Thursday, November 25, 2010

Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Volendam, Marken . . .

I have a bit of catching up on my blog. I've been a busy little Slow Traveler on the sightseeing fast lane. So here's an equally fast catch up post.

On Tuesday, I decided to take a tour with a local company called Lindbergh Excursions. I was feeling a bit lazy to figure out the bus schedules to visit Zaanse Schans on my own and I wanted to see the Dutch windmills.  The town of Zaanse Schans is a picturesque windmill village with green timbered houses.

The tour only allowed 55 minutes here and that included this brief wooden shoe demonstration.

Let's just say that I had to do a mad dash to the windmills so I could climb up one of them. For 3.50 euros I was able to see the inner workings of an actual windmill. This is the De Kat mill (aka Dye Mill) and it is used to produce dyestuff. I learned that this is actually the last wind powered dye mill in the world.

It was pretty cool climbing up close to the turning wooden blades and to see how wind energy is used to grind the wooden chips used to produce dye.

I had only 5 minutes left to return to the bus and as I was sprinting back I remembered why I became a Slow Traveler. :)

The tour also included a visit to a small farm house to see how cheese is made. It included a free sample of a variety of cheese with this delicious mustard to dip it in.

They also had a stable of some of the friendliest riding horses. I didn't realize that there is this forest on the outskirts of the city with great trails for horseback riding.

We then went to the town of Volendam where we had a lunch break. It is located near the ocean. The guide told us about a typical Dutch delicacy called herring. Raw fish. I opted for the little Dutch pancakes instead. Apparently in this town all the doors on the houses are different. As we walked through town sure enough no two doors looked the same. Kind of cool.

Lastly, we visited this small town called Marken. It used to be a fishing village but since due to the building of these canals, the lakes turned to fresh water and the only things that could be caught are eels. The town was practically shut down since it was November. We walked around a bit then hopped back on the bus returning to Amsterdam.

All in all for only 32 euros I thought it was a pretty good tour and I had fun. It took about 4 1/2 hours.  I really enjoyed seeing the windmills the most. And the cheese making demonstration was also interesting, not to mention delicious.


  1. I have yet to see these fun villages. Looks like a great day.

  2. Windmills and wooden shoes! Love the photos. Sounds like a great tour and a fun day!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.