Hein (fub) wrote,

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I was woken up at 08:30 by someone playing Italian ballads quite loudly, somewhere outside... I cursed softly and tossed and turned a few times, but then I heard an announcer speaking at the same volume as the music -- apparently there was a concour hippique being held somewhere nearby, and the bloody thing started at 09:00!

So just before lunch we popped out to see what was going on (I used to do horseback riding myself, lo these many moons ago). Turns out that it was all going doing at the other side of the highway. And the size field itself was less than a soccer field -- so why the sound technician thought it was a good idea to crank the volume up all the way is completely beyond me.
We stood and watched for a bit (me explaining some of the intricacies of choosing the right route through the field to klik), but we quickly chose another spot when we discovered that we were standing close to a speaker and the announcer said something...
It was fun in a rather nostalgic way, but I didn't miss it. We didn't stay long either.

Then, after lunch, we hopped in the car to go to Schloss Moyland. It's weird, Nijmegen is only a 30-minute car ride away from the German border, and yet all these years that I have lived in Nijmegen (15 years!), I have been in Scotland more often than in Germany. No kidding.
But a friend of ours had drawn our attention to an exhibition of Haiku & Haiga (illustrated Haiku verse on scrolls) that's currently on display in the museum Schloss Moyland. Seemed like a good excuse to spend a sunday afternoon across the border.

It also turned out that today was the 'regional gala', where lots of argicultural companies between Nijmegen and Kleve (in Germany) open their doors to the public. I had checked the list of participating companies and looked at the map, and it seemed like the diary farm Speetenhof was only a short detour. I was curious, and I like milk, fruit yoghurt and cheese, so it seemed like a good idea to check it out. Luckily for me, klik agreed.

After some trouble finding the farm, we found that it was pretty crowded there. The good weather had drawn out quite a crowd, and (this being Germany) the beer-tent will have helped keeping people at the farm. ;)
Ambling around the farm was pretty cool. We got to see how the cows were treated, and that they had a pretty relaxed life there. The machines were interesting, but because the tours were all in German we decided we didn't want to stick around for the next one -- especially since it had gotten kind of late, and we still had to visit the museum!
So we popped into the shop, where we sampled the most delicious home-made cheeses. We bought half a kilo of two different cheeses each, and half a liter of fruit yoghurt. We had the yoghurt as dessert, and it was OMG delicious. I'm almost sad we didn't bring more -- but we can always go back and get some!

Anyway, after the farm, it was time to hit the museum. After some more troubles locating that (it is quite a distance from the village it claims to be in, and in fact closer to Kalkar!), we found a spot in the shade to park the car and went exploring on foot. The museum is in a 'Schloss', a castle without a military purpose. Which means that it is more decorative, and has larger gardens than a military castle. The inside is quite nice, with lots of weird corners and corridors and staircases.
The haiku exhibit was nice and interesting -- it was fun to compare the German and English translations of the haiku, and to try to decipher the writing on the scrolls. There was also a possibility to compose your own haiku and leave it behind on a magnetic board. Staring out of the window in a tower, overlooking the gardens, I had to think of walking back from the concours hippique, and the tall grass:

In de verte ligt de stad
De wind brengt soms zacht geraas
Gras tot aan mijn kin
In the distance the city
At times, the wind brings soft noise
Grass reaches my chin
(I like the Dutch version better, because it is more expressive within the restrictions of the number of syllables.) I won't reproduce the 'art' that I made to go along with that, but that shouldn't make anyone sad.

Anyway, we also took a good look at the curious collection of coins, medals and plaques. Some of the artwork on those was incredibly cool, mainly the art deco ones. And what is it with scientific medals -- why do they all need a bald, old guy on the medal? Why not a Greek goddess in some heroic pose, like with all the other medals? No wonder science is considered un-sexy.

We took a stroll through the gardens (quite large, and in one corner was what looked like a circus tent and the ubiquitous beer tent, but it was all closed off). We stopped at the museum shop to buy the catalogue of the haiku exhibition, and we got a very good deal -- basically, the price of admittance was subtracted from the price of the catalog, which itself was ridiculously low priced at only 25 euros.

When we got back, I made curry -- Murgh Rogan Josh FTW!

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