Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wooden Shoes Anyone?

We took a drive along a winding dyke to Lekkerkerk (the name of the town translates to "Delicious Church") and found this wooden shoe shop that has been in business since 1815.  The shop was connected to the home of the owners, and the lady in the picture was kind enough to show us through the business, even though they weren't working that day.  As evidenced from the coat and rosy cheeks, it was very cold in the shop.  It either didn't have a heating system or it hadn't been turned on that day.

These were some of the tools used in their trade.  Wooden shoes are still worn by farmers in this country because the ground is so wet that regular shoes absorb the moisture and are quickly ruined.  Because wood does not absorb water, it is the perfect solution to the problem.  One has to wonder how comfortable they are, however.

This pair would fit you, Elder Beckstrand.  What do you think?  Would they go with your suit?

All colors, sizes, and designs were available.  The shoes are made by the husband then the wife does the painting and decorating.  She has the fun job!

We purchased several pair for the grandchildren to take to school for show-and-tell.   They had cute windmill motifs painted on the front.  Also on the counter were practical shoes made for the farmers.  I noticed that they were equipped with straps to keep the mud from sucking them off their feet.  Zer goed idee...

One log will make quite a few shoes.  And speaking of logs..........

This was the supply outside the shop waiting to be turned into shoes.  It looks like this much wood would shod the whole city of Rotterdam. 

The proprietor offered to take our picture in front of the shop's 'billboard'. 

Along the dyke we passed a lovely windmill.  It was interesting to drive along the dyke and look down about 20 feet to the river on one side and the homes of the community on the other.

This home had a thatched roof.  I remembered them from our trip to England, but didn't expect to see them here.  People have to climb down quite a lot of stairs to reach the houses from the road above.  The dykes are built to protect the communities from flooding along the rivers.

 On the opposite side of the road as we looked across the river we could see  Kinderdijk  - the place where there are 19 windmills close together.  It was quite a grey day so they weren't as clear as I would have liked.   Truthfully, almost every day is a grey day in Holland this time of year. 

A water tower?  A watch tower?  A mystery.....
A kodak moment, if nothing else.


  1. So fun! That is a HUGE pile of wood - I would look at that and think I would NEVER get through it all making or painting shoes. So much work, but they look so amazing!