The cute little train station at Franeker
At Schiphol the skies had cleared, and it was a lovely warm sunny morning. After the usual unproductive tussle at the train station between the ticket machines and my Maestro debit card (one day I must really get to the bottom of this), which resulted in my having to buy a train ticket from a real person (and pay extra for the privilege), I had a pleasant and relaxing journey up to Leeuwarden, where I arrived shortly before noon. I dumped my bag at the Eden Oranje Hotel where, rather against expectations, my room was already made up and ready for occupation. Guessing that no-one else had yet arrived, I determined to take a short train journey to Franeker, to visit the planetarium there.
Pretty thatch - turn left for the canal, bridge and planetarium
This was on my "must see" list when I visited Leeuwarden last year, but I didn't have the time, so today seemed like a golden opportunity.
The Royal Eise Eisinga Planetarium at Franeker is the world's oldest working planetarium: it was constructed by Eise Eisinger, a self-taught woolcomber, in his house between 1774 and 1781. I will give more details in a separate review; suffice it to say here that it is quite fascinating, and well worth a visit by anyone in the area. Franeker itself is a pretty canalside town, and I enjoyed a very pleasant, if rather warm, couple of hours wandering around window-shopping and admiring the neat houses and cottages, most of which are of some antiquity. There is a cafe situated next to the planetarium, where I was able to sit outside and linger over apple pie and cream whilst watching wedding celebrations at the town-hall opposite, which half the town seemed to have turned out to witness. All in all, a very rewarding afternoon.
Franeker Sights & Attractions review
Fascinating Excursion into Scientific History
In 1774 a conjunction of the planets made the local population around Franeker fearful of the end of the world. To counter such fears Eise Eisinga, a … read entire review