Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Turn back time, please!

There aren’t that many places that make you feel like you’ve gone back in time. Sure, you can see old objects from some really distant époque in a museum, but you usually see it through the glass or from a distance. It’s true that you can feel like you’ve gone back in time when you’re in a theatre or in a cinema, but still, you’re at the same time aware that it’s just a play or a movie and you’re sitting still watching it all the time. Of course, you can feel like many years ago when you’re walking the old towns of some cities. Yet at the same time, you hear cars passing by (if not right next to you, then in a near distance), you see modern cafes and renewed building with eg. PVC windows all around you.

Yet we have managed to find a place where I really felt like time has stopped at some point. It was a heritage park. The Museum – The Teodora and Izydor Gulgowski Kashubian Ethnographical Park in WdzydzeKiszewskie (Muzeum – Kaszubski Park Etnograficzny im. Teodory i Izydora Gulgowskich we Wdzydzach Kiszewskich). It is situated about an hour away from Kniewo.

The first thing you see from the road is a windmill. And trees. That’s it. You just drive by the fence until you reach the parking place. Situated in a woody area, under the trees, which really works in its favour especially on hot summer (or spring, in our case) days. We bought our tickets (12 PLN normal), got the map, saw the carpet/kilim exhibition and… and then we went back in time.

The place is really huge. We spent over three hours there. Walking all the time. We were honestly exhausted. It was hot and sunny (when we got back home, we ate dinner and went straight to the lake. Well, not all of us into the lake, some of us decided to stay on “the beach” – huge word ;)). And we haven't even seen the whole place. We skipped one part, a rather small one, but I can’t be sure of that. After all, I haven’t seen that.

The first thing we saw on the inside (as well as from the outside) was the windmill. Wooow – was what was leaving my son’s mouth most often when looking at it. And then we got into the mill. We visited three floors of it. It was great fun for us, not to mention the little one. We could touch most of the stuff, which definitely was a bonus. Oh, and our son found a steering wheel – he was totally lost for us. Look, mummy, I’m driving the windmill! I still don’t know what that wheel was in fact doing, but he was thrilled and that was enough for me at that point.

It could take hours if I wanted to describe every single thing that we saw there, so I’ll just describe a few of them. The few that we enjoyed the most. Or I enjoyed the most, as not everybody has to agree with me, right? So here it goes.

The school. Definitely a must to see! In fact, a must is to take part in the lesson! A guy, dressed appropriately to the époque the school was from, was sitting at the desk. That was nothing new to us, as in every house or building was a person dressed accordingly to the standards of the époque that building was from. The school, well, kind of like a school. A (really loud!) bell outside (yup, you could ring the bell and some of us did that), desks and blackboards inside. Nothing special, one might say. It got quite crowded inside. People were coming in and sitting at the desks. And then suddenly the teacher started talking. He was describing what teaching looked like back then. He was disciplining us just like teachers were disciplining students back then. Yup, hitting a person honestly took place. Then he started singing to us the Kashubian Alphabet. The long version. Pretty well, I might add. And it’s not that easy. I still can remember learning to sing that at primary school. It was so many years ago and yet it stuck in me. Pretty impressive considering the fact that it’s not common to hear it. When the teacher started singing, our son at once stopped running around and started listening. He enjoyed it as well.

When we left the school, we went to the pottery making place. Now, a bit of an explanation. In some houses in the Museum you get the opportunity to try something new, to learn how certain things were made back in the past, to try and make them yourself. It is really cheap and gives so much fun! So in one of the houses our son was making “clay pictures”, in other house we were making paper flowers. In some other house, or rather its garden,  there were old-fashioned toys that we could try out for ourselves. That’s the place where we spent some time laughing our asses off. All of us had so much fun, not only our child.

We got to another windmill, but this one was closed (to our son’s disappointment). So, on the way out, we simply had to go to the first one again. There is also a 15th century church there. Pretty well restored. And a landed gentry house with sooo beautiful cupboards! I really wanted to take some of them home with me. Pity that I couldn’t…

The place is really big and well managed. You can see that it’s still developing. And you can learn a lot while being in there and have a great day at the same time! Those three hours that we spent there definitely wasn’t enough but we all got tired. Especially our kiddo. So we decided that it was enough. But definitely it is a place worth seeing in the Kashuby region. And maybe one day we'll get back there for one of the festivities that take place there.

The windmill and the wheel

 The school

 The church

 Have I mentioned that the Museum is situated by the lake? ;)
 The old-fashioned toys area!

 The paper-flower making


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