Monday, July 18, 2011

Arnhem Openluchtmuseum

Last weekend Mitch and I decided to go visit our local open air museum at nearby Arnhem. We had actually been planning on going up north to Enkhuizen & the Zuiderzee museum but miserable, rainy weather up that way and the thought of a sleep in (we somehow slept in until 11.30am!!! Guess we are just making the most of it before the little boef arrives!) resulted in us staying a little closer to home. On my midwifes instructions, I'm not meant to be doing too much anyway & taking it easy as much as possible in an effort to keep my BP under control so we decided to just spend a couple of hours slowly wandering around the museum on Saturday afternoon. Slowly being the key word - I feel like the pregnant lady waddle has definitely kicked in :P It was actually my second visit here - I came here with Dad last year while Mitch was working and after a great report from Dad and I on the museum, Mitch had been keen to come visit it for himself.

As it's name suggests, the Openluchtmuseum isn't just any old museum - it's entirely outdoors. Various farm buildings, cottages & windmills from a variety of eras have been relocated from all over the Netherlands to the museum.


It wouldn't be a Dutch open air museum without some windmills!!!

Fishermans cottages & boat making section

It's set up quite well - there are people in costume at most exhibits who are there to explain everything and things are in working order (eg the windmill is grinding) so you can actually see how things work. The interiors of the farmhouses are all traditionally furnished, right down to the stinky potato peelings in the kitchen sink.

Inside of a grain mill

Paper mill - it was reallyyyy noisy

Inside of an old farmhouse - where the family and animals slept in the same room


There were clogs in every house, of course :-)

There was a nice little street which had places to eat, a gift shop, a sweets shop (where we naturally had to pop in to buy some drop - Mitch's favourite lolly, usually I can't stand the stuff but it seems that pregnancy has altered my tastes... I think I demolished half the packet!) and a poffertje cafe. The most amusing part of this section however - the 'hole in the wall' lolly dispenser in the sweets shop. These foul looking means of getting a quick meal (usually along the lines of croquettes or cheeseburgers) are unbelievably popular all over the Netherlands. Usually they are located right beside a take away joint or cafe where for a similar price, you can get the same thing (only with less food poisoning risk), yet I ALWAYS see locals eating out of these 'hole in the wall' places. I just don't get it - in fact, last weekend we even saw one in the middle of nowhere on our trip to Groningen. I wish we took a photo of it - it was a wall beside a toilet block on the road side of a dijk. Seriously. I know the Dutch aren't known for their cuisine, but the hole in the wall food still astounds (and amuses) me!

Sweets in a wall - just in case you can't be bothered walking the extra  2 steps into the sweets shop itself...

Despite the overcast day, it was a lovely temperature outside for once and made for a nice afternoon out. I've been there twice now so don't feel the urge to go again, but it's a day out that I'd recommend to anyone wanting to get an overview of life in the Netherlands throughout the ages in a day.

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