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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
May 23, 2009
From journal Going Dutch
by Wildcat Dianne
January 3, 2003
Arnhem is a city of 300,000 people whose claim to fame is the bridge that was the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. In September 1944, an Anglo-American force parachuted into the Netherlands to try to liberate the country from the German occupation. The Allies were outmatched by strong German forces, and Arnhem was one of the coveted locations by the Allies and German forces. Eventually, the Germans forced the Anglo-American forces from the Netherlands, and only the southern half of the Netherlands was liberated at that time.
The movie A Bridge Too Far was based on this battle and on the novel by Cornelius Ryan of the same name. In fact, many scenes from the movie were filmed on location in the Arnhem area.
Arnhem is also a popular sight for Dutch and international tourists because of its open-air museum. The Dutch Open Air Museum is comprised of many buildings and costumes dating from the early 19th century to the 1920s and represents all areas of the Netherlands.
The Dutch Open Air Museum reminded me of my many trips to Plymouth Plantations as a child, except there were not as many costumed guides in the park -- but the guides that my friend and I encountered while visiting the museum were very informative and courteous. The guide in the Old Print Shop switched to English when my friend spoke to me, but I understood his Dutch a little when he spoke while demonstrating how the Dutch printed papers in the 19th century. It was very fascinating.
The Dutch Open Air Museum is about 50 miles southeast from Amsterdam and is easy to get to by car or train. There is a small admission fee into the museum and a nice souvenir shop at the entrance.
From journal A Dutch Treat: My Adventures in The Netherlands.