Day 12- Andijk

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July 9th 2010
Published: July 9th 2010
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Once again, the twins had to get ready for school at 8.30, so we tried to stay out of their way as much as we could. It wasn't hard though because we had got up at about 8. Ben had again planned the day for us, so at half past 9, we left to the Enkhuisen Train Station. When we arrived, I assumed we were going somewhere by train, but Ben walked in the other direction, so we followed him. He told us we were going to the Zuiderzee museum. We had to take a ferry there, so we bought tickets and waited by the ferry stop. Dad looked across at all of the boats in the harbour. The ferry arrived at 10, with no-one else on board but two ferry operators. We got on, and sat by the edge, looking out around us.

The ferry wasn't going to take us directly to the Zuiderzee museum, instead it had to make another stop on the way. This meant going in the opposite direction to the way we were meant to be going, but that didn't matter. On the way, we passed alot of sailing ships that looked like ones that had gone to discover the world, with big wooden hulls and tall masts with massive sails and lots of rigging. There were so many of them it looked like a massive fleet filled with the Dutch army gone to conquer the East Indies. Instead, it was alot of ships where schoolchildren could go aboard and be sailors for a week. The ships were still very good though, especially the one that was different and looked like a pirate ship.

We picked up the rest of the people and headed off towards the museum, passing more ships along the way. We looked through the brochure and found that the Zuiderzee museum was not a museum that you go through and look at old stuff inside glass cabinets. Instead, it was a recreation of an old Dutch village from the late 19th and early 20th century. It was, in some ways, similar to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat in Victoria where they had recreated the town of the gold rush, but the buildings here were all old buildings that were from the late 19th and early 20th century that had either been there already or had been brought there. We arrived, departed the boat, and walked off into the old township.

The first thing we came across was an old chalk furnace, where they burnt seashells and turned them into chalk. It had three massive smoke towers, all made of brick, for the job. Next to it was a big pile of seashells. Dad explained what they used to do and how they did it. It was very interesting. There were also a couple of information boards stuck to the side of the house, as we would find with alot of the places in the museum, with information in Dutch, English, French and German. We continued on, watching the big ships leave towards the horizon, when we came to what was called the Fishing Village. There were two villages in the museum: The Fishing village and the Farmers Village, both of which back in the old days didn't like eachother too much.

We saw an old lifeboat that was used for the fishermen, then walked down the street, looking in various houses along the way. We read everything and made sure we didn't miss anything. Some of the houses were locked so you couldn't go into them, but a couple weren't and they were set up like they would have been back then. We came along to one house which had a massive vegetable garden, and walked in to find an old lady cooking Dutch food in the traditional Dutch way. Because Nana could speak the language, she had a long conversation with her, which resulted in Dad trying some tea. We looked through the rest of the house, noting that the beds were really small. Ben explained that the families had 6 or 7 children, plus a mother and father making 8 or 9 people in a house, so they sat in their beds, sleeping upright. We also noticed the clogs, the shoes worn by the Dutch which are like wooden slippers.

Nana finished talking to the lady, after what seemed like forever, then explained to us what she was saying, which was very interetsing, noting that she could remember a time when things were like it has been recreated. We walked into the main square of the fishing village, and as always, Nana had to find the toilet and stayed there for a while, so Dad and I found a basket of old fashioned childrens toys. Dad explained alot of them and showed me how to use them. I wasn't very good, but he was. We continued on, and found a small stall on the side of the road which was demonstration rope making. The guy running it strung 3 double strands of string along a long track to what looked like a winch. Then, he put a special rope making mallet between the strands, and got me to turn the crank at the other end. Doing this twisted the two strands of string together, and, after a while he mooved the mallet down, with me still turning it, which meant that whatever was between the mallet and the end, had turned into rope. He mooved it down to where I was, and there was a small thin rope. He took it off, cut the ends off and explained that sometimes they used the same setup but 200 metres long, instead of just 20. We thanked him, said goodbye and continued on our way.

We passed through some more houses, which explained what the housewives did when a new catch of fish was brought in, before we reached a display of old washing equipment which included washboards and wooden buckets and old soap. Nana said that she could remember using those, and explained it to us. Opposite the display was a sailmakers house. There was a man who was weaving sails out of cloth, each one to a specific size. It was interesting, but he was only making small sails, and he said that the ones on the big ships would have taken much much longer to make. We exited the fishing village and made our way around a small paddock with goats and sheep and chickens to another shop, which had another man working inside making brooms the old fashioned way. It was a different technique to any that I had seen before and it was fasinating, not just the broommaker, but all of the other old equipment in these shops. Then, we headed off again, around an old windmill by a duckpond to a shed where they were selling Herring.

