We decided to stay an extra night here so had a relaxing day today. Jason cooked a scrummy breakfast of scrambled eggs and the slab of herby smoked salmon we got at the fish Market yesterday. Delish. And nice to all be sat around a table together.
There's a great playground at the campsite with wooden trucks, swings, slide and climbing frame. The girls love it. I showed em how to hang by her legs from the trapeze swing and pull herself up, and now she confidently does it, swings madly and somersaults off at the end. Amazing. Little Meg (who won't be little anymore if her current constant eating continues!) loves feeding the rabbits and spends ages up there poking leaves through the cage and thrilling when the rabbits push close to her fingers ("the black one bit me!!!").
Late morning we drove up to Oyso museum on an island, which includes a collection of original local buildings the oldest of which dates from the 12th century. After a quick lunch out the front we went in to find an eerily quiet space. After a minute a blonde man about my age appeared, saying that we were the only visitors and when we were ready he'd give us a personal tour of the buildings! See, there are benefits to coming slightly out of season!
We looked in the main building which had lots of old carpentry tools (the island's main skill was carpentry), and some examples of 'women's' work like felt shoes, spinning, weaving and embroidery. There were some lovely traditional costumes on display. It's kind of sad that due to globalisation, countries have lost much of their cultural uniqueness. I mean, if you look at people's clothes these days, they could be from quite literally anywhere.
The researcher then took us outside and into the historic buildings, which were incredible. Thy had the traditional turfed rooves, which were warm and cheap. To make them waterproof they lined the roof with layers of bark before laying the turf over the top. Very clever. Interesting how stave buildings, where the walls are upright, are a simpler and earlier building method. Skills And methods had to progress for them to be able to lay planks horizontally. In the oldest building the floor was brushed earth and the main feature was a big stone fireplace in the middle, central to family life. Each person had their own spoon stuck in a crevice in the wall, but everything else was communal and they would eat from the big pot. There were no chairs, just stools, and only one earthen bench along one wall where they all slept. Apparently they slept sitting up due to some superstition about lying down being associated with death, hence later beds being so short! When someone did die they were placed on a plank and taken out through a hole cut in the wall because it was believed that if they exited the house via the doorway the spirit would come back to haunt the house.
Apparently the version of tax paying was that the poor and disabled people of an area would rotate around the households every few weeks and each family was expected to feed and shelter them. Good idea! I found it amazing that communities even survived at all out here. The winters are harsh, the terrain steep and prior to the advent of cars and ferries, you would have been so isolated. The girls really liked the school house where they sat at the desks and wanted me to be the teacher. What a treat to get such an informative tour.
Afterwards we drove back via a steep and windy historic road constructed in the 1800's. Jason seems to be enjoying the driving! He'd wanted to take a canoe out but they were all booked for a big group of kids. We watched the kids from our balcony, some of them fell into the lake - brrrr!