Where can you spend all day letting off steam after being cooped back up at school for weeks?
Need another clue? Well, it must have cost blood, sweat and tears moving all the fascinating old buildings from all over Denmark and rebuilding them brick by brick and stone by stone in this amazing natural oasis.
And did I mention that admission is absolutely free?
Udder sustainable energies
Any ideas? Yes, you’ve guessed. For this month’s column, we visited the Open Air Museum (Friluftsmusseet) in Lyngby, which covers 76 acres and has about 50 different charming dwellings to explore.
Inside, you’ll also find quaint old furniture and tools of the trade that have belonged to craftsmen and craftswomen down through the ages. A load of old cobblers. Of course. And weavers, potters, blacksmiths, farmers and their animals. Imagine that: having your cows in the next room to help keep you warm during the bitter Danish winters. Cuddle up, Buttercup.
Giddy up, let’s roll
We started off by turning right just inside the entrance to the museum and climbing aboard a horse-drawn cart. The 20-minute ride costs 25 kroner per person and gives a good overview of what to visit on foot. The wagons only roll in good weather and when there are enough visitors to make it worthwhile (check via 4120 6455).
We saw lots of children. Some waved and others were too busy playing with the manmade waterfalls and the chickens scratching among the bushes. Anika and Toran kindly sat and stood in for photos as Jake was at school.
We passed the biggest pig I have ever seen. As soon as we were out of range, it stood up and looked very photogenic with a very appealing ‘mud petticoat’. The coachman explained this was a rather sneaky piggy.
The museum had bought her earlier in the summer because she was showing all the signs of being an expectant mummy pig waiting to have piglets. She was certainly amply proportioned. But now, with summer drawing to a close, and still no piggywinks, she was generally believed to have tricked her way into a cushy number in piggy paradise with a phantom pregnancy. She has no name, but
Trixie would do nicely.
Anyway, by the time I had jumped off the wagon where the trip started and hiked back to where I thought I’d last seen her, she too seemed to have disappeared into thin air. I started asking other visitors I met: “Have you seen a big pig”, and I finally found her in the Andelsbyen section. By then, she had flopped once again and not even her legs were very visible. She was making comforting little grunts, but grunts get lost in translation and print, I’m afraid.
Bringing the past to life
As luck would have it, Finbarr the craftsman was clowning about making children laugh just as I happened to walk past. He’s actually Irish, but his antics are so visual that words are unnecessary. Looking ahead, Frilandsmuseet’s historical market is always held during the autumn school holiday – this year from 11-18 October 2015 with activities from 11:00-15:30 that show life at the end of the 1800s, with traditional stalls, wacky theatre shows and tasty treats galore. So remember to take some cash – especially in case you get peckish.
After the autumn holiday, the museum will be closed until Christmas, when it opens again for the first two weekends in December, transformed with Christmas spirit and decorated to the hilt with the restaurant serving delicious dishes from the good old days.
See helendyrbye.blogspot.com for lots more photos, including Trixie the Pig – and some from last Christmas – and find out how Jake and I made a fleece egg cosy inspired by the ones we bought in the charming museum shop, which is crowded with cute craft products.