Thursday, May 20, 2010


The Lancaster County Visitor Center directs you to things Amish, the traditional crafts, tours, and places of interest. Amish don't like having their pictures taken, we are told. When we were in Southern Louisiana, you sometimes thought you were in a different country. Amish country lends you that same feeling. They are shy, and modestly friendly when talking to you. But, on the road, or from a distance, all was fair game for the lens.

Our first stop was the farmers market at Bird In Hand, PA.  We indulged in home made sausages, shoo fly pie, local cheese, local Wilbur Chocolates and home made specialty noodles and coleslaw. Many women working the counters wore the typical head dress of the Amish or Menonnite. We aren't sure of the difference and didn't ask.

We stopped at the Old Country Store and found these chains and fasteners, the kind we still use on our ceiling fans. It's impossible to find them anymore, and so pleased to find them. It was our goal to stop at a renowned restaurant for chicken pot pie. The village was so small we passed the restaurant and found ourselves in the village of Intercourse, PA before we were even hungry. 

Traffic whizzes right along, but these little boys were undaunted by the traffic. I took the photo out the motor home window and couldn't get the small shetlands pulling their wagon. Older boys used scooters for transportation;  never saw a bike.

Most of them drive these small horse drawn buggies and they move very swiftly along with the traffic. So swiftly, its difficult to get a good picture of them. You hear them, look up camera ready, 15 seconds, they are gone.

This gentleman had an open buckboard. We saw another two horse buckboard as well. The small buggies are often driven by women carrying kids.

And, of course, public parking is a necessary element because manure is an ever present commodity. Everyone takes it in stride, and, in fact, most of the stores we poked around in, including the hardware store in Intercourse, were run or worked by the Amish people.

The Intercourse Pretzel Factory gave us a tour of their pretzel making kitchen and a lesson in pretzel making. The instructor could roll that dough to the perfect thinness and length, then flip and twist it into the correct shape in seconds. Jim made a pretty good roll. No one got them quite as thin as our instructor's example.

I thought my pretzel was the best, but everyone said it had an extra twist in it.

These ladies were having a grand time because one of them made her pretzel into a peace sign, (a rather crooked peace sign.)
 One woman was blind and partially deaf, but she gave it a try while her dog seemed quite bored by the whole affair.

 In any case, we all earned our Official Pretzel Twisters Certificate and had a lot of fun. This company claims that 90 per cent of  the pretzels made in the U.S. come from a radius of one hundred miles from their shop, but 80 per cent of them are eaten locally.
 On our way out of town we stopped at an Amish farm for fresh vegetables. Though the radishes were huge, they weren't the least bit bitter or strong. Yum! Fresh organic everywhere you look.
For a web album of more pictures, click on the link below:

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