Thursday, 29 March 2018
Netherlands Day 5
Thursday was spent visiting the BroekerVeiling museum located in the village of Broek op Langedijk a 15 minute drive from the accommodation. We arrived at 10:20 shortly after the museum the museum opened and were the first visitors of the day. The receptionist was very friendly and even checked I had parked in place where I was not going to be fined. The 17:50 euro admission price included a boat trip round the remains of the Realm of a Thousand Islands, and a demonstration auction in the first and now only surviving sail-through auction in the world. The boat trip was at 12:00 so we spent the morning touring the museum that explained the history of the area and challenges of growing crops on the small strips of land that made up around the 15000 individual islands. The auction house opened in 1913 as the first sail though auction house in the world. It only closed in 1973 and has now been reopened as the Museum BroekerVeiling The 45-minute boat trip was round a small part of the islands that have been preserved for posterity. There then followed a demonstration of the auction process. A punt entered the auction hall and the process of bidding was explained to those present. We had a small problem as the guide started without giving us an English translation. She only realised when a colleague told her when she had finished the talk and the bidding was about to start. An English translation was quickly produced much to the amusement of those present and we were soon up to speed. The auctioneer called out the starting price. The single hand showed the fractional amount in cents and as the hand moved round the price reduced. One full turn and the price had reduced by a euro. If you wanted to buy the item you pressed a button on the desk in front of your seat. If you were successful your number lit up on the large board. The 65 kg of onions were just for fun but then bidding started on small lots for real money. Fruit, vegetables and even 3 packed of sauerkraut were auctioned. We were eventually successful on the last lot of the day of 3 Minneolas which Lyn won with a bid off 75 cents. By the time the auction finished it was almost 14:00 so we adjourned to the cafeteria for a late lunch before resuming the rest of the tour. An audio guide in English triggered by information panels around the museum guided us round. On completing the tour, I even received an email with a link to my personal tour and a chance to listen to any of the boards we missed. We left the museum at 16:00 and drove to the small town of Bergen. We did not have time to cycle round the dunes so had a coffee in a bar. We decided on a stir fry for tea and Albert Heijn provided the necessary ingredients.