This weekend we accompanied a colleague to the region of West-Frisia to a small-city called Enkhuizen. While easy to miss, this quant ‘city’ was historically significant to the Netherlands and during the 17th century it was one of the wealthiest ‘cities’ of Holland. Heavy fortifications, including a moated wall and its strategically placed harbor offered an important operational base for the East India Company. Today, this small harbor city of population approximately 19,000 offers tourists a break from bustling Amsterdam. But, when we showed up early Saturday morning, the silent streets coupled with manicured lawns, stagnant pollen-filled canals, red brick houses, soundless harbors, and motionless windmills, made us feel like we were walking into the perfect setting for a horror film.
The ‘city’s’ eeriness eventually subsided once we found one of the most interesting parts of Enkhuizen, and well worth our visit, the Zuiderzeemuseum, which has two parts, indoor and outdoor. We opted for the open air museum, Buitenmuseum, which consists of more than 130 rebuilt and relocated dwellings and workshops that provides a portrait of the former Zuiderzee region. Spanning over 15 acres, this museum is a time capsule of a former time. Fish curing sheds, an old dilapidated mill, a cheese warehouse, dwelling houses, a school house, a chemist, and sweet shops are just a few of the many treasures you will find in this museum. As you walk around, inhabitants wear traditional clothes and craftspeople make fishing nets, weave baskets, wash clothes, produce fancy knots, smoke fish, etc. It was a great way to experience the traditional Dutch culture! We all enjoyed our time in Enkhuizen (a big thank you to Chris for inviting us) and were especially excited for Baby X to try out a pair of baby clogs and traditional Dutch clothing!