Monday, May 28, 2012

A Peaceful Relaxing Day in Holland

Hey all,

As promised, I thought I'd put up some of the pictures I took during our recent trip to the tiny town of Zaanse Schans.  While this is an obvious tourist trap, it is one of the best I've ever been in.  It's beautifully restored, carefully maintained and run mostly by volunteers, so they REALLY do want to be there.

It's only about forty-five minutes out of Amsterdam.  Thirty by train and fifteen more to walk to the town.  It's got several working windmills--the first we'd seen, dozen's of restored homes, gardens, a cheese farm, clog making shop, coopery, pewter shop, bakery and of course, souvenir shops.

We'd been waiting for a nice day and finally got one.  Blue skies, a light breeze, everything to make you want to take a road trip.  And we expected to be up to our eyeballs in tourists, but that wasn't the case.  A few tour buses in the morning, but it actually wasn't crowded at all.  We loved that part.

We started with the windmills.  They have several there.  A paint mill, a sawmill, an oil mill and a spice mill, just to name a few.  All of those are working, and all but the spice mill actually had the blades going.  It wasn't too windy, so it was more of a lazy turning that was more for show than actual work.  Here are some pics of the windmills.  

All the mills looking out from the village.

 One of the mills.  It wasn't working that day.

 This one was the paint mill.  The view from beneath the blades was great.

See, I told you so.  That is the oil mill closest to us and then the saw mill in the background.

A view back towards the other mills from the deck of the sawmill.

And here are some pics of the village and attractions...

The main street.  So very pretty.

Some of the houses and gardens were like dollhouses.  I could have taken hundreds of pics.

One of the gardens here.  A beautiful peaceful spot.

 Making clogs.  Here it is done by machine, but we saw a video on them doing it by hand.  Talk about a lot of work!  Sheesh!

And finally, one of the Dutch volunteers in the Cheese Farm, complete with traditional costume.  And the cheeses were yummy too!

All in all it was a wonderful day and we very much enjoyed ourselves.  Even though it was touristy, it was fun and informative, and we were lucky enough to go on a day that wasn't too busy.  I'd go again, just to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the area.

I hope you enjoyed the pics and the info on Zaanse Schans.  For more information on this delightful town, check out their WEBSITE.

Until Wednesday when I'll have an interesting movie review for all of you to ponder!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

Those pics were so very pretty CJ! That is so the way to tour! Peaceful and not at 1,000 miles an hour trying to dodge all the other tourists going 90 miles an hour. lol Thanks for sharing them.

Ray said...

I love the pics. It looks like even though the sky appeared clear to the naked eye the pics show a warm weather haze, which I suppose is natural near the water.

I see you are drinking environmentally friendly beer made with all ingredients from Holland.

How is the flavor. Most European beers make most American beer taste like flavored water. Even imported beer loses its taste by the time it gets here.

The town might be touristy, but walking is free including the benefits of the fresh air sunshine and exercise.

Excellent pictures of a beautiful village.

CJ England said...

You're welcome, Phylis. And you're exactly right. Jonathon and I often grumble, wondering why the tourists don't just go home. We refuse to admit we are tourists too! LOL

CJ England said...

The beer was good, Ray. I love trying new ones. And the best part about the village was that it was so tidy and well kept. It was an absolute pleasure to visit.

Oil Expeller said...

These pics are looking very fantasy. To spend some times at such a nice place is describe our living season of life.


CJ England said...

Glad you liked them, Oil. I love sharing my adventures.