Saturday, September 08, 2012

17th August - Bourtange

Dieter picked me up exactly at 10am and we were off to Bourtange.

(though first we made a slight detour to Nieuweschans heated swimming pool as Menna had lost her bathrobe there on their last visit and it had been recovered).  It was another scorcher and I am glad Dieter had Menna's hat in the car for me since we were in his SLK Cabrio.

Now - Bourtange.  From their official website:

In 1580 William of Orange gave the order to build a fort on the sand ridge in the Bourtanger moor, on the border of modern Germany. On the order of William Louis of Nassau the fortress was raised in 1593.* Between 1593 and 1851 Bourtange was an important fortress. An agrarian village came into being when the fortress was dismantled in 1851. Only a few buildings still remembered the glory of yesteryear. In the nineteen sixties** the county of Vlagtwedde took the initiative to reconstruct the fortress. The plan was implemented between 1967 and 1992. Ramparts were again raised, ditches were dug and soldiers’ barracks were built. Visitors of present day Bourtange believe themselves to be back centuries in time. Meet the fortress which has never been taken ... Maybe we’ll see you in the year 1742!  

This is the official photo of the village - which shows the outline of the village - in layers of protective moats - to keep them safe from enemy armies. (We were both surprised to hear that they had been in a war with Jemgum for 80 years - more research is definately needed about that)!
With the advent of modern warfare - more and more villiagers moved 'into' the fortress and it became more and more of a farming community.  There are still people living there today - but mostly it seems that houses are passed through the family - you probably could not afford them!  (though you'd have to be okay with living in the middle of a tourist destination).

The toilets used back then were really interesting.....

After a lovely cold drink in the main square we made our way home, with a side trip to Papenburg where they build the really big ships.  This one will be ready to set sail in two weeks when it will make its way up the Ems - after they closed the locks downstream to fill it as much as possible and then it only just squeezes out to the mouth.  This is a shot of Dieter's fine stead to....

And the ranger in me struck again today....  I got sunburned, and ended up with a migraine from overheating....  what a mess....  I'm surprised they let me live in Australia I'm such a whimp!  Luckily I got it under control in a couple of hours.

Well, I had a bit of a spat with Boris via text this evening.  No reply to my texts trying to find out when he was going to come over and just a stupid reply and then no proper answer... then he sends a text to say he'll be leaving home about 7pm to come round.... I don't think so - he lives about an hour away - I don't start social engagements at 8pm! 

Mama bought a new bunny today - she always gets dwarf rabbits - this one is very sweet - almost brindle coloured with very floppy ears - his name is Mukke (I think that's it -  but I'm not 100% sure) - he's very sweet and he spent a long time on my chest nuzzling at my chin(s) - we're trying to make sure he gets used to people and being handled - so far he seems to like humans just fine - he was very timid at first - but settled down quite quickly.

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