. The thick thatched roof muffled all the sounds and insulated from the cold.
Getting out of Arnhem was also a challenge, many of the roads were flooded. Wilmar knew of a really good Pannekoeken restaurant so we had a chance to dry out while we had some very yummy pancakes that were the size of a medium pizza. 

So with full tummies and not so wet clothes and feet we headed home with no further surprises.