Today we drove half way through Ohio. That was a pretty uneventful affair – the countryside is not terribly interesting. When we came to the Amish country which is the area northeast of Columbus, all that changed. That part of Ohio is more hilly – you know, “the good old rolling hills”, and full of old fashioned farms. Big fields with scattered cows and sheep. And then we began to see the first people in strange clothes, people pushing old fashioned lawn mowers and of course the buggies.
A buggy in the rearview mirror. Imagine being overtaken by one? That’s what happened to us – but must admit: we were parked in a lay by.
We went to the town of Walnut Creek where there was a big antique market/flea market. It was such a mix – heaps of corny old souvenirs (I just love souvenirs from the 50ties), porcelain, glassware, old toys, quilts, books and ancient tools. And loads of trivial knick-knack. And every item (and that is EVERY item) was carefully marked with stall number, description of the item and the price. At the exit two Amish women meticulously noted everything down and put little sales slips into pidgeon holes for each stall holder. And rang up the sale on a modern and absolutely electric cash register… We escaped without buying anything, all though I’d set my sights on a Niagara Falls nailclipper at 3$…
The local “Real Amish cooking” restarant had a long line outside and was packed to the brim, so we left town with just our obligatory magnet* and a few postcards. The next town, Berlin, is known as “the heart of the Amish country”. But honestly, that must be the tourist heart. It was absolutely awful – full of touristy shops with Amish-this and Amish-that and not an Amish in sight anywhere, only busloads of tourists. We drove through it without stopping.
Tonight’s campsite is far away from everything. We truly wonder how they attract people to this place, even if it’s very pretty and nice. But it must be the closeness to the Amish and the extreme peace and quiet that does it. Or maybe it’s something with religion. At the camping office they had a quote from the scriptures in a very prominent place and our neighbours here are a mormon family.
Normally, campsites are a little bit too close to the action (action = Interstate highways).
* We decided early on that we wanted a souvenir from each state or attraction we’d visited. And the choice fell on fridge magnets – inexpensive, small and possible to pack in a suitcase. We have got some pretty cool ones, I can tell you. When we find a new home, it just has to have a very large fridge, so that there’s room for all our magnets.