This is my last post on our visit to Ammersoyen Castle, …we managed to visit before the full “tourist” season began and apart from about 15 other people and the guide, have had the place more or less to ourselves.
Here are a few of the “detail photos” that didn’t make it into my other posts.
If you read my blog regularly then you will know I adore stonework, decoration and quirky… so feel free to drool with me over these to your hearts content.
The guides here are volunteers, very knowledgeable and friendly. If you don’t speak Dutch however, you would be at a disadvantage since all of the information was almost exclusively given in Dutch.
That didn’t pose a problem for Family Kiwidutch personally of course, but if I could think of one single item for improvement of our visit, it would be that an English language Tour be added into the castle schedule at least for specific days and times to make these beautiful places more assessable for International visitors to The Netherlands.
Of course these tours are mostly made up of volunteer workers and the people with the most time to volunteer at the hours wanted are often the older generation who’s families have flown the nest and who, upon retirement are free of the constraints of employment.
Therefore it should not be any surprise that this group of people are also the generation who feel least comfortable speaking English in public.
Still, I do wish someone would be brave and proactive to set an English language tour in motion, because there was an Italian couple on the same “tour” as we were and Himself and I spent a lot of time translating information.
Not at all a problem on our part, as we were delighted to be of help, but some of the other Dutch in the tour were less patient with our whisperings (which I thought was totally their problem and not ours).
If you look at this previous post http://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/new-316/ and check out the sixth photo from the top, you will see a small box-like structure sitting to the right of the castle bridge Gateway, nestled on the wall between the gate and the round tower closest to you. (direct centre of the photo).
This little “box” is actually a dove-cote, seemingly precariously positioned, and definitely full of rustic character.
My close-up photos reveal that mesh has been placed across the entrance holes.
What no birds? but maybe there are, as some of the bottom holes have been freed of their mesh and I’m sure it’s a valuable winter residence that hasn’t gone unnoticed by some little winged friend.
The photograph of the well, is for me a reminder that it’s simply amazing what our medieval ancestors were capable of building, because this was a loooong way down.
Just in case you are wondering about the health and safety aspects of this shot, No, not even I could fall down this one, the camera lens is slotted through a heavy iron metal grid that prevents the curious and accident prone from taking a quick trip to the bottom. Similarly, the “long drop” toilets were very aptly named, but the light was so low that the photos were out of focus and useless.
This castle, less of a tourist target, less “commercial” as far as marketing is concerned is, we believe a little gem. Apart from the dungeon there was a nice feel to the place and you could tell that restoration had been done by people for whom this was a passion as well as a project.