the zuiderzee museum

We took the train out to Heerhugowaard to meet up with my family.  We had a little breakfast picnic on the way with some bread, cheese and drinking yogurt (and coffee, of course).  Yay, train breakfast!

Our destination for the day was the Zuiderzee Museum ('zow-der-zay') in Enkhuizen.  It's an outdoor museum in the form of a historical fishing village with authentic buildings and demonstrations - kind of like Fort Edmonton.  The museum is on the shores of what used to be the Zuiderzee (most people here still seem to call it that), but is now a large freshwater lake called the IJsselmeer - created by damming off the Zuiderzee from the North Sea in 1932.

After you arrive at the museum's parking lot you take a ferry over to the museum, which I thought was a really neat way to arrive.  The museum has 130 historical buildings that were transported to the museum and arranged into a little village.  It was very picturesque and we had fun taking pictures and exploring the open buildings.

lunch was on in one of the houses we stopped in

lunch was on in one of the houses we stopped in

We also took advantage of some of the demonstrations.  The first one we came across had smoked herring and smoked eel.  I never though I would say this, but I tried the eel, and it's actually pretty good.  For some reason I had expected the flesh to be dark-coloured or grey, but eel is actually a whitefish.  The flavour was light, almost sweet, and it was very oily (even though I washed my hands they smelled like fish for several hours).  Some of my family members refused to try it, but we did get my grandma to taste a bit - a big accomplishment for her, considering she squeals at the mention of calamari! (love you Grandma)  I also tried the smoked herring - herring in any form is a staple of Dutch cuisine - and it was pretty good too (even though I'm not a big fan of smoked fish).

awww, I loved playing with the cute 'kids'

awww, I loved playing with the cute 'kids'

Another of the activities in the park was 'klompenbootjes maken' (making a boat out of a clog).  It turned into a contest/race between my Dad, Trevor and my uncle.  They're all pretty handy guys, so it was funny to see them using their building skills.  I think Trev lost, but they all ended up with awesome little boats.  (Ours is sitting on the kitchen windowsill now).

We spent pretty much the whole day there, and we all really enjoyed it.  It's definitely worth checking out if you make a trip to the Netherlands.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been if the museum staff that were running the demonstrations and the shops had been in historical clothing, rather than just logo-shirts.  Small, picky detail I guess, but that's one of the things I like when I visit Fort Edmonton or other historical-type attractions.

After we left the museum we drove to Bergen for dinner.  I must admit that I wasn't a good blogger for this one...I forgot to get the name of the restaurant or take a picture of it.  Anyhow, I ordered the roast guinea hen (which was served family-style).  It came with sauerkraut with raisins and multiple types of potatoes and vegetables on the side.  It was an excellent meal to finish off another good day exploring the Netherlands.