Seeing the Sights

There is so much to see and do in Amsterdam that sometimes it’s a little difficult to narrow down all the possibilities into the things that in my opinion, are a good combination of “Dutch” and “Tourist”.

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One of the things which I would take everyone to, given the chance, is Zaanse Schaans. I know I have spoken about it before on this blog, and likely I’ll speak about it again, because I always have a good time out there, and I like to share my happy places with the people I love. With that, here we are! Would you like to know more?


I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but we got into the swing of things last week and had a visit from Sinterklass (and probably Zwarte Piet came along too). We put our newly acquired clogs out by the fireplace to see what would happen, and lo and behold we awoke to find them full of goodies!


We each got a chocolate letter of our initials, an orange, some walnuts, and a DVD! Thoroughly spoilt! *grins*

We have also cleared a space and put up our Giftmas tree. I was grateful that I only lost one of my glass ornaments in the move!


Miraculously it seemed to attract a multitude of gifts to it almost instantly! Though, these have subsequently gone into the post, bound for far away lands!

Now to restrain myself from putting on my Twisted Sister Christmas album so Himself doesn’t get sick of it too quickly!

Visiting Volendam, Marken, and Windmills

Tourist Season had a second shot this weekend. Our guests were very generous and purchased us tickets on a tour! So we stepped out of Amsterdam for just a few short but fun-filled hours!

We began our little tour by hopping on a bus at the Damrak and heading for Zaanse Schans to play in some real, old fashioned, still working, windmills.


This particular windmill was a spice windmill where they were grinding mustard.


But there were a host of other windmills in the surrounding area and the smell of cocoa being ground pervaded the air. It was delicious!


Then we were herded back on to the bus and zoomed off to our next destination! The quaint little fishing village of Volendam.


There was plenty to see here, and it was all geared towards the tourist dollar. We spotted four different shops where you could dress up in “authentic” dress to have your picture taken. Himself declined, so I took photos of the boats instead.


Time slipped away and we were shuffled off on our own boat to our next and final destination of Marken. It was here in amongst the traditional houses that we saw a brief talk on how they make cheese from cow, sheep, and goat milk. All these cheeses were delicious! We also saw a demonstation on how clogs are made!


They are made from either poplar or willow and are still worn by farmers today.


It was quite something to see! I will buy some, I just didn’t want to feel rushed into a decision today.

Then it was back on the bus and returned to Amsterdam! All up, five hours well spent. I can’t wait to go back to each destination with some more time to take a LOT more photos!