Ann and David have to say Good-Bye, their ferry is leaving on Friday. Our European team has shrunk to Germans and Franchies. We want to reach the coast to follow the North Sea Cycle Route again which we have neglected during the last days. On our way lays the city of Franeker we want to visit. Not far – only 28km but at the end we have 45km on our speedometer…
In a beautiful old house we find the oldest still functioning planetarium of the world. The model of the planetary system was built between 1774 and 1781 by the carder Eise Eisinga.
On May 8th, 1774 several planets were standing in a row and it was said the planets will collide, the earth will be thrown off track and burn in the sun. Eisa Eisinga wanted to show there is no reason for panic. The fascinating model he built on the ceiling of his living room.
All planets move around the sun as in reality. Till today the current positions of the planets can be read. Eise Eisinga also built several other special clocks, which show dates, days, the rise and set of sun and moon and all the movements of the starry sky.
All this is set by an impressive wheel work of wooden hoops and disks with 10.000 of hand-forged nails as teeth to move. A pendulum with 9 weights moves the whole construction. The wohle mechanics are in the attic above the living room.
All this has been planned and constructed by the hobby astronomer, who attended school only for four years. The love and interest for our planetary system has been planted by his father.
It wasn’t very easy to find a parking in Franeker. When we eventually succeed the automat doesn’t take neither our money nor our card. When we return Yves has ticket of 60€ on his windshield. Why the French and not the German? Our persistent search for the bureau in charge is rewarded: The ticket is cancelled!