Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 10 & 11 - Amish country, Pennsylvania

For many years we have talked about visiting the Amish country. Opportunity had never shown itself and we weren't really sure where to go see them and if they would allow to be seen. When planning this road trip we heard about a community of Amish that had opened up their society to tourists, they do this since new land is almost impossible to come by and the new Amish families need to find an income. They do this by showing of their homes and selling hand craft to the English(what they call anyone who is not Amish). The place where they do this is the town of Inter Course(yeah, we know it's a weird name).

I can tell you right away I had prejudices about going there and I went there with a slight feeling of being on the way to some kind of human zoo featuring the freak attraction the Amish. Well the wondefull thing about traveling is that it takes all your preconceptions about how things are and slams them in your face!

What met us and what met these groups of dutch and german immigrants some hundred years ago is a fair and fertile country that do to this day remains one of the best non irrigated farming lands in the U.S. Driving down these lazy country roads is a dream that takes you back to a different time, when life had a slower pace. The Amish oppose a lot of modern conveniences such as electricity and plumbing. They ride in buggies or scooters which is the amish version of a kick bike. The idea is that no vehicle should be able to take you too fast and too far away from home. 
The young woman on the picture above was riding a scooter while drinking coffee from a thermo cup. One of many anachronisms we spotted in Amish country. We were supposed to travel on to Gettysburg but falling utterly in love with this scenery we decided to stay for a tour the next day. 

The tour we chose is a ninety minute bus tour deriving from the Plain & Fancy farm, a kind of Amish disney land with buggy rides, cinemas and gift shops devoted to the Amish experience. It took us deep in to the country side and stopped in some of their farms and bakeries(the Amish are obsessed with baking and making sweets). Much to our surprise the Amish were not at all hesitant to speak to strangers. You might think that a closed community such as theirs would be reluctant to meet with the outside world in fear of sowing doubt amongst their lines, but they all seemed to think that we were the weird ones. And in a way maybe we are. Their life seemed almost romantic, devoting their life to their work, their families and the earth they farm. They live here in peace with their neighbors "the english". And a good guess is they will continue to do that for a long, long time.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see your clothes drying high,
    don´t let the road trip die!

    Hälsa dotra mi!