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May 18, 2018

Luxembourg - Pottery Museum in Nospelt

Now that Easter is over, even the Ascension has passed, let me introduce you to this little museum in Luxembourg, in Nospelt. Why do I make the connection with Easter? Because on the Easter Monday, here in Luxembourg the Emaischen happens. I wrote about the 2018 edition so I will not bother you with too many details.

In essence, this little town in the centre of Luxembourg was in the 19th century a big pottery centre with 17 different pottery shops and workshops. That is why the tradition of the clay whistles started here and it is in this village that we find today a Pottery Museum.

The traditional shape of the Luxembourgish clay whistle is this

They say that, clay whistles dating back as far as the 16th Century have been found in Luxembourg, but at he same time this craft stopped being a productive industry in 1914 when the last kiln was lit to make commercial pottery.

As one would expect, the museum is centred around the clay whistles, but nonetheless you find in it a little bit of the history of the pottery industry here in Luxembourg. On the ground level and in the first rooms of the museum you will see how the whistles and other ceramic pieces were made, you see the kiln, the different stages of making a ceramic piece and the potter workshop.

On the second room you get acquainted with the history of the Emaischen celebration, you find the first tickets sold to participants and other memorabilia related to this Luxembourgish tradition. Also you learn how the clay whistles were made and find out that each year there is a new design, but at the same time each year 200 original shape clay whistles are made and given to the local associations and personalities of the commune.

On the last room there is a collection of clay whistles from around the world, but mostly Europe as well as the clay whistles designed by the youngest potters in the commune, the ones that still carry on the tradition today. I was impressed with the clay whistles from Romania present in the collection of the museum. Clearly someone has done their homework.
As it is the case of the embroidery patterns that I'm so into right now, the design of the bird shaped clay whistles is very similar around Eastern Europe and even coming close to this area. It is amazing to see that all this little crafts circulated and the patterns which a Romanian would consider traditional are not.

Living in this area I understood that all these little crafts need to be protected in my country so they won't be forgotten. As it is the Luxembourgish case, the bird whistles and the clay products are made only on a small scale, and I dare to say that is because giants such as Villeroy&Boch have the monopoly in this area. Also there are small potters, but they are not promoted, they sell only in little fairs around the country and they only make decorative pottery.

I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at Dichisuri.ro on Facebook.
Raluca

May 14, 2018

Belgium - Cherry blossoms in Arlon

I'm beginning to like Spring! I was always an Autumn person, loving the sun left from the Summer, but with normal temperatures and lovely brown colours, but after almost five months of darkness and white sky, this year I've noticed more the loveliness of Spring.
I love the blossomed trees, I've noticed the magnolias, the lilac smells incredible and the green of the forest is something I've never seen, so this year I want to bring a little bit of the flowery landscape to the blog and share with you pictures I've taken mostly with my phone while walking Luna.
This one is form the Cathedral. If you know a little bit about Arlon, then you know we have a beautiful Gothic Cathedral.  
Also in Arlon started this beautiful Kiwanis tradition of giving this rag dolls to sick children to keep them company in the hospital. It's a lovely gesture and the Kiwanis Foundation organised something similar to the cow parade, where the dolls were painted by local artists or organisations and put out for auction. Two of them are in Arlon.
The pictures are taken in Arlon, but it's a good occasion to picture this town other then the dormitory of Luxembourg or the ghost town that it looks like on the first view. I got used to this solitude and when Arlon is busy mostly on Thursdays and Saturdays when there is a market in the city centre, I don't enjoy the crowds, I almost feel that they invade the privacy of this small town which was once big. 

This is the Old Church which has a beautiful dog walking spot and a belvedere point from where you can see the whole area.





I choose to write this post today because it is a gloomy day, raining and white sky. It seems that Spring is over in Arlonia and we are heading right into Autumn. Also the Cherry Trees lost their blossom a couple of days ago, so if you miss that just click on the photos.
I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at Dichisuri.ro on Facebook.
Raluca

May 11, 2018

Germany - Saarschleife - Hike near Saar river

I promised myself that I will write a post about "what to do in Luxembourg and around" to complete the post 10 short day trip from Luxembourg, but I just did not get around to writing it. So instead of that, I will write small posts about a day activities and when the time comes I will write the whole, round post.