Herring is a fish, but back then before they could eat it, they used to cut their heads off, put them on long sticks like a kebab, then smoke them. They were doing that here, and I didn't want to try any, and I don't think anyone else did either, but there were a couple of other visitors eating some. The other thing that we noticed, not just on this building, but others as well, was the thatched roof. These are roofs that are made from reeds and interlocked together to make a roof. We had seen it in Shakespeares Globe, but it was a fire hazard so we hadn't seen it anywhere else in London or Paris. There were some other houses outside the musuem in Holland that also had thatched roofs. Ben explained that alot of the houses that had this kind of roof were expensive to maintain, as it had to be replaced every 25 years or so for an average cost of 80,000 euros for every roof. It is also a big fire hazard because it burns easily, but the government won't let people take it down, because if a house has a thatched roof, it has to keep a thatched roof.

Nana was getting hungry, so we started to make our way towards the restraunt. Nana and Ben went straight there, but Dad and I took a slight detour to look in some of the workshops along the way by the canal, especially one which was a canal boat workshop. We met up with them at the restraunt shortly afterwards, and had another self serve lunch. I had another sausage roll and an apple cake, while Dad had a Dutch hamburger, with two slices of bread and a massive meatball in the middle. Ben had a salad and Nana ate a sandwich.

From the restraunt, we walked into the main town square, which had a church in the middle. We had a look inside, and noticed it was an old church, made of brick with a traditional altar and seats. There were no stained glass windows, but it felt like a church, despite there being a ship hanging from the roof instead of one of the chandeliers. We looked in some of the places to the side, such as the blacksmith, the post office, the pharmacy and the lolly shop, before we entered the school. We were planning to just have a quick look but we were ushered into the classroom, where there were a number of other people sitting at desks aleady.

Nana explained that they were having a writing lesson, and we were joining in. The desks sat two people, so I sat next to Dad and Nana sat next to Ben. Because the teacher spoke Dutch, and it would take too long for her to translate it into English, we were given a sheet of paper which described what she was saying before the lesson, about schools back in those days and the rules and restricitions, such as lefthandedness being punished severly. Then we were each given old fashioned ink pens, and were allowed to write anything we liked on a piece of paper, as long as we used our pens the proper way and wrote in the proper font. I just wrote my adress, as did Dad, but Ben wrote a long letter because it was the way of writing that he had been taught many years ago. When I was halfway through the name of my street, I looked across at Dad. He was alot slower than I was, and he had started spelling his surname: Geyk. He realised that was wrong, and had to put a little cross next to it (it was what Nana said that they had to do in the old days when she was a teacher) and had to start writing the word again. We finished the lesson, and were allowed to keep the paper we had used, and got a stamp each, just like back in primary school.

We looked through some more houses and gardens and shops, before making our way towards the harbour. We passed a group of people reparing old fashioned fishing nets and looked at the boats that were in the harbour. Some of them were owned by the museum, but others were privately owned to give it the feel of an old harbour. Dad looked around, telling me which ones he liked, before we had to head back towards the ferry to go home. On the way, we had a go at some of the games that were being played in the old town square, such as a type of bowling, but we didn't have too much time as we had to be back by 4 o'clock. We arrived at the ferry at quarter to 4, and it took 15 minutes to get back to the train station. We had some spare time, so Dad went out to some of the ships that were moored on the warf next to the train station, talking to the owners and finding out what they did. What they said was interesting, most of them did school groups or functions out at sea, and most of them lived on their boats.

We left and went to a pancake house, where we met up with Von and the twins. The twins went and played in the playground, while we ordered our pancakes. When they came, they were like pizzas, with toppings such as ham and cheese and mushrooms. The twins both had plain ones, ate them quickly and headed back to the playground. Nana and Dad both had a desert on one half of their pancake, cherries with icing sugar, but Von had to go to a play for the school she works at, so we waved goodbye, and left to go home. We were all tired, and Ben put the twins to bed. At 8.30, the football started, so I stayed downstairs and watched the Netherland beat Uruguay 3-2, which mean that they qualified for the Final and played the winner of Spain and Germany on the next day. It might not have been the same as watching it in Amsterdam, but there were still fanatic supporters cheering loudly in the small town of Andijk. I went to bed shortly after the match was over, and found the reading light on in the bedroom, where Dad had fallen asleep with his hand in his book and his facemask and earplugs next to him. I turned the light off and wanted to take a photo, but figured the flash would wake him up so I didn't.

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