Stork sighting at the écomusée
Trip Start Aug 02, 2012
148Trip End Aug 02, 2013
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Where I stayed
Camping de l'Ill Colmar
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
We headed straight away for the stork feeding, but had missed it by a few minutes. We did catch the tail end of some interesting facts. Storks usually migrate at the end of August, sometime after the 15th. We were glad that they had delayed their departure so that we could see them! For the first 3 years of their life, they are not fixed in one place so do not necessarily return to their home town every year. During these 3 years, they are looking for their mate. After they have found their mate and decided where they would like to settle, they return to the same nest every year. In the sixties, Alsace only had 9 pairs of storks, now it has about 500 pairs of storks because of their efforts to reintroduce them and make the area more stork friendly again.
We looked at the map and decided on a plan of attack so that we didn’t miss any of the buildings or the live presentations/interactive workshops we wanted to attend. We started off by going up a neat old building with a really interesting ceiling that had been restored.
We visited the schoolroom which was very interesting because of the amount of times that Alsace changed hands between the Germans and French. They had a timeline with which language would have been taught at the time (sometimes both). It must have been strange for parents who spoke German to have their children go to school in French. It would have also been very strange for the students who had done all their schooling in German up until a certain point only to have to do it in French the following year. I imagine there would have been a fair bit of confusion on everyone’s part!
We stopped for lunch in the shade and as we were finishing up, they herded the geese by and talked about their use on the farm (for eggs, but they would let them set some in the spring).
Anoop thought he should try his hand at woodcarving so we stopped by the woodworking building for him to have a go. When the winegrowers were storing their wine in the large, wooden barrels, they would carve the piece that acted as the plug, often quite elaborately. The lady set Anoop up with a piece of wood, a mallet and two small chisels to see how they would have started the carving. They gave him a fish pattern to work from (I guess it is an easier shape for most people to tackle!). He started off by chiseling out the outline of his fish and then the eyes. After, he chiseled away the rest of the area outside of the fish and made some waves. They shop closed their demo area at 2:30 so he didn’t have too much time. I wandered around taking more pictures while he puttered away. The merry-go-round had all sorts of neat vehicles on it and the kids seemed to be enjoying their ride. After ½ hour, he had a mostly recognizable fish shape despite a few mishaps. He has decided that he isn’t giving up his day job to become an Alsatian wood carver.
We wandered back down the street towards the square where they had harnessed up a team of horses and an ox to show which animals would have been used by who back then. We headed over to the butter making demo but it was really crowded and hot so we left soon after. Before heading off we sampled some of the "petit lait", which tasted like extra skim milk since all the fat has been removed in the cheese making process. We then headed over to the potter’s house where we hid out from the downpour that opened up while watching a short film on ceramic making. Once the downpour had mostly stopped, we went to the archery area where Anoop had a go.
The last thing we did was head over to the farming area where all the old equipment was stored.