"" Writer's Wanderings: Enkhuizen and the Zuiderzee Museum

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Enkhuizen and the Zuiderzee Museum

Finally dry after our rainy cold morning in Hoorn, we sat in the lounge and waited expectantly for the Navi-Duct, the water bridge/lock over a freeway. Just a little before Enkhuizen we reached it. Slowly we pulled into the lock and sat above the traffic that passed beneath us. After we were lowered one meter the gates opened and we proceeded through to the town of Enkhuizen. It was an unusual experience.

Our tour for this port was not to be the town which was a little sad. Back in 2009, we had quickly visited when we explored the historic triangle and had to catch a train to get to Haarlem for the Corrie Ten Boom house. I had noted in my post that it would have been a quaint place to visit with the shops and restaurants. Our tour this time would be to the Zuiderzee Museum, an open air museum much like Greenfield Village in Michigan or Williamsburg. 

We had a very cold ferry ride from where our river boat was docked to the landing at the museum. Very few seats were available on the inside part so I sat against the side of the boat and tried as best I could to block the wind. At least the sun was shining although it was cold sunshine.

There were around 140 little buildings and houses dating back hundreds of years. The village has been reconstructed, literally brick by brick in some cases. There are craftsmen at various places like the one making nets. Nets were made of cotton and then coated with something in a kettle. My guess is it was tar but whatever, it turns the white cotton brown and helps it to last longer. Fishing was a big industry in the Zuiderzee.

Another little house had a video of how the eels the fishermen caught were gutted and and then skewered to be smoked before eating. I wasn't close enough to see the whole thing. It was okay with me.

Another spot had a blacksmith. Another a baker and close to him was an apothecary with a pharmacist. He told Bob he couldn't sell him anything. Have no idea what Bob asked him. One of the more unusual traditions was that an apothecary would have a bust over its door usually made of wood. The head would have its mouth open because that was what a doctor asked you, "say ahhhh." It was also the way you took the pills and one of the heads on display from someone's collection had pills on the tongue.

The butcher shop and the barber were of interest as well. The butcher shop thankfully just had mockups of sides of beef and sausages. The barber shop was rather neat and said to be a place for gossip and politics. 

A light rain started and we ducked into a school. The school was from the early 1900s. One room was for the older kids and the other for younger children. It was obvious from the size of the desks. I loved the way they had to line up their wooden clogs. They had to come off because they made too much noise in the school room.

There was no way we were going to be able to see the whole thing in an hour and with another light spritzing of rain, we were pretty cold. Our guide said she was finished with her tour and we could either take the ferry back or walk back to the boat--a 10 or 15 minute walk. Five minutes into the walk back, I looked at Bob and said, "You remember how fast she walked. This is going to take more than 15 minutes." 

It took us about 25 and we were back in a nice dry warm room.

Dinner was fantastic, again and a lovely rainbow hopefully was a promise that tomorrow's weather would be better. 

The entertainment for the evening was terrifice as well. Three fellows, a guitar, a bass and a box player sang and played everything from Johnny Cash to Willie Nelson. 

When my head nodded, we went to our room and called it a night. Warm covers, nice mattress, soft pillow...zzzzz

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