So today I'm going to tell you about my unplanned and unprepared hike near Saar river in Germany. The locals call it "Saarschleife" or Saarloop and I previously called it Saar's U Turn. It is a place, very close to Luxembourg, but in Germany where the Saar River decided to make a U Turn. I've been there in the summer, I've been there in autumn, always from the parking to the belvedere spot and back. If you know me, hiking is not in my regimen although it should be.

So, during the weekend, pushed by my friends we went to the Saarloop, I also chose to wear one of my Romanian blouses, having in mind the cool pictures we were going to take. Little did I know, that I will end up walking for a good 5 hours, down and (painfully) up the hill.
See, I even made an effort to match my earrings to the outfit and to integrate my Romanian blouse into the assemble.

So after we took pictures from above, we took a pleasant walk down the hill, through the forest, intersecting with a small water stream, taking more pictures, meeting people, until we made it down. Two hours and about 6 km, and we made it to the river bank. The view of the hill up, did bother me a little, but there was no other way. We enjoyed a nice picnic with chocolate, dried mango (note to self to look for that in the supermarket) and water, we took more pictures, watched the boats pass by, took pictures of the swans, and then the way back.
40 minutes climb to reach the promised schnitzel at Cloef Atrium. I did it and had my chicken grill (schnitzels are made of pig meat in Germany :(), but as I'm writing this post I have a massive muscle pain and my back is stiff and it hurts all over.

I don't regret it though, it was a nice afternoon with friends and I proved that Romanian blouses are suited for every occasion :)
In case you are wondering how to get there, the Saar U Turn is in Orscholz in Germany, once you get there follow the Cloef road sign.




I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at Dichisuri.ro on Facebook.
Raluca

May 7, 2018

Netherlands - Weaver's house, Leiden

Did you know that weaving was a job mainly done by men in Old Holland? And also did you know that the training for that job took four years and was done in Gent, Belgium? Well, stick around to find more.

You know me, I've promised myself that I will go to the Nederlands seaside to rest and enjoy the spare time and sleep and play with Luna and have long walks on the beach and after a day of doing that, I got bored and wanted some action. So I've picked up some leaflets from the hotel lobby and took advantage of a rainy day and went to the museums.

One of the Leiden museums that was to my liking was this Weaver's House. It was one of the last museums suggested by the guide "15 museums of Leiden" and it was a really nice surprise.

The museum opens at 1 p.m. and it's free. It consists of an old house, which was occupied since 2003 in the present condition, that is why it stayed unmodernized among all the other houses. The museum doesn't have a permanent collection, but you can see the front room where there is an antique loom and a modern one. The other rooms and hallways host the temporary exhibition, but the house itself it's interesting. The guide was very friendly and spoke perfect English.
  
Traditionally only the man of the family was a weaver and the woman would help dye the threads and spin them. To become a weaver the man would go to Belgium in Gent where he would learn all there was to learn about this craft in the four years he spent there. The end of this craft came in the 1840 when it was industrialised and the weavers would work in small factories and of course the weaving was not done manually. At that time the women started weaving small textiles used around the house, such as tea towels, shawls, bed covers and others. It was because of this we now have the knowledge of manual weaving. The guide told us that a shawl will take up to 30 hours to make and would cost around 75 euros.

Overall a nice museum, a good way of getting an idea about how the Dutch lived and how they worked. I do recommend this museum. One small thing though, park your car in the supermarket parking close to the house, cause parking on the street it's for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. 
I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at Dichisuri.ro on Facebook.

Raluca

April 30, 2018

France - Long weekend in Lyon

First of all this is not a travel blog post, I will not recommend you anything. I went to Lyon on business and stayed there for two days and took a lot of pictures and this is my excuse to post them. If you happen to go to Lyon do enjoy the food which is tasty even in big burger chain restaurants and check some museums, cause they do have a lot of museums. If the weather is nice you can maybe have a walk on the river bank, but if you are not so young and you don't enjoy inhaling marijuana and dodging the beer bottles thrown from above, maybe you should stay away from that.







I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at Dichisuri.ro on Facebook.
Raluca
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