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”.
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?
Sometimes the stars align, and you get everything that makes you happiest all at once. I had a week like that last week. As the stars aligned, I was able to meet up with a friend I’ve spoken with almost every day in the last 5 years. We planned our weddings together, saw each other through good times and bad, and bought each other random gifts while traveling! (Doing our bit to keep the postal service alive!) Initially we lived on different continents, and in different time zones. We’re a lot closer now, but for one reason or another only actually met face to face last week! And we gossiped just like friends should. (Poor Himself.)
After picking her up from Schipol it was off to Leidseplein for dinner as I hadn’t had time to grocery shop! We may have then headed off for an after dinner whiskey.
The tasting menus at L&B are still amazing! Would you like to know more?
It’s amazing what you learn when you pay attention to the advertising screens on trams! I recently read about Molen van Sloten on just such a screen, and resolved that at the next chance we got, that’s where we’d go! I’d had no idea that there was a working windmill so close to Amsterdam!
As directed, we took the tram and got off at the last stop, and just followed the signs from there. And a remarkably picturesque walk it was too!
Can you believe these are the back of peoples back yards? I’m so jealous!
This was the best sign so far, and had me giggling.
It directed us to walk through Sloten, a thousand year old village which only got annexed to Amsterdam in 1921. It’s so tiny and quaint!
I love the atmosphere of this village. If it was further away I‘d want a Summer house here. But it’s so close that I can visit whenever I want!
Out of a tree shaded walkway we then saw the sight that had drawn us here.
The massive rotating sails of the mill. This particular mill is a water mill that, by use of an Archimedes Screw, keeps the polder of Sloten above water level, if not sea level.
This is the only public mill in Amsterdam and being able to go up inside it as it was turning was such an amazing experience! We both had huge grins on our faces!
Being us, on the way home we stopped off in Leidseplein and sampled a few more of the delicious cocktails off the menu at the Bar Americain.
Pretty good way to end the day if you ask me! I hope your weekends were both productive and educational too!
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!