01 Dec Amsterdam: Mills & Greenery (Day 3, Pt-1)
We bought a half day tour to Zaanse Schans from the souvenir shop on our first night in Amsterdam which cost us 40 euros. The package included the visit to the windmills, the clog shoe making factory, a cruise ride from the market harbour to the cheese shop with a brief introduction and a lot of cheese tasting.
On a side note, we ended up getting single day trip metro tickets which was 7.50 euro. The GVB metro ticket allows you to also take the bus and tram for free which is really awesome. We might have spent more if we bought the Iamsterdam card as discouraged by one of the Ticket & Tour souvenir shop owner. Which I think made more sense since we didn’t plan to visit some of the museums.
The bus ride to Zaanse Schans was about 45mins. I’m kinda glad we bought the half day tour because during the 45mins bus ride, the tour guide gave us headsets & fed us with information we wouldn’t have known. I thought the things that were mentioned were really interesting. For example: –
- Orange carrots were orginated by the Dutch 350 yrs ago for the royal family. Originally carrots were in either white, purple or yellow. *Whuttt~ eye widens*
- The triangular shape of the roofs were made to “cut” the wind and actually creates more storage space below.
- Netherland is one of the lowest land under sea level thus the name Netherlands.
- During winter the canals & lakes freezes over and they have all the place for them to skate. Kids would skate out to see how far the freezing goes and the exact reason why some of the best speed skaters come from the Netherlands.
Even though it was a short stop at the windmills, we had nothing but fond memories. Looking back at this set of pictures makes me miss the place too much!
We visited the (The Seeker) oil mill that was still in operation. A demonstration on peanut oil production.
Spot the duck! Not sure if I should say the mallard duck color matches the houses or the houses matches the duck.
I’ve never bothered about gardening as a choice for ECA (extracurricular activity) during my school days because I didn’t think it will be of any importance in any point of my life. If I was asked to join gardening, my answer will be “are you fucking kidding me”. The light came to me after having lived half my life away. So my point is, I will not be gardening hahah… BUT I would genuinely respect & appreciate the effort of people who bothers to. I mean just look at the picture below. It would just be a plain looking house like blah but that man-made mini bridge and that patterned gardening that was happening right there? Bam! Photo opportunity.
I look at this goat with affection, the goat looks at me like “another stupid tourist”.
I remember Eileen tweeted me a picture of a house & the reflection in Holland. Now that I have a picture of a nice countryside house with reflections, Eileen can now tweet my picture to others. Lol.
For some weird reasons, I really like this picture of the clog making factory. The clogs looked like peanuts. During his demonstration, he mentioned that these traditional clogs were “invented” by farmers. Because their shoes would always end up soaked in the mud or rain, wooden clogs were used when they work. One interesting story he told us was back in the days, when a man fancies a woman he wants to marry, he will place a pair of well decorated clog in front of the woman’s front door. If she wears them, his proposal is successful. If by the next day, the clog shoes are still at the front door, that’s too bad. *Eat yourself tonight*.
These waffle biscuits (Stroopwafels) looks unappetising right? They are SUPER YUMMY! Our tour guide brought out a freshly heated tray of these waffles cut into pieces for us to try. I drool as I’m reminded of the caramel pressed between those chewy biscuits. Most heavenly coupled with a hot cup of coffee!
On our walk to the harbour from the clog factory, there was this river filled with algae. Luckily there were fences to barricade the river otherwise you might just walk into it & take a dip in the cold waters. Despite the danger, it was a beautiful sight.
I love these houses! So rich in green, brown & orange tones. The neighborhood seemed peaceful and friendly. It’s like a tribe of it’s own. Such a pleasant stroll. I was telling em’ friends how the houses has inspired me to start on a pixel art project. See, I used to like making pixel art pieces and my favorite pixel art illustrator artist was of course the well known eboy. Maybe the reason why I love playing my Big Business game, which my friends don’t understand. Anyways, my passion mysteriously died for god knows how many donkey years back. So, I’m going to try making 1 significant building of each country I’ve travelled. I hope I don’t procrastinate too long.
So much texture in the below picture. That boy fishing statue cute or what.
We took a 20mins cruise on Western Europe’s largest artificial lake from Ijsselmeer, the small town harbours of Marken to visit the cheese factory in Volendam.
I’m not really a cheese eater but not sure why when I tasted the cheese at the cheese shop, it was so yummy I think I was hypnotized. The lady that was giving us a quick run through of how the cheese was produced mentioned that drinking the liquid of the cheese that didn’t form into a curd is really good for the skin. She drinks a glass daily and she is 74 years old (and she looked like 20yrs younger no joke). The American tourist behind us exclaimed “what the!”. WTF indeed! No need for botox.
It’s too bad there was so much rain we were trapped in the restaurant where we had lunch and we couldn’t explore the area. Like the guide mentioned, if Amsterdam didn’t rain, it’s a miracle. Dang~
After we were done with the half day trip we made our way to the Basilica of Saint Nicholas church. Not huge compared to the ones we visited last year in Italy.
I shall end this day 3 post with part 1 right here because it would be really wrong to lump part 2 together. Why? Because by far it has been pictures of nature, greenery, refreshing & holy. To pre-warn readers, part 2 is corrupted.
To be continued….. soon.