Earlier this year I had a beautiful weekend in Amsterdam. Again, as an Australian, I was absolutely blown away by how quick and easy it was to get there from Birmingham. You can get a ferry from Hull or travel overland, but as I was working within a limited time frame I decided to fly. 45 minutes in the air and we landed.
My favourite parts of the weekend were getting out of the city and seeing some more of Holland.
Zaanse Schans was wonderful – really easy to get to, pretty to look at, with lots of interesting history about local industry to explore if you are interested. There are also some nice cafes to spend some time relaxing, and a bakery museum.
The main attraction of the town is the windmills
However, there is also a clog factory
What you see today on the Zaanse Schans is how a living and working community in the Zaan district looked back in the mid-19th century; farmsteads, paths, wooden houses, warehouses and windmills, ditches and fields.
The windmills in the region were used to mill all sorts of things including machine-sawn wood, paper, ground spices, oil for food and paint, dyes, many types of fibres, flour, cocoa powder, and more. When you visit you will be able to smell the cocoa in the air – delicious!
I got there via train from Amsterdam Central to Koog-Zaandijk. The trip took around 20 minutes, and from Koog-Zaandijk you just follow the signs to Zaanse Schans – around another 15 minutes walking. I stopped along the near side of the river and discovered this cute little street library
Plan your journey by public transport via 9292.
There is no cost to visit the town, so it’s quite a cheap day out. My favourite kind.
Complete your experience
I don’t know any movies that feature windmills – does anyone have any suggestions?