When in Holland, one of the places you must visit is Zaanse Schans. Located within the industrial district in Zaandam, this lovely village is among the remnants of the true Dutch community. We’re talking about windmills, clogs, and of course, cheese!
Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by the sight of these working giants, plus a long line of tourists. Spring just gives the perfect mood for traveling, which is why many people make the most out of the weather. From afar, you can see many guests taking a stroll within the village.
Anyhow, we’ll all sight-see anyway, and it’s much more fun to have a crowd with you than going around alone. Our first stop is clog museum, which feature the popular wooden Dutch footwear along with the global shoes of the old.
Clogs can be more than shoes. They’re big enough to be other things, like…
So many designs to choose from. Yes, that’s right; they’re all for sale.
Even the ceilings have strings of these shoes on display.
There was an ongoing clog-making session that time and we were lucky enough to chance upon it! We’re glad the whole demo was in English.
More clog designs in other materials. These ones, however, are not to be worn.
While walking around the village, some celebrity graced us with its presence.
This is my favorite part: the cheese exhibit! My relatives told me we can eat so many types of cheese for free here!
Some folks look really happy now!
Cheese enthusiasts, this is the place to be. Zaanse Schans has so many varieties, you’ll be able to get lunch while picking up trial pieces. They’re not as big as these rounds, though.
Some of the interesting flavors: sheep cheese, garlic and herbs, pepper, coconut. You can dip it in the bottles of sauce for further flavor! And all of that, for free.
A bit sheepish…
We went out of the cheese farm exhibit and went straight to a windmill.
Remember that very expensive bottle of Speculoos tart (which is more costly than Nutella)? This is the place of its humble beginnings. The spiced, fragrant biscuit, similar to the gingerbread man, is a traditional pastry molded with these beautiful carvings.
While inside, we learned what the windmills are for. When I was young, I thought they were air-powered energy systems, but now I discovered what they are really for: grinding produce. This includes wheat, barley and other kinds of grass and crops. Windmills, obviously.
Other souvenirs are available inside.
Outside, however, is the lovely sight of a canal under the blue sky. We chanced upon a ferry making its tour.
After walking around the village, we decided to take a rest. That’s when I found some of the residential spaces within the area.
These houses look so lovely I’d want to live here. But 1.) they’re too much expensive and 2.) I’m going home in a few days.
So we made our way out of Zaanse Schans and waved goodbye to the windmills